The City of Vancouver recognized Ballet BC Artistic Director Emily Molnar with the 2016 Mayor’s Arts Award for Dance on October 3. Part of the honour is selecting an emerging artist to award, and Molnar selected contemporary dance artist Lexi Vajda.
Recent musical theatre graduates Jahlen Barnes and Arinea Hermans were awarded the 2016 Syd and Shirley Banks Prize for emerging artists in October. Funded by Acting Upstage, the prize includes $1000, a mentorship and a role in the UnCovered: Queen & Bowie concerts in Toronto.
Karen Kain, artistic director of The National Ballet of Canada (NBoC), won the Peter Herrndorf Arts Leadership Award on November 16. According to Business for the Arts, the award recognizes an “arts leader for their lifelong commitment to fostering the arts in Canada by building partnerships with fellow arts executives, artists, media, business leaders and the public sector to ensure a vibrant cultural sector.” Kain has been at the helm of NBoC since 2005, and in her career has received many awards for her accomplishments as both an artist and an advocate for the arts.
The Alberta Foundation for the Arts, the cultural funding arm of the Alberta government, announced twenty-five influential Alberta artists to commemorate its twenty-fifth anniversary in early October. Vicki Adams Willis, Decidedly Jazz Danceworks’ founder-in-residence, and Dallas Arcand, three-time World Champion Hoop Dancer, were honoured with the award. Next year, they will both nominate a young artist to receive mentorship and a monetary prize.
Montréal dancer and choreographer Marie Chouinard won the Walter Carsen Prize on November 4, valued at $50,000. According to the Canada Council for the Arts, which distributes the prize, it “recognizes the highest level of artistic excellence and distinguished career achievements by a Canadian professional artist.” Compagnie Marie Chouinard is active in Montréal and tours internationally, and Chouinard is also an associate dance artist at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.
On November 4, the Canada Council for the Arts also announced Toronto dance artist Yvonne Ng as this year’s recipient of the Jacqueline Lemieux Prize. Valued at $6000, the prize “recognizes the work of an established dance professional who has made an outstanding contribution to dance in Canada.” Ng is the founder and artistic director of princess productions, which produces the festival dance: made in canada/fait au canada. She is also an active teacher in the community.
Canvas 5 x 5 by Tedd Robinson for Halifax’s Mocean Dance won the 2016 Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award on November 5. The award, valued at $25,000, is the province’s largest award given annually to a single work of art, and this is the first time in its eleven-year history that it has gone to dance. The award credits dancers Jacinte Armstrong, Rhonda Baker, Susanne Chui and Ruth-Ellen Kroll Jackson for their collaboration in the work that incorporates Nova Scotia’s rich cultural heritage.
Holly Bright of Crimson Coast Dance Society was awarded one of two 2017 John Hobday Awards in Arts Management, Salomé Nieto won the 2017 VIDF Choreographic Award, Karen Kain, artistic director of The National Ballet of Canada (NBoC) has chosen to mentor Robert Binet, a choreographic associate of NBoC, as part of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Mentorship Program, Meredith Kalaman and Arash Khakpour received Dance Victoria’s Chrystal Dance Prize for Independent Dance Artsis, Katherine Semchuk won the New Work Award from Good Women Dance Collective. In other news, Ballet BC announced the appointment of John Clark as the company’s new Executive Director.