Toronto, January 24, 2012 The Ontario Arts Council Aboriginal Arts Award was launched today. The $7,500 award will celebrate the achievements of Aboriginal artists and arts leaders in Ontario. Beginning this year, the award will be presented annually to an Aboriginal artist or Aboriginal arts leader in Ontario, to honour his or her significant contributions to the arts.

Nominate an Aboriginal Artist or Aboriginal Arts Leader before April 2, 2012

  • The Ontario Arts Council Aboriginal Arts Award is a $7,500 award.
  • Each year’s Aboriginal Arts Award winner will be asked to name an emerging Aboriginal artist who best exemplifies the next generation of Aboriginal leadership in the arts. The emerging artist recipient will receive $2,500.
  • A jury of Aboriginal artists will review all eligible nominations and the award will be decided through OAC’s standard peer assessment process.
  • The winner and emerging artist will be announced at an Ontario celebration during National Aboriginal History Month in June each year.

More about the Award

  • The award’s first deadline for nominations is April 2, 2012.
  • Any Ontarian, Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal, can nominate an Aboriginal artist or Aboriginal arts leader for this award.
  • To be eligible to receive the award, Aboriginal artists or Aboriginal arts leaders must reside in Ontario, or Quebec in the National Capital region, and be a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada.
  • Download nomination guidelines and forms on the Ontario Arts Council’s (OAC) website, or call the OAC’s Awards Office for more information (416) 969-7423 or toll-free 1-800-387-0058 ext. 7423.
  • OAC’s 2008-2013 Strategic Plan, Connections and Creativity, includes increasing investment and support to Aboriginal artists and arts organizations, both in urban centres and regional settings.

“The Ontario Arts Council Aboriginal Arts Award is an important recognition of the outstanding impact Aboriginal artists and Aboriginal arts leaders make in their communities, and in our broader cultural landscape. OAC is proud to create an award that honours their contributions to the arts in Ontario.”
John Brotman, OAC Executive Director

“This award will shine a light on the artistic accomplishments and leadership of Ontario’s Aboriginal artists, whether they are working in an urban centre, town or First Nation, practicing either customary or contemporary forms of arts. The award is also special because it celebrates today’s leaders, as well the next generation of artists in our communities.”
Sara Roque, OAC Aboriginal Arts Officer

The Ontario Arts Council (OAC) is the province of Ontario’s main funding body for professional arts activity. Since 1963, the OAC has played a vital role in promoting and assisting the development of the arts and artists for the enjoyment and benefit of Ontarians. In 2010-2011, the Ontario Arts Council funded 1,720 individual artists and 1,057 organizations in 223 communities across Ontario for a total of $52.3million.


Ontario Arts Council


Geneviève Vallerand, Communications Coordinator
Ontario Arts Council
ext. 7434