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2012 Premier's Awards For Excellence In The Arts

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2012 Premier's Awards For Excellence In The Arts

McGuinty Government Recognizes Outstanding Artists and Arts Organizations

Ontario honoured its most outstanding artists and arts organizations today at the 2012 Premier's Awards for Excellence in the Arts.  

The annual awards honour well-established artists, emerging artists and arts organizations across Ontario.

The Individual Artist Award was won by Dr. Shirley Cheechoo, a respected visual artist as well as an award-winning playwright, actor, director and filmmaker. Dr. Cheechoo is the first Aboriginal filmmaker in Canada to direct, produce, write and act in an award-winning dramatic feature film, Bearwalker.

The Arts Organization Award honoured Tarragon Theatre. For over forty years Tarragon Theatre has excelled as Ontario's pre-eminent producer and developer of leading edge and thought-provoking Canadian Theatre both nationally and on the world stage.

The Premier's Award for New or Emerging Individual Talent, as selected by this year's winning individual artist, recognized Heather Manitowabi, a self- taught Odawa-Ojibway visual artist from the Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve. 

Recognizing Ontario's artists and investing in talent is part of the McGuinty government's plan to create jobs, grow the economy and provide better opportunities for Ontarians.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario is home to almost 57,000 professional artists.
  • The Premier's Awards for Excellence in the Arts are administered by the Ontario Arts Council.
  • The arts and culture sector is one of Ontario's fastest growing. It generates almost $20 billion annually for Ontario's economy.
  • Creative industries account for nearly 206,000 jobs in our province.

Additional Resources


“The McGuinty government is proud to support and recognize artists for their important contributions to our province. The passion they bring to their work inspires all Ontarians and fuels the extraordinary cultural life of our communities. Their work helps build an innovative knowledge-based economy and a stronger Ontario.”

Michael Chan

Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

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