Seven Legacy Artist Award winners honoured at Mayor’s Lunch for Arts Champions

News Release Categories: 2015

Seven Legacy Artist Award winners honoured at Mayor’s Lunch for Arts Champions

February 19, 2015

Hundreds of attendees at sold-out event celebrate the many ways of being an arts champion

(Calgary AB) – 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.”

More information is available in the Mayor’s Lunch Backgrounder or on

Thank you to Champion Sponsor Strategic Group, Youth Arts Showcase Sponsor TELUS and VIP Table Sponsors Parkland Fuel Corporation and TD Bank Group.

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
Cadence Mandybura
Communications Liaison, Calgary Arts Development
Phone: 403.264.5330 ext. 201 (office); 403.585.5390

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