2019 Recap

Thank you to everyone who supported the 2019 Mayor’s Lunch for Arts Champions 

With a great turnout and fantastic conversations, the Mayor’s Lunch for Arts Champions was sold out for its seventh year in a row. Organized by Calgary Arts Development and the Office of the Mayor, the March 13 event saw 650 Calgarians from all sectors gather in the Palomino Room at the BMO Centre on Stampede Park to recognize and celebrate the many ways that they champion the arts in our city.

The event started with a Musical Land Acknowledgement featuring Olivia Tailfeathers and the Grassland Singers, Calgary Arts Development President & CEO Patti Pon, and visual artist Mandy Stobo.

Olivia Tailfeathers and the Grassland Singers on stage at the 2019 Mayor's Lunch for Arts Champions

Musical Land Acknowledgement featuring Olivia Tailfeathers and the Grassland Singers | Photo: Benjamin Laird Arts & Photo

Hosted by Dave Kelly, the luncheon featured a conversation with distinguished panelists The Hon. Lois E. Mitchell, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta; The Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson; and John Ralston Saul followed by remarks by His Worship Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

“As arts champions, we can all use our hands, hearts, and minds to strengthen our community through the arts,” says Mayor Nenshi. “This is an incredibly exciting time and we can all support by attending, promoting, and investing in the arts in Calgary.”

Mayor Naheed Nenshi speaks to the audience at the 2019 Mayor’s Lunch for Arts

Mayor Naheed Nenshi at the 2019 Mayor’s Lunch for Arts Champions | Photo: Benjamin Laird Arts & Photo

For an hour before the lunch, youth artists (under age 21) entertained attendees as part of the Calgary Foundation Youth Arts Showcase including musicians, dancers, and visual artists.

“Every year we look forward to the Mayor’s Lunch for Arts Champions,” says Pon. “It is a great event that recognizes people and organizations who celebrate the many ways artists and the arts contribute to building a great city.”

Recipients of the Cultural Leaders Legacy Artist Awards were announced through a video featuring interviews with award-winners and sponsors. 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 and this year’s winners are:

Vivek Shraya – ATB Financial Healing Through the Arts Award
Visionary multidisciplinary artist Vivek Shraya creates films, books, and songs that explore and interrogate the complex effects of racism, homophobia, and transphobia on mental and physical health.

Vivek Shraya with Mayor Naheed Nenshi and ATB Financial's Sandra Huculak

ATB Financial Healing Through the Arts Award: Vivek Shraya | Photo: Benjamin Laird Arts & Photo

Samuel Obadero – Calgary Catholic Immigration Society New Canadian Artist Award
Samuel Obadero is a skilled lifestyle photographer and a strong new voice for social advocacy in Calgary. His current project, The Forgotten Ones, gives voice to marginalized groups in Calgary through powerful imagery.

Samuel Obadero with Mayor Naheed Nenshi and representatives from the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society

Calgary Catholic Immigration Society New Canadian Artist Award: Samuel Obadero | Photo: Benjamin Laird Arts & Photo

Peter Schryvers – Mamdani Arts Leadership Award
Peter Schryvers is the driving force behind the Beltline Urban Murals Project. His work facilitating a dozen stunning murals in the Beltline has inspired and activated the neighbourhood.

Peter Schryvers with Mayor Naheed Nenshi and Riaz Mamdani

Mamdani Arts Leadership Award: Peter Schryvers | Photo: Benjamin Laird Arts & Photo

Meghann Michalsky – RBC Emerging Artist Award
Meghann Michalsky’s emerging artist record demonstrates her prolific artistic output, her impressive motivation to growth and change, and her determined and productive investment in the Calgary community.

Meghann Michalsky with Naheed Nenshi and representatives from RBC

RBC Emerging Artist Award: Meghann Michalsky | Photo: Benjamin Laird Arts & Photo

Bethany Yon – Rozsa Foundation Emerging Arts Administrator Award
Bethany Yon has led the transformation of Cowtown Opera from a startup to a professional arts organization in under two years with her passion and talent.

Bethany Yon with Mayor Naheed Nenshi, Mary Rozsa de Coquet, and Simon Mallett

Rozsa Foundation Emerging Arts Administrator Award: Bethany Yon | Photo: Benjamin Laird Arts & Photo

JP Thibodeau – SANDSTONE City Builder Award
JP Thibodeau has a passion for creating theatre magic. He is being recognized for his commitment to bringing the Calgary artistic community together to make vibrant and accessible theatre for young audiences.

JP Thibodeau with Mayor Naheed Nenshi and representatives from SANDSTONE

SANDSTONE City Builder Award: JP Thibodeau | Photo: Benjamin Laird Arts & Photo

George Webber – Doug & Lois Mitchell Outstanding Calgary Artist Award
George Webber’s breathtaking photography captures the soul of the prairies. From the haunting rooms of rundown hotels to disintegrating small town storefronts, Webber’s images have been collected around the globe.

George Webber with Mayor Naheed Nenshi and he Hon. Lois E. Mitchell

Doug & Lois Mitchell Outstanding Calgary Artist Award: George Webber | Photo: Benjamin Laird Arts & Photo

2019 Mayor's Lunch LogoThank you to Champion Sponsor Strategic Group, Youth Arts Showcase Sponsor Calgary Foundation, and VIP Table Sponsors ATB Financial and Calgary Foundation.

Arts Patron Table Sponsors included Alberta University of the Arts, Aspen Properties, Brookfield Residential, Calgary Flames Foundation, CMLC, DIALOG, Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning Ltd., TD Bank Group, TELUS, and the University of Calgary.

Thank you all for celebrating with us. We look forward to seeing you at next year’s event!

More information is available at
calgaryartsdevelopment.com/mayors-lunch.

Share