Four artists were honoured by their peers, patrons of the arts and community leaders on Wednesday, May 18, at the 2016 Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts.
Singer/songwriter Kevin Closs, Andrew Knapp and Christian Pelletier, founders of the Up Festival, and graphic designer and teacher Johanna Westby won bursaries to help them support and continue their work.
In addition to the honour of being recognized by their peers, the artists were awarded cash bursaries to help them continue to pursue their creative projects. Corporate sponsors and ticket sales support the event and bursaries. Now in its third year, the Celebration is an initiative of the Sudbury Arts Council, in collaboration with Regroupement des organismes culturels de Sudbury (ROCS).
Johanna Westby won The Award for Outstanding Emerging Artist, a cash prize of $2,000. Westby is a graphic designer (R.G.D.) and illustrator, and teaches in the School of Art and Design at Cambrian College. She has exhibited work at various shows and galleries, and has written and illustrated two children’s books about conservation: The Day I Went Fishing on Lake Wanapitei and Fire in the Forest. She has led many philanthropic projects, including creating highly visible and lasting impressions in the community through multiple large-scale murals.
The Award for Outstanding Mid-Career Artist and a $2,500 bursary was shared by a Christian Pelletier and Andrew Knapp, founders of the downtown arts festival, Up Festival. Knapp and Pelletier co-founded We Live Up Here, a community-driven urban arts project and non-profit organization that has inspired thousands to rekindle their love for their city through collaborative art. They have published two photography books, embarked on an ambitious multimedia project called Sudburians.com, and have beautified our city with public art. Knapp is a designer, photographer, and professional dog hider who has published two Find Momo books. Pelletier is a founding partner of Studio123.
Kevin Closs received a $3,500 bursary and The Award for Exceptional Achievement in the Arts. He is a singer-songwriter who has released 11 independent albums and played concerts, festivals and clubs across Canada. His contributions to the Sudbury arts community earned him the Northern Lights Festival Boréal’s Jackie Washington Award in 2002. He has been active in theatre as an actor and musician most notably starring in Theatre Cambrian’s Jesus Christ Superstar in 1992 and 1996. He regularly facilitates songwriting workshops and has also produced recordings for several young Sudbury musicians. He is currently the chair of Northern Lights Festival Boreal.
The Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts Committee wishes to thank its generous sponsors: title sponsor RBC Emerging Artists Project, presenting media sponsor Eastlink, Autumnwood Mature Lifestyle Communities, Fidelity Investments, Agilis Network, @home Energy, Copy Copy, TD Asset Management Inc., Northern Life, Le Voyageur, and Le Loup FM.