Nominate your favourite artists with Art & Culture Awards looming

July 31, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

As a new councillor, Lisa Post has had an interesting time of it in these last few months with her involvement in the culture of the town. In this capacity, she is Chair, for the first time, of the Arts and Culture Committee, which organizes the awards event, usually something of a gala, hosted at the Town Hall. 

“It’s 10 years now, that this awards event has been happening – since 2010,” she noted. “It’s pretty exciting to recognize the artists and the organizations that contribute to the amazing arts scene here.”

Although there was some thought given to holding the evening event actually, it was generally agreed that the date of October 22 was too soon to be sure and that it would have to happen virtually.

“It’s interesting how we’ve adapted,” she commented. “I was on the organizing committee for Celebrate Your Awesome. We did all that virtually and people had a blast watching it.”

An email from Sheila Duncan, Manager, Communications for the town, explained the plan: “A virtual celebration will be handled similar to a Council meeting with nominees online and announcements made. The Junos were able to pull off a virtual celebration so we can too! The ceremony will be broadcast live on YouTube using a meeting platform such as Microsoft Teams.”

Added Ms. Post, “The ladies in the economical department are working it out. Council meetings are aired on YouTube for everyone to watch.” Whether there could be any variation on the theme, she doubted it: “it would depend on what’s happening at the time. As of now, I would say everything would be virtually.

“All the nominees will know and we’ll make the announcements virtually.” 

There are eight categories and a brief run through will give you the idea of what is involved for those of you who have not so far participated in the nomination process. 

Established Artist of the Year, which means what it says; Emerging Artist of the Year is referring to an artist of any age who is finally coming into their (sic) own in their pursuit of excellence and achievement; Student Artist of the Year is a younger person; Arts Educator of the Year Community is usually a teacher; Arts Volunteer Advocate is recognition of an individual who has been very active as a volunteer in the arts community; Community Impact by a Business refers to the contribution (not just financial) a business has made to the arts in Dufferin; Community Impact by an Organization, likewise from an organization; Creative Cultural Event goes to the single event that made the best impression on the person nominating.

The online form only admits one nomination at a time but the ease of it allows multiple nominations and this is encouraged.

It is important to note the deadline for nominations, which is August 28, at 4:00 pm. The awards are given to residents of the County of Dufferin only; former winners of a category cannot be nominated again but can be for other categories. 

Said Lisa Post, “This year is probably even more important because the arts section has really suffered. They were among the first to be shut down and probably they’ll be the last ones to come on. We are taking the time for nominations from September 2019 until now. This year’s from 2019 when there have been lots of live events; since the shut down, some events have still found a way to contribute virtually. There has still been lots of opportunity for some significant community impact. Theatre Orangeville has been really busy, keeping their face on line.”

She went on to say, “People have been so creative, bringing the community together to keep things active.”

As to when and how the virtual Arts and Culture Awards will be broadcast, this is will be blasted far and wide: “The town communication will tell people in the papers, on Facebook, all our social media – blasting out about the nominations and all the details of the event itself.

“Getting back to culture,” she continued, “I think it’s so important to have this thing in our beautiful community. We talked about whether virtual or regular but because we want to keep our community safe, we had to go with the virtual.”

She said, “We need to celebrate the beauty in our community. I was part of the Arts and Culture Committee before I sat on Council – it will actually be the economic and culture departments organizing this. I am the Council member heading it. I’m really enjoying being on Council – enjoying being on culture.” 

Given her emphasis on the importance of this years awards, she told the Citizen, “I’m hoping that we get the same participation as before but I think it’s even more important – I really think we will. Realistically, it’s only been nine months. Most of our arts community was visible on line, when you think about what’s happened before. Artists are very inventive. I think it’s going to be an excellent event. People will recognize some people for some very different contributions.” 

Her heartfelt wish for the arts: “Orangeville is so well known for having a vibrant arts community. When this is over, that all the ones that lasted come out the other side. Maybe, we’ve been able to open interests in other people that they didn’t know they had. I’m excited to see the new artists come with their new work, who didn’t know they had that in them.”

For all the details and to nominate, please go to

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