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The Mayor's Arts Awards

The annual Mayor's Arts Awards recognize 20 established and emerging artists from a diversity of communities that make up our creative sector. Our 10 award categories include: craft and design, culinary arts, film and new media, literary arts, visual arts, public art, community-engaged art, music, dance, and theatre. Honourees receive a cash award and are selected for:

  • Making significant contribution to their respective disciplines
  • Achieving or contributing to artistic excellence
  • Showing leadership and support for Vancouver's diverse cultural communities in their careers

We also recognize contributions to our arts community in five categories: philanthropy, business support, volunteerism, arts board member of the year, and lifetime achievement. Lifetime achievement honourees receive a cash award and honourees of the other categories receive a special non-cash award.

2017 awards 

The 2017 awards ceremony was held on Wednesday, October 11 at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre.

Mayor's Arts Awards | Lifetime Achievement

Lifetime Achievement

This Mayor's Arts Award recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions over his or her lifetime to the cultural vibrancy of our city. The 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Choo Chiat Goh, the co-founder of Goh Ballet Academy Canada.

Mayor's Arts Awards | Studio Arts Awards

Community Engaged Arts

The 2017 Mayor’s Arts Award for Community Engaged Art goes to Earle Peach, a singer, songwriter, composer, conductor, arranger, teacher and performer. Earle's choice for an emerging artist is Ariel Martz-Oberlander, a theatre artist, writer and teacher.

Craft and Design

The 2017 Mayor’s Arts Award for Craft and Design goes to Brendan Lee Satish Tang who aims to create work that serves as a portal for reflection and dialogue. Brendan selected Shaun Peter Mallonga, whose work uses narrative to investigate the malleability and tensions of identity.

Culinary Arts

The 2017 Mayor’s Arts Award for Culinary Arts goes to Mary Mackay, co-owner of Terra Breads. Mary's choice for an emerging artist is Leah Patitucci, a Red Seal certified pastry cook.

Film and New Media

The 2017 Mayor’s Arts Award for Film and New Media goes to Peg Campbell, a documentary and narrative filmmaker. Her selection for emerging artist is Anaïsa Visser, who helps others make their independent films as well as writing and producing her own work.

Literary Arts

The 2017 Mayor’s Arts Award for Literary Arts goes to Joanne Arnott, a Métis/mixed-blood writer and arts activist. Joanne selected Wil to Write (Wil George), a Coast Salish poet from the Tsleil-Waututh Nation as emerging artist.

Public Art

The 2017 Mayor’s Arts Award for Public Art goes to Bryan Newson, who set up the City's Public Art Program for Civic and Private Development. Bryan's choice for emerging artist is Helen Reed and Hannah Jickling, whose projects include public installations and social situations.

Visual Arts

The 2017 Mayor’s Arts Award for Visual Arts goes to Judy Radul, whose practice includes video, sculpture, photography, writing and performance. Judy chose as emerging artist Julien Hou, who works in audio, digital media, performance, and installation.

Mayor's Arts Awards | Performing Arts Awards


The 2017 Mayor’s Arts Award for Dance goes to Artemis Gordon, Artistic Director of the Arts Umbrella dance program. Artemis's choice for emerging artist is Livona Ellis, a graduate and now instructor and choreograher at Arts Umbrella.


The 2017 Mayor’s Arts Award for Music goes to Giorgio Magnanensi, a composer of orchestral, chamber and multimedia works. Giorgio's selection for emerging artist is composer Stefan Maier.


The 2017 Mayor’s Arts Award for Theatre goes to Marcus Youssef, whose plays investigate questions of difference and “otherness.” Marcus selected Conor Wylie, a queer artist who creates new, formally-experimental and interdisciplinary performance, as an emerging artist.

Mayor's Arts Awards | Support for the Arts Awards


The 2017 Mayor’s Arts Award for Philanthropy goes to Donald Shumka, a firm believer in the role of arts and culture in being a catalyst in creating better communities. Donald has served as Chair for Emily Carr University, Ballet BC, and the BC Arts Council.

Business Support

The 2017 Mayor’s Arts Award for Business Support goes to London Drugs. The London Drugs Foundation has supported arts and culture projects in Vancouver for many years including the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Bard on the Beach, and the Vancouver Chamber Choir.


The 2017 Mayor’s Arts Award for Volunteerism goes to Henry Lau. Henry is a longtime resident of Renfrew-Collingwood and a strong believer of the positive impacts of community arts.

Arts Board Member of the Year

The 2016 Mayor’s Arts Award for Arts Board Member of the Year goes to Henry Lau, also 2017's Volunteerism award-winner. As VP of the Still Moon Arts Society, Henry chairs a number of core organizational committees and spearheads many projects that connect communities.

How the Mayor's Arts Award honourees are selected

In 2017 the Mayor's Arts Awards juries were convened by the BC Alliance for Arts and Culture. Honourees in the studio and performing arts categories were chosen by juries of their peers, consisting of previous Mayor's Arts Awards recipients.

Honourees for Business Support, Philanthropy, and Volunteerism were chosen by juries consisting of business and cultural community members active in those fields.

The Arts Board Member of the Year Award is an initiative of the Society to Bridge Arts and Community. The Society’s board of directors establishes juries who select this category’s honouree, as well as the Lifetime Achievement honouree.

The selection in each category is made from nominations by individual jurors and solicited from the community at large.

Each honouree artist is invited to select an emerging artist in their discipline who demonstrates the promise of the next generation.

Honourees, emerging artists, and lifetime achievement recipients each receive a cash award. Those recognized in the Support of the Arts categories, including Philanthropy, Volunteerism, Business Support, and Arts Board Member of the Year, receive a non-cash award.

Thank you to the 2017 sponsors

The 2017 Mayor's Arts Awards were made possible with the generous support of these organizations who demonstrate a strong commitment to arts and culture in Vancouver:


The Flower Factory


The Georgia Straight


The Listel Hotel


Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre