Belcourt named finalist for Excellence in the Arts

C.Belcourt
MNO citizen and Métis artist Christi Belcourt pictured with her work This
Painting is a Mirror.

Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) citizen, visual artist and author Christi Belcourt has been named as a finalist for the 2014 Premier’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts.

The award recognizes extraordinary achievements of the province's artists and arts organizations. The 2014 laureates will be announced at an awards ceremony at Roy Thomson Hall on Sept. 16 in Toronto.

The Premier’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts program is administered by the Ontario Arts Council and recognizes exceptional achievement in the arts in Ontario. The winning artist receives $35,000 and selects a new or emerging artist, who receives $15,000.

“The Premier’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts recognize the outstanding contribution of artists and arts organizations in Ontario. I am proud of this year’s accomplished finalists who brighten our province with their creations and inspiring work,” said the Honourable Michael Coteau, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

“Congratulations to all the finalists for this year’s Premier’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts. Each of them has made outstanding contributions to our province’s vibrant artistic and cultural landscape. We are delighted to recognize their achievements, and proud of our continued partnership with the Ontario government on this special initiative,” said Martha Durdin, Chair, Ontario Arts Council.

Extremely deserving of this award, Belcourt’s work can be found in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Gabriel Dumont Institute, and the Nature Conservancy of Canada, among other leading institutions.

Her work commemorating residential school survivors and communities, Giniigaaniimenaaning (Looking Ahead), was rendered in stained glass and installed at Centre Block on Parliament Hill. It is only the second stained glass work to be commissioned for the Parliament buildings in recent years.

Belcourt is currently leading Walking with Our Sisters, a community-driven project that honours murdered or missing Indigenous women. Touring to 32 locations across North America through to the year 2020, the exhibit/memorial includes over 1,700 pairs of moccasin tops – intentionally not sewn into complete moccasins – that were created by over 1,300 people of all ages and cultural backgrounds. This work has led to Belcourt being awarded the 2014 Ontario Arts Council Aboriginal Arts Award and the Influential Woman of Northern Ontario Award for Aboriginal Leadership.

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