Celebration for the Arts hosted by Mayor Gondek

This year’s Celebration for the Arts hosted by Mayor Gondek will be held on Wednesday, October 18, 2023 at the Jack Singer Concert Hall in Arts Commons. The event will also reveal the winner of the 2023 Cultural Leaders Legacy Arts Awards. Nominations for the awards are open as of April 2023 — learn more here.

2022 Recap

An image of nine people on a stage holding awards
2022 Cultural Leaders Legacy Arts Awards Recipients | Photo: Aaron Chatha

Thank you to everyone who joined Mayor Jyoti Gondek and Calgary’s arts and business leaders at the 2022 Celebration for the Arts hosted by Mayor Gondek on Friday, November 4, 2022 at the Jack Singer Concert Hall.

More than 700 people were in attendance for an evening featuring emcee Tim Tamashiro, the Sheldon Zandboer Trio, musician Michael Bernard Fitzgerald, Poet Laureate Wakefield Brewster, Tryzub Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, a massive choir composed of both youth and adult groups, and more.

The evening also recognized outstanding achievement in the arts with the presentation of the 2022 Cultural Leaders Legacy Arts Awards. Mayor Jyoti Gondek congratulated the winners and spoke about the importance of arts and culture to the community for health and wellness, education, and a strong economy. “The arts matter. You matter,” she told the audience of artists, arts administrators and business leaders. “Let’s continue to advocate together because our future depends on it.”

This year, 51 outstanding artists and organizations were nominated, representing just some of the artistry that vitalizes our city every day. Recipients are selected by a jury of peers. Each Legacy Award winner received a $5,000 cash prize, which is funded by a contribution from a local philanthropist or organization with equal matching money from Calgary Arts Development.

We thank all the nominees and congratulate this year’s recipients:

2022 ATB Financial Healing Through the Arts Award recipient: Janey Luc-German
Janey Luc-German has volunteered her services in the past 15 years in promoting arts to various Calgary schools and communities, including running seven 5-session online workshops helping seniors combat loneliness through arts during the pandemic.

2022 CCIS New Canadian Artist Award recipient: Claudia Chagoya
Claudia Chagoya is a gifted Mexican interdisciplinary artist, a talented educator, and a skilled community connector whose abilities, activities, and heart will continue to be a benefit to Calgary.

2022 Mamdani Arts Leadership Award recipient: Stephanie Hutchinson
Stephanie Hutchinson works tirelessly to raise the profile of and give opportunities to Calgary musicians both at home and across Canada through her volunteer work with the YYC Music Awards.

2022 RBC Emerging Artist Award recipient: Sarah Uwadiae
Sarah Uwadiae is an early career Nigerian artist based in Calgary. Her practice includes set and costume design, filmmaking and story creation through multiple mediums and disciplines. Despite her background in theatre, her curiosity and drive to make art has inspired her to step out of the label of “designer” and embrace her whole self as a multidisciplinary artist.

2022 Rozsa Foundation Emerging Arts Manager Award recipient: Daniel Cardinal McCartney
Daniel Cardinal McCartney is being recognized for his outstanding work towards equitable working conditions for artists and arts administrators.

2022 SANDSTONE City Builder Award recipient: Casa Mexico Foundation
For 13 years, Casa Mexico has been constantly supporting the work of emerging and professional artists in the Calgary community, and as a result they have been able to foster the growth of multitudes of artistic careers in our city.

2022 Doug and Lois Mitchell Outstanding Calgary Artist Award recipient: Sandra Sawatzky
Artist Sandra Sawatzky developed a film language of choreographed action to tell stories and embroiders epics with a small needle and miles of thread.

2022 TD Bank Group Indigenous Artist Award recipient: Danielle Piper
Danielle Piper is an interdisciplinary visual artist located in Mohkinsstsis, Treaty 7 territory. Danielle creates many kinds of visual art; and also teaches beading workshops, livestreams on twitch and sells her handmade crafts. As part of this award she worked for a three-month term as Indigenous Artist in Residence for the Calgary Public Library in early 2022.

For more information, read the event program here and the media release here.

Speakers, performers and award winners from the 2022 Celebration for the Arts

Clockwise from top left: 2022 Cultural Leaders Legacy Arts Awards recipients with Mayor Jyoti Gondek; Calgary Arts Development President and CEO Patti Pon and ASL interpreter Janice Manchul; members of the Tryzub Ukrainian Dance Ensemble; emcee Tim Tamashiro with Chantal Gagnon leading a community drum circle; super choir with members from Revv 52, the Young Canadians, Kantorei Choral Society and Our Lady of the Rockies High School; and Poet Laureate Wakefield Brewster.

Photos by Motif Photography.

Video presentation of the 2022 Cultural Leaders Legacy Arts Awards

You can learn more about the Cultural Leaders Legacy Arts Awards at calgaryartsdevelopment.com.

2021 Recap

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.

Presenting Sponsor
Logo – Calgary Foundation
Arts Patron Table Sponsors

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

Event Sponsors

Video Sponsor: Nur Films

Special Thanks

Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity
Rozsa Foundation
Calgary Public Library

Cultural Leaders Legacy Artist Awards
Logos for the 2021 Cultural Leaders Legacy Awards

About the Celebration for the Arts

The 2022 Celebration for the Arts is a collaboration between Calgary Arts Development and Mayor Jyoti Gondek.

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 and building on the long history of bringing together the business and arts sectors.

The event celebrates the arts and how artists tell our stories, connect us and make meaning in our lives.

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.


The 2022 Celebration for the Arts hosted by Mayor Gondek continues the annual tradition of bringing the business and arts sectors together to celebrate Calgary artists and arts organizations and recognize outstanding achievement. This event, held in collaboration with Mayor Jyoti Gondek, replaces the previous Mayor’s Lunch for Arts Champions, a collaboration between Calgary Arts Development and former Mayor Naheed Nenshi. It evolved from a longstanding event established by the Calgary Professional Arts Alliance (CPAA) in 1993 to bring Calgary’s business and art sectors together in recognition of the important relationships that foster artistic achievement in Calgary. The Mayor’s Luncheon for Business and the Arts, and later the Mayor’s Evening for Business and the Arts, enjoyed support from each civic administration since their inception. From 1993 to 2010, the CPAA and the Mayor’s Luncheon for Business and the Arts recognized over 30 outstanding arts and business partnership and over 20 emerging, established and innovative Calgary artists.