2020 Legacy Artist Award winners announced

News Release Categories: 2020

2020 Legacy Artist Award winners announced

April 1, 2020

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

(Calgary AB) – The Mayor’s Lunch for Arts Champions, organized by Calgary Arts Development and the Office of the Mayor, is normally where the winners of each year’s Cultural Leaders Legacy Artist Awards are announced. Even though this year’s Mayor’s Lunch has been postponed indefinitely, the Legacy Artist Award recipients are being announced and celebrated today, the original date for the 2020 Mayor’s Lunch.

“Just because we couldn’t gather in person to honour these extraordinary Calgary artists doesn’t mean we have to wait until later in the year to distribute their awards,” says Calgary Arts Development President & CEO Patti Pon. “A healthy and vibrant arts community is the lifeblood of any city and artists and arts organizations were some of the first to feel the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. A public event will be planned once we are able to gather again, but we didn’t want to wait to distribute these awards and celebrate the recipients.”

Recipients of the 2020 Cultural Leaders Legacy Artist Awards were announced through a video featuring interviews with award-winners and sponsors posted on the Calgary Arts Development website. Each Legacy Award winner receives a $5,000 cash prize, which is 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, 47 outstanding artists and organizations were nominated, representing just some of the artistry that vitalizes our city every day. We thank all the nominees and congratulate this year’s recipients. This year’s recipients are:

Dick Averns – ATB Financial Healing Through the Arts Award 
Living with Tourette’s, Dick Averns has pioneered mental wellness initiatives for 15 years through community advocacy, teaching innovations, arts-based health research, and ground-breaking public art serving thousands of Calgarians.

Aya Mhana – Calgary Catholic Immigration Society New Canadian Artist Award
Aya Mhana is an artist who inhabits the crossroad between nations. She is committed to speaking out about issues on exile and diaspora, and celebrating the importance of home.

Meg Van Rosendaal and Bob Chartier – Mamdani Arts Leadership Award
Meg Van Rosendaal and Bob Chartier are the community-builders behind the vision of Music Mile. Over the last several years they have worked with venues, musicians and community members to amplify the music scene that exists between the National Music Centre and The Blues Can all year round.

Brett Dahl – RBC Emerging Artist Award
Brett Dahl is a risk-oriented performer, emerging director, promising playwright, theatre educator and host of his own cabaret. Brett is an advocate for queer voices in Calgary.

Erin MacLean-Berko – Rozsa Foundation Emerging Arts Administrator Award
Erin MacLean-Berko is a tenacious force for turning artistic and organizational vision into a reality through creativity in grant writing, novel fundraising initiatives, sincere community engagement, and sheer unbridled determination.

Femme Wave – SANDSTONE City Builder Award
Femme Wave, currently the only multi-disciplinary, feminist arts festival in western Canada, creates welcoming spaces where women and non-binary artists can share their diverse stories and perspectives.

Katie Ohe – Doug & Lois Mitchell Outstanding Calgary Artist Award
Renowned sculptor, Katie Ohe, chose to make Calgary her home where she has given back to the community over the course of her six-decade-long career.

Thank you to Calgary 2012, the Office of the Mayor, and the cultural leaders whose generosity makes these awards possible: ATB Financial, Calgary Catholic Immigration Society, the Rozsa Foundation, Riaz Mamdani, RBC, SANDSTONE, and Her Honour, the Honourable Lois E. Mitchell, CM, AOE, LLD and His Honour, Honourary Colonel Douglas Mitchell, CM, AOE, QC, LLD. We also thank the Central Public Library and Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity for their support through artist residencies for the New Canadian Artist and the Doug & Lois Mitchell Outstanding Artist Award.

More information is available at calgaryartsdevelopment.com.

About Calgary Arts Development 
As the city’s designated arts development authority, Calgary Arts Development supports and strengthens the arts to benefit all Calgarians. We invest and allocate municipal funding for the arts provided by The City of Calgary and leverage these funds to provide additional resources to the arts sector. Our programs support hundreds of arts organizations, individual artists, artist collectives, and ad hoc groups in Calgary.


Further Information
Helen Moore-Parkhouse
Director, Communications and Engagement, Calgary Arts Development
Phone: (office) 403.264.5330 ext. 102; (mobile) 587.227.0150
Email: helen.moore-parkhouse@calgaryartsdevelopment.com

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