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Winners Announced for Premier's Awards for Excellence in the Arts

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Winners Announced for Premier's Awards for Excellence in the Arts

Ontario Recognizes Outstanding Artists and Arts Organizations

Office of the Premier

Ontario celebrated the winners of the ninth annual Premier's Awards for Excellence in the Arts at a ceremony last night at the Royal Ontario Museum. Each year, the awards program honours Ontario artists and arts organizations for their remarkable achievements and contribution to arts and culture.

Jane Bunnett, an internationally acclaimed flutist, saxophonist, pianist and composer, won the Individual Artist Award. Ms. Bunnett has received many awards throughout her career, including multiple JUNO awards, a Canadian Urban Music Award and a Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Soulpepper Theatre Company, Toronto's largest non-profit theatre, was the winner of the Arts Organization Award. Soulpepper has an integrated mission that includes youth outreach initiatives and artist training through the Soulpepper Academy, Canada's only two-year paid training program for theatre artists of all disciplines.

The Emerging Artist of the Year honour went to Christopher Butcher, a trombone player and co-leader of a brass band. He is an accomplished musician who has played in the bands of many of Canada's most prestigious artists.

Fostering a thriving arts and culture sector is part of the government's plan to build Ontario up. The four-part plan includes investing in people's talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.

Quick Facts

  • The Premier’s Awards are open to artists and arts organizations engaged in any professional arts practice in Ontario whose artistic work or service spans at least 10 years.
  • The awards are administered by the Ontario Arts Council. Winners are selected by jury, and the Emerging Artist of the Year is chosen by the winner of the Individual Artist Award.
  • Nominations for the 2016 awards are being accepted until December 1, 2015. Any Ontario resident may submit a nomination.
  • Ontario is home to 58,000 professional artists — nearly twice as many as any other province.
  • The culture sector generates nearly $22 billion annually for Ontario’s economy and supports about 280,000 jobs.

Additional Resources


“The arts have enormous benefits for our province’s economy and make a profound and meaningful difference in people’s lives. It is an honour to recognize the gifted winners and finalists of this year’s Premier’s Awards for their inspirational work and passion for excellence.”

Kathleen Wynne

Premier of Ontario

“The Premier’s Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of Ontario’s artists and arts organizations and their contributions to our rich cultural diversity. Congratulations to this year’s winners and finalists and thank you for sharing your creativity and talent with us.”

Michael Coteau

Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport



Arts and Culture Government