Vancouver’s leading creative talents to receive Mayor’s Arts Awards and City Book Award
September 13 2012
Vancouver’s creative community will be celebrated at a gala event on September 20 with presentation of the 2012 Mayor’s Arts Awards and the Vancouver Book Award. Twenty-five individuals who have made significant contributions to the creative life in our city and one author, whose work captures Vancouver’s rich history and culture, will be honoured.
The Mayor’s Arts Award recipients reflect the depth and diversity of the talent in Vancouver’s creative sector, representing disciplines ranging from performing and visual arts to literary and culinary arts. Awards for support, philanthropy and lifetime achievement will also be presented.
Each honouree in the studio and performing arts categories was invited to select an emerging artist in their discipline who demonstrates the promise of the next generation.
The following are the 2012 Mayor’s Arts Awards recipients with the emerging artists listed in parentheses:
- Studio Arts: Yvonne Wakabayashi (Soledad Muñoz) for craft and design; Robert Clark (Merri Swartz) for culinary arts; Loretta Sarah Todd (Christopher Auchter) for film and new media; W.H. New (Onjana Yawnghwe) for literary arts; Jim Breukelman (Hua Jin) for visual arts; the late Jerry Pethick (Samuel Roy-Bois) for public art; and David Diamond (Amanda Nahanee) for community engaged art.
- Performing Arts: Rosario Ancer (Kiruthika Rathanaswami) for dance; John Korsrud (Eli Bennett) for music; and Donna Spencer (Anita Rochon) for theatre.
- Support of the Arts: Michael Audain for philanthropy; Erik Graff for volunteerism; Sharman King and The Book Warehouse for business support; and Catherine Van Alstine for arts board member of the year.
- Lifetime Achievement: The first recipient in the new lifetime achievement category is the late Tom Cone, an influential playwright, librettist and arts advocate.
Winners in each category were selected by a jury of their peers convened by the Alliance for Arts and Culture. The arts board member of the year award is an initiative of the Society to Bridge Arts and Community.
Five books that enhance readers’ appreciation and understanding of Vancouver’s rich history and its culture have been named finalists for the City of Vancouver Book Award.
- Claudia Cornwall for At the World's Edge: Curt Lang's Vancouver. This biography of Curt Lang reveals his pursuits ranging from poetry and painting to log salvage, boat building and software development.
- Jen Sookfong Lee for The Better Mother. This atmospheric novel follows the unlikely friendship of Danny Lim, a gay photographer from Chinatown and Valerie Nealy, an older burlesque artist who grew up in abject poverty.
- Ali Kazimi for Undesirables: White Canada & the Komagata Maru. This illustrated book describes the months-long Komagata Maru standoff, when more than 350 South Asian people were turned away from Vancouver’s shores in 1914.
- John Mikhail Asfour and Elee Kraljii Gardiner, Editors, for V6A: Writing from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. This anthology, which grew out of the Thursdays Writing Collective at Carnegie Community Centre, shows the intellectually and culturally rich heart of the Downtown Eastside.
- W.H. New for YVR. Powerful poems capture the history, geography and politics of Vancouver.
The five short-listed titles were chosen by an independent jury that included former People’s Co-op Bookseller Jane Bouey, author and educator David Chariandy, and retired Vancouver Sun books editor Rebecca Wigod.
The gala evening also honours recipients of Vancouver’s civic cultural awards including the Artist Live-Work Studio Awards and Vancouver’s Poet Laureate.
The awards gala takes place on September 20, 2012 at 6 pm at the Roundhouse Community Centre, 181 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver.
The Mayor’s Arts Awards were established by City Council in 2008 to recognize local artists and their contributions to the city. Since 1989, the annual City of Vancouver Book Award has recognized authors of excellence of any genre who contribute to the appreciation and understanding of Vancouver's history, unique character, or the achievements of its residents.