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Finalists for the 2014 Premier's Awards for Excellence in the Arts

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Finalists for the 2014 Premier's Awards for Excellence in the Arts

Artists and arts organizations practicing any professional arts in Ontario can be nominated for the Premier's Awards for Excellence in the Arts. This includes visual arts, dance, music, theatre, literature and cultural industries, such as book and magazine publishing, digital media, film, television and sound recording among other artistic endeavours.

The Ontario Arts Council chooses a jury of peers to review and assess every nomination. Twelve finalists have been chosen with six from the artist category and six coming from the arts organization category for this year's awards.

Artist Award

IAIN BAXTER& - Windsor

Conceptual artist IAIN BAXTER& integrates photography, installation, sculpture, painting, drawing and performing aspects into his work. The artist, who pronounces his surname "Baxter-and," believes strongly in the collaboration between his art and the viewer. In awarding him the Canada Council for the Arts Molson Prize, the prize jury stated, "His art has made us question, laugh, re-examine and think. He is one of society's greatest innovators." IAIN is an Officer of the Order of Canada, the Order of Ontario, the Order of British Columbia, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and is professor emeritus at the University of Windsor.

Joël Beddows -Ottawa

As an artist, Joël Beddows is known for his keen interest in a challenging, dream-like repertoire, script development and theatre for young audiences. He has directed numerous French and English-language productions and has taken part in the Magnetic North Theatre Festival and Zones Théâtrales. Joël has spent the past 15 years working tirelessly to revive Franco-Ontarian theatre and staging by developing, supporting and producing the works of many accomplished artists. He is a professor in the University of Ottawa's Department of Theatre and holds a Research Chair in Canadian Francophonie.

Christi Belcourt - Espanola

Christi Belcourt is a Métis visual artist and author whose ancestry originates from the Métis historic community of Lac Ste. Anne, Alberta. Like generations of Aboriginal artists before her, she celebrates the beauty of the natural world while exploring its symbolic properties. Her work can be found in numerous collections including the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Thunder Bay Art Gallery. She was recently named the 2014 laureate of the Ontario Arts Council Aboriginal Arts Award.

Jane Bunnett - Toronto

Jane Bunnett is an internationally acclaimed flutist, saxophonist, pianist and composer whose exploration of Afro-Cuban melodies and traditional jazz expresses the universality of music. She is the recipient of multiple JUNO Awards, a Canadian Urban Music Award and two nominations for Grammy Awards. She is also a recipient of the Order of Canada, a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and an honorary doctorate from Queen's University. Jane has just released her new recording, Jane Bunnett and Maqueque, which features Jane with five of the most talented young female musicians and composers from Cuba.

Keith Campbell - North Bay

Keith Campbell is a renowned, award-winning ceramic artist whose career spans 45 years. His works have been shown in 280 exhibitions, both nationally and internationally, and are in numerous collections including the Royal Ontario Museum, the Archives of Ontario, the Canadian Museum of History and the Nickle Arts Museum. His work has also been published in 27 texts. Keith's honours include induction into the Niagara Falls Arts and Culture Wall of Fame, being awarded the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Medal and receiving Craft Ontario's John and Barbara Mather Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Lee Maracle - Toronto

Lee Maracle is the author of numerous critically acclaimed literary works, including novels, short stories, poetry and creative non-fiction. She is widely published in anthologies and scholarly journals worldwide and has co-edited a number of anthologies, including the award-winning My Home As I Remember. A member of the Sto: Loh nation, Lee is the Traditional Teacher for the University of Toronto First Nations House and instructor at the Centre for Indigenous Theatre and S.A.G.E. (Support for Aboriginal Graduate Education). She has served as Distinguished Visiting Scholar at several universities. Lee recently received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her work promoting writing among Aboriginal youth.

Arts Organization Award

Art Gallery of York University - Toronto

The Art Gallery of York University is a university-affiliated public art gallery and publisher known for commissioning cutting-edge contemporary art and producing radical, empowering, pedagogical projects. The gallery takes "out there" as a principle, constantly transforming itself according to the artists and communities with which it works. The organization's practices aim to change the way contemporary art is conceived and produced. They believe that new forms of production open contemporary art to new audiences and de-link art from notions of elitism toward forms of democratic expression and civic responsibility.

Blyth Centre for the Arts - Blyth

Founded in 1975 in a rural Ontario village, Blyth Festival's first summer saw productions of The Mousetrap and Mostly in Clover - the belief being that the Agatha Christie play would outsell the little-known Canadian play based on local Harry J. Boyle's novel. Well, people flocked to Mostly in Clover, and Blyth's Canadian theatre mandate was born. Now in its 40th season of staging the finest in Canadian theatre, the company has developed and premiered 121 plays. Located in historic Memorial Hall in the rolling hills of Huron County, the Blyth experience is a joy for audiences and artists alike.

Debajehmujig - Storytellers - Wikwemikong

Debajehmujig - Storytellers is recognized as a unique and fundamental feature on Canada's artistic landscape. With a name that means 'storytellers' in Ojibway, Debajehmujig is a multidisciplinary Aboriginal arts organization dedicated to the (re)vitalization of the Anishnabeg language and culture through artistic expression, education and sharing. Located on the Wikwemikong reserve on Manitoulin Island, the company is internationally linked and intentionally localized and has developed a unique approach to its own sustainability -- rom international partnerships to a local company organic garden. Debajehmujig has made innovative contributions to the arts sector in the province and the country over its 30-year history.

International Festival of Authors - Toronto

The International Festival of Authors (IFOA) promotes a dynamic exchange between authors and audiences of all ages. Showcasing Canadian and international writers, it has celebrated more than 8,000 authors -- including 21 Nobel Laureates -- from over 100 countries on its stages through readings, interviews and roundtable discussions. From modest beginnings in 1974, IFOA today comprises a Weekly Reading Series; the world-renowned International Festival of Authors; IFOA Ontario, which tours authors to small communities across the province; master classes in conjunction with Ontario's post-secondary institutions; and the programs ALOUD and YoungIFOA, fostering a love of reading and writing among Ontario's schoolchildren.

Red Sky Performance - Toronto

Red Sky Performance is an international award-winning company that focuses on contemporary world Indigenous performance in dance, theatre and music. The organization creates new work, tours, innovates and makes lasting community connections anchored here in Ontario, while making new inroads around the globe. Since its inception, the company has ignited the imaginations of close to 575,000 people from Ontario and nine countries on four continents. Red Sky highlights the promise and potential of what is possible within contemporary Indigenous performance.

Le Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario - Sudbury

Le Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario (TNO) is a professional theatre company that supports playwrights and artists from Ontario and the rest of Canada, focusing on contemporary works. The company spurred the Franco-Ontarian artistic revival of the early 1970s and has been contributing to the development of noteworthy works of contemporary theatre for over 40 years. TNO's artistic quality and the positive reception of its productions by critics and audiences alike have earned the company several awards and honours, as well as the respect of the Canadian theatre community.



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