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$72,000 in awards to be presented at annual Mayors Arts Lunch

Award recipients will be announced at the 16th annual Mayor's Arts Lunch (at home) on May 11. In addition to Toronto’s Mayor, John Tory, those attending the lunch will include federal, provincial and municipal politicians, artists, civic leaders as well as our generous award donors and lunch sponsors, without whom this celebration would not be possible. A total of $72,000 will be distributed in awards to recipients and finalists.

We invite you to learn more about each of the finalists listed below and celebrate their contributions to Toronto. Among them are familiar names as well as those less known, artists who have performed before thousands, organizations making vital contributions to our communities and individuals who are just emerging onto our stages. Our peer assessors responsible for the selection were incredibly impressed with the numbers and strength of the nominations.

The finalists are:

The Margo Bindhardt and Rita Davies Cultural Leadership Award

  • Del Mahabadi – Founder and Chief Executive Director of Waveland, a non-profit music organization
  • Denise Bolduc – an established creative director and producer who programs to transform perspectives and activate change
  •  Dwayne Morgan – spoken word artist, author of 13 books and 9 audio collections

Emerging Artist Award

  • Britta B. – a poet, performer, emcee, voice actor, and educator
  • Irma Villafuerte – dancer and educator
  • Olivia Shortt – transdisciplinary performing artist and musician

Emerging Jazz Artist Award

  • Virginia MacDonald  – clarinetist and educator
  • Joanna Majoko – vocalist, composer and bandleader
  • Sarah Thawer  – a JUNO-Award nominated drummer and recording artist

The Muriel Sherrin Award for International Achievement in Dance

  • Emily Cheung – a leader in cross-cultural exchange and liaison with foreign artists practicing traditional and contemporary Chinese dance in Toronto
  • Mi Young Kim – Founder & Artistic Director of the Korean Dance Studies Society of Canada, Soo Ryu Dance Festival, Soo Ryu School for the Dance and Drum and Mi Young Kim Dance Company from 1979 to present
  • Vivine Scarlett – Executive Director and Curator for dance Immersion, an organization that supports dancers and dances of the African Diaspora

Arts for Youth Award

  • BAM Collective – a youth-led collective aiming to empower equity-seeking young individuals through art and community engagement
  • Paprika Festival – a youth-led professional performing arts organization providing year-round theatre training and mentorship programs that culminate in a festival of new work by young artists
  • Xpace – a not-for-profit artist-run centre dedicated to providing emerging and student artists, designers, curators and writers with opportunities to showcase their work in a professional setting

The recipient of the Toronto Arts and Business Award will be announced at the Mayor’s Arts Lunch on May 11.

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