Hundreds of attendees at sold-out event celebrate the many ways of being an arts champion
The Mayor’s Lunch for Arts Champions, organized by Calgary Arts Development and the Office of the Mayor, has sold out for the third year in a row. On February 19, 2015, 675+ Calgarians from all sectors gathered to recognize and celebrate the many ways that they champion the arts in our city.
The event, hosted by Dave Kelly, featured science journalist Jay Ingram, Calgary Downtown Association Executive Director Maggie Schofield, and writer, director and stage performer Karen Hines as speakers, as well as a conversation with Mayor Naheed Nenshi. Before the lunch, dozens of Calgary artists under age 21 entertained attendees as part of the Youth Arts Showcase, which included music ensembles, circus performers, ballet and hip hop dancers, and visual arts and multimedia installations.
This year’s recipients of the Cultural Leaders Legacy Artist Awards were announced through a video featuring interviews with award-winners and sponsors:
- Aaron Sidorenko (ATB Financial Healing Through the Arts Award)
- Hamraz Salehi (Calgary Catholic Immigration Society New Canadian Artist Award)
- Nicole Mion (Colin Jackson and Arlene Strom Creative Placemaking Award)
- Rebecca Northan (Doug & Lois Mitchell Outstanding Calgary Artist Award)
- Mark Ikeda (Enbridge Emerging Artist Award)
- Col Cseke (MacLachlan Community Beacon Award)
- Studio C (SANDSTONE City Builder Award)
Winners received a $5,000 cash prize, and Rebecca Northan received a residency at The Banff Centre as the winner of the Doug & Lois Mitchell Outstanding Calgary Artist Award. Northan also announced at the lunch that she would donate $1000 of her prize money to Ellis Lalonde, a young theatre artist she mentors.
Each Legacy Award is funded by a $10,000 contribution from a local philanthropist or organization with equal matching money from Calgary 2012, and is to be awarded annually for four years with winners determined by a jury of peers. The Colin Jackson and Arlene Strom Creative Placemaking Award was presented for the first time at this year’s lunch.
Attendees observed a moment of silence to recognize the loss of One Yellow Rabbit co-founder Michael Green, Blackfoot elder Narcisse Blood, and Saskatchewan artists Michele Sereda and Lacy Morin-Desjarlais, who were killed in a highway accident on February 10, 2015.
“Michael’s passing has been a shock to the entire arts community,” says Patti Pon, President & CEO of Calgary Arts Development. “However, I know that the arts will not only help us recover from this loss, but continue to flourish in Calgary. The strength and energy of the arts champions at this year’s lunch proves to me, once again, how many citizens believe in a creative, connected Calgary through the arts.”
Thank you to everyone who attended the 2015 Mayor’s Lunch for Arts Champions! Calgary Arts Development is pleased to share the following videos from the event.
Champion Sponsor Address
Randy Ferguson, Chief Operating Officer, Strategic Group:
Champion Speakers’ Address
The champion speakers’ address was delivered in PechaKucha Night style (20 slides, with 20 seconds per slide).
Jay Ingram, broadcaster and author:
Maggie Schofield, Executive Director, Calgary Downtown Association:
Karen Hines, writer, director and stage performer:
Thank you to Champion Sponsor Strategic Group, Youth Arts Showcase Sponsor TELUS and VIP Table Sponsors Parkland Fuel Corporation and TD Bank Group.