Nominations currently sought for Celebration of the Arts awards

July 26, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

It can be a challenge to nominate a person or a business for their contribution to the arts in a community so steeped in the arts as Dufferin is.

This community has been an exceptional corner of the world where artists were known to live and work for many decades. In the past little while, Orangeville and Dufferin have truly blossomed in the recognition and celebration of the artists who called this place home. Many were attracted to come here for its reputation; some happened to come and discovered the large numbers of artists living here as an essential part of the fabric of the area.

Twenty-five years ago, there was a burst of energy here in the arts world and a museum, a theatre and an arts magazine were born. The best independent bookshop in Canada had already taken a stand. Later a jazz festival was created to which internationally renowned musicians longed to come. Since then, the town and the region have buzzed with the vigour and excitement a strong arts community inspires.

Into all this, in 2010, the province of Ontario declared the last weekend of September (this year Sept. 28 to 30), Culture Days, and the call has been taken up by the entire country.

So, in 2010, Councillor Mary Rose and Mayor Rob Adams, already enthusiastic supporters of the arts, created the Town of Orangeville’s Awards event to join in with the province-wide Culture Days. It began as a Mayor’s Breakfast, staged on the Thursday morning of the Culture Days weekend, at the Tony Rose Memorial Sports Centre, with a small cost to pay for the breakfast. The event had its own energy and charm.

It was mostly about awards: for the artists – the student artists, emerging artists – the cultural events and the businesses that support the arts, the volunteers, an organization, all of whom can only be awarded if they are nominated. This is in our hands: we the public, the audiences, the fans, the observers of the arts world all around us are the people from whom nominations are requested.

Last year, the town executive decided to change the awards event a lot. It became The Celebration of the Arts, now an evening event,  in the town hall with the entertainment and awards being presented upstairs in the theatre. The name and focus moved from the Mayor’s office to the Culture and Heritage Department.

It is now the Celebration of the Arts – Arts and Culture Awards.

There are now eight awards looking for nominations and, like any such, there are preliminary conditions.

Firstly, the nominee must live in Dufferin and must not have already won the same award. A person who has not yet won, can be nominated for the same award multiple times. “Artist” refers to any category of art.

The eight awards are: Established Artist of the Year, Emerging Artist of the Year which means a person, who is not a student but a person of any age taking on a new life as artist; Student Artist of the Year; Arts Educator of the year, not necessarily confined to schools but a teacher, instructor, arts specialist; Community Arts Volunteer Advocate; Community Impact by a Business; Community Impact by an Organization; Creative Cultural Event looks to an event that made a difference or was quite special.

The nominations deadline is 4 p.m. Friday, September 7, meaning the forms are to be handed in to the town, delivered by mail on time, or submitted online by the time and day posted. There has been more than one nomination presented just about on the dot, on the day and some of them have won.

The judges for these awards are outside the county and are therefore removed from the neighbourhood. New this year, the nominees, who are always informed while the identity of the nominator is not disclosed, are offered forms to supply more information  about themselves, if they wish. However, the judging is primarily based on the nomination form. Thus, it makes sense, when making a nomination to know something of the nominee’s circumstances or background.

The Celebration of the Arts, Thursday September 27, is open to the public for no cost. Mad Hatter catered last year and did great job of it. Please register your intention to attend with the town to let them know their numbers.

So, over to you. Give it some thought. Look around you at the way the arts enrich your own life and the kind of place we live in. Drop over to the town to pick your forms or go online to celebration of the arts. You can contact Katrina Lemire at Lots of details and information there.

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