Seven mid-career artists receive $15,000 each from the Canada Council for the Arts
Ottawa, May 7, 2014 – The 2014 Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Prizes, worth a total of $105,000, are awarded to artists in the seven disciplines funded by the Canada Council for the Arts. This year’s recipients are:
- Olivier Choinière (Theatre)
- Martin Messier (Media Arts)
- Kevin Anthony Ormsby (Dance)
- André Ristic (Music)
- Alain Veilleux (Inter-Arts)
- Hajra Waheed (Visual Arts)
- Robert Anthony Wright (Writing and Publishing)
Biographical notes below.
“The Canada Council supports artists at different stages of their career and the Victor Martyn Lynch‑Staunton Prize recognizes a turning point for these artists,” said Canada Council Director and CEO Robert Sirman. “We honour their accomplishments to date and support their next steps in producing outstanding work and expanding the reach of Canadian creativity.”
About the award
The Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton awards, worth $15,000 each, recognize outstanding mid-career artists in the seven disciplines funded by the Canada Council: dance, inter-arts, media arts, music, theatre, visual arts and writing and publishing. The prizes were created in 1967 using funds from a generous bequest made by the late Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton to the Canada Council. The winners were chosen from the pool of applicants from the Grants to Professional Artists programs during the 2013‑14 fiscal year.
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Can I share a secret? I must admit this is the first time I have had to formally write a speech and for some of you who know me very well, this may come as a surprise but I will do my best. As KasheDance celebrates it’s 5th Anniversary, I hope this welcome and extension of gratitude finds ears eager to participate in the mutual exchanges indicative of the Arts. My story is like that of many of us present here today. The stories of immigration fostering change, fuelling industries, lives and the demographics of Ontario; this for me is the movement of Diasporas, the dance and cultural sensibilities that informs my work.
International Dance Day boosts two components dear to my heart and I am sure, to many of us here today. The first is dance, to which I owe my life, career, advancements and perspective on the world. The second international, international influence indicative of the city, province and country, I have come to call home. Dance possesses more than the physical capacities that it has come to be known for. It is a catalyst not only for expression but also for understanding, civic engagement and social activism. In providing a space for expression, dance transcends into the hearts of its practitioner’s and its viewers to highlight our culture, society and inner being. It can at times, with the aide of other mediums unite form, content and context, which leads to unique perspectives of who we are as a people. The power of the art form in Education, Community and Social enterprise highlights possibilities for engaging stories, empathy, inclusion and diversity; important characteristics I believe, required by our consciousness and humanity. It supports creativity, imagination and ultimately innovation.
Dance is a human expression seen in and through the historical depictions of time and in Ontario, dance is an ever-present reality of our province. Internationally, dance in Canada offers many examples of this country’s lasting impressions to the world. Ontario is a gateway to many artists’ adjustment in Canada. Many cultures live here and the smorgasbord of international cultural expressions makes dance in Ontario filled with untapped riches for further exploration, collaboration and appreciation. I, KasheDance, and many of us in the room, are passionate without a doubt about the possibilities that lies in the conversations of cultural influence at the crossroad. Ontario and Canada is poised for such focused and progressive conversation because dance, can as mentioned earlier can be a catalyst for the civic societies of the contemporary future. The boundaries then, of cross-cultural engagement steeped in local and international experiences places the arts in Ontario at the forefront of cultural potential and currency.
As we celebrate, it is my hope that we choose not to forget the contributions made by many cultures, ethnicities, races and also persons from international boundaries on the artists of Ontario. Such international and local influences have supported the socio-cultural, artistic and economic milieu of Ontario. Dance moves, it ignites, creates potential, insurmountable possibilities for civic and cultural progression. Notwithstanding, civic engagement and community building. Said community-strengthening starts here.