2021 Recap

Mayor's Lunch for Arts Champions logo

The Mayor’s Lunch for Arts Champions, organized by Calgary Arts Development and the Office of the Mayor, took place online on June 9, 2021, with more than 300 guests registered for the event.

The live-stream included a welcome song by Elders Raymond and Greta Many Bears, commentary by Calgary Arts Development President & CEO Patti Pon, Mayor Naheed Nenshi, and host Dave Kelly, as well as a few video presentations representing a small sampling of how adaptable the arts sector has been during COVID-19.

Missed it or want to re-live the celebration? You can view the whole thing on-demand on youtube.ca.

Eight outstanding Calgary artists honoured with $5,000 cash prize

A highlight of this annual event is always the announcement of the Cultural Leaders Legacy Artist Awards.

“Our congratulations go to all of the nominees and the award recipients,” says Pon. “We thank our champion sponsor Calgary Foundation and all of the other sponsors of the Mayor’s Lunch for Arts Champions, as well as the benefactors of the Cultural Leaders Legacy Artist Awards. This year’s award recipients truly represented the rich and vibrant arts scene we have in our city.”

Recipients of the 2021 Cultural Leaders Legacy Artist Awards were also announced by video featuring interviews with award-winners and sponsors. Each Legacy Award winner receives a $5,000 cash prize funded by a contribution from a local philanthropist or organization with equal matching money from a legacy fund of Calgary 2012. Recipients are selected by a jury of peers.

This year, 61 outstanding artists and organizations were nominated, representing some of the artistry that vitalizes our city every day. We thank all the nominees and congratulate this year’s recipients listed below:

The ATB Financial Healing Through the Arts Award was established to recognize artists whose artistic practices encompass health and wellness to improve the wellbeing of individuals, groups or communities. The award is intended to promote the healing nature of the arts and its critical role as a means of expression for those facing physical or mental health issues.

Recipient: Heather Morigeau
Heather Morigeau demonstrates how arts can empower multiple forms of healing; be it cultural healing, addiction recovery or living with mental health challenges.

The Calgary Catholic Immigration Society New Canadian Artist Award recognizes that artists from all parts of the world enrich Calgary’s arts sector. The award provides new Canadian artists with access to the institutions and support networks available to most Calgary artists.

Recipient: Perpetual Atife
Nigeria-born, saxophonist, songwriter, arts manager, culture enthusiast, and aspiring producer; Perpie is constantly carving expressive means to wave pieces of her life’s experiences and dreams, into an open box of treasure—music.

The Mamdani Arts Leadership Award recognizes and rewards the integral role of board members who lend their expertise, talent, and time to support the work of arts organizations and festivals that make Calgary a vibrant and creative city.

Recipient: Arif Ansari
Arif Ansari is the president of the Sled Island Board of Directors. His leadership and dedication have been key to moving the organization forward in recent years and are a testament to his passion for the local arts community. 

The RBC Emerging Artist Award was established to recognize up-and-coming, Calgary-based artists. The award recognizes that a thriving cultural community includes artists who choose to live and build their careers in Calgary from the onset.

Recipient: Tank Standing Buffalo
Through talent and hard work, this unconventional and marginalized artist has risen from difficult circumstances, creating opportunities to grow, create work, and succeed. Through his work and dedication, Tank Standing Buffalo has grown into one of Calgary’s most up-and-coming filmmakers.

The Rozsa Foundation Emerging Arts Administrator Award recognizes and encourages the role of professional arts managers and administrators who are dedicating their careers to promoting and supporting the work of Calgary’s artists and not-for-profit arts organizations.

Recipient: Bianca Miranda
Bianca Miranda is a passionate and skilled emerging arts administrator. Her dedication to social justice and the arts is vital to the betterment of our community.

The SANDSTONE City Builder Award recognizes artists and organizations that make Calgary a better place to live. These individuals are committed to enriching Calgary through and artistic practice or arts program driven by a social impact outcome.

Recipient: Lisa Murphy-Lamb, Loft 112
From its start in 2013 Loft 112, as the brainchild of Lisa Murphy-Lamb, is the vanguard for writers, artists, neighbours to gather, exhibit, present, and create. Loft 112 is a creative hive where ideas are given space to develop, a place where unheard voices are given a platform and a place of collaboration.

The TD Indigenous Artist Award was established in 2020 by TD Bank Group in partnership with the Calgary Public Library’s residency program and aims to recognize the contribution of Indigenous artists, craftspeople, and Knowledge Keepers to Calgary. The award seeks to honour Indigenous cultures and to promote intercultural understanding, perspective-taking, and communication between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

Recipient: Alberta Rose Williams
Often utilizing found or repurposed materials, Alberta Rose seeks to create work that speaks to broader audiences as well as reduce some of the waste prevalent in our society. She feels that this practice is inherent with Indigenous cultures of practicality or using materials to their full potential and acting as a steward of the land.

The Doug and Lois Mitchell Outstanding Calgary Artist Award honours artists who are lauded for their work in the national and/or international arenas and who choose to make Calgary their home. Regardless of career length, these artists are acknowledged by their peers around the world for the calibre of their work and their contributions to the arts.

Recipient: Cheryl Foggo
Cheryl Foggo’s commitment to excellence in all her artistic activities has enabled her to generate a body of creative work, earning her respect and acclaim locally, nationally, and internationally.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this awards video included a piece of artwork that was not created by Alberta Rose Williams. It showed Pawatamowin by Cîpayak ᒌᐸᕀ the Calgary Public Library’s 2019 Indigenous Artist in Residence. We are incredibly sorry for this error and regret any harm it caused.

Thank you to Calgary 2012, the Office of the Mayor, champion sponsor Calgary Foundation, and the cultural leaders whose generosity makes these awards possible: ATB Financial, Calgary Catholic Immigration Society, the Rozsa Foundation, Riaz Mamdani, RBC, SANDSTONE, TD Bank Group, and Her Honour, the Honourable Lois E. Mitchell, CM, AOE, LLD and His Honour, Honourary Colonel Douglas Mitchell, CM, AOE, QC, LLD.

We thank the Central Public Library, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, and the Rozsa Foundation for their support through artist residencies and courses for the New Canadian Artist, the Doug & Lois Mitchell Outstanding Artist, and the Emerging Arts Administrator.

Our appreciation also goes out to the Arts Patron event sponsors: Aspen Properties, Brookfield Residential, Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC), Calgary Foundation, DIALOG, Platform Calgary, University of Calgary, and our media partners Nur Films and Kelly Brothers.

An invitation for the 2021 Mayor's Lunch for Arts Champions


Thank you to all of our sponsors of the 2021 Mayor’s Lunch for Arts Champions.

Logo – Calgary Foundation

Aspen Properties
Brookfield Residential
Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC)
University of Calgary


Video Sponsor: Nur Films


Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity
Rozsa Foundation
Calgary Public Library

Logos for the 2021 Cultural Leaders Legacy Awards

About the Mayor’s Lunch for Arts Champions

Mayor's Lunch for Arts Champions logo for 2020

The Mayor’s Lunch for Arts Champions is a collaboration between Calgary Arts Development and Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

In consultation with business and cultural industry advisors, this event was developed as a new way of expanding the circle of Arts Champions in Calgary, building on the Mayor’s Luncheon for Business and the Arts’ long history of bringing together the business and arts sectors.

The Mayor’s Lunch for Arts Champions celebrates the transformative power of the arts, building momentum for the future.

Proceeds from this event go to artists and arts organizations through granting programs.

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