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Seventh Annual Premier's Awards For Excellence in the Arts

News Release

Seventh Annual Premier's Awards For Excellence in the Arts

Ontario Government Recognizes Outstanding Artists and Arts Organizations

Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport

Ontario celebrated the creativity and significant contributions of the province's most outstanding artists and art organizations by honouring three laureates with the Premier's Awards for Excellence in the Arts. 

Award recipients recognized at this year's ceremony included Lydia Adams of Caledon, who received the Artist Award. Ms. Adams is the conductor and artistic director of the Amadeus Choir of Greater Toronto and the Elmer Iseler Singers.  

The Arts Organization Award went to Thunder Bay's Definitely Superior Art Gallery. The gallery has presented more than 800 exhibitions and events, supported almost 12,000 multi-disciplinary artists and is home to one of the largest new generation youth art collectives.

The Emerging Artist Award went to chorus master Joel Tranquilla of Windsor, as selected by this year's Artist Award laureate, Lydia Adams.

Celebrating the province's artists and investing in talent supports the Ontario government's efforts to create a fair and prosperous society and help people in their everyday lives.

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 and creative industries account for nearly 206,000 jobs in the province.
  • This year’s awards program also recognised the 50th anniversary of the Ontario Arts Council.

Additional Resources


Kathleen Wynne

“We are proud to recognize Ontario’s artists and arts organizations. I congratulate the finalists and award recipients that we’re celebrating tonight. Their talent — and the talent of all the province’s accomplished artists — inspire the hearts and minds of people across Ontario”

Kathleen Wynne

Premier of Ontario

Michael Chan

“Ontario is home to a great wealth of talent that can be seen in our inspired artists and innovative arts organizations. The passion they bring to their work, their music and their performances enriches the extraordinary cultural life that we enjoy today in communities across the province. Congratulations to all our nominees and winners.”

Michael Chan

Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

Media Contacts

  • Jeff Costen

    Minister’s Office


    (416) 314-4266

  • Denelle Balfour

    Communications Branch


    (416) 326-1724



Arts and Culture Government