2018 Awards & Grants Recipients

The 2018 WEA Arts Awards and Grants Recipients and the Windsor Mayor's Arts Awards Recipients                                                                                                           

2018 Arts Leadership Award Recipients 


Community Arts Leadership Award: Windsor Feminist Theatre

Windsor Feminist Theatre was founded in 1980 with the mission to illuminate the reality of women’s lives and stories through theatre and the arts. In the past 38 years, they have created and produced more than fifty socially-relevant and groundbreaking productions to thousands of audience members.



Literary Arts Leadership Award: Terrance "Teajai" Travis

Tejai is currently working on a novel entitled: “Fugitive Slave Town” a story inspired and based around a fugitive slave town known as Liberia, which was located on Sandy Lake in Mercer County, Pennsylvania, and was founded by his direct ancestor Richard Travis Sr. In addition to his work on that manuscript, he is nearly complete a collection of poetry and songs titled “Chattel: Bred, Birthed and Broken.”

All of his research into the tragedies and triumphs of his ancestors inspired him to create an Afro-Indigenous Library so that others in his community can “dig deep into their history and celebrate the astonishing strength, resilience, intelligence and innovation of [their] ancestors.” It is Teajai’s goal to remind everyone that   “Knowledge is power and wisdom is our birthright.”

Performing Arts Leadership Award: Robert Franz

Maestro Robert Franz began his tenure with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra in 2013. As Music Director of the WSO and Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival Orchestra, and Associate Conductor of the Houston Symphony, critics, composers and audiences of all ages acclaim Robert Franz’s appeal as a first-rate conductor and enthusiastic educator who has been instrumental in diversifying the WSO’s Education program for elementary and high school students.  

Visual Arts Leadership Award: John Jaciw



John Jaciw is a Ukranian born, Canadian designer, sculptor and medallist. For 30 years he worked as a graphic designer for Hiram Walker and Sons Ltd designing bottles, labels, graphics and company ads. He also engaged in freelance work for a number of studios, commercial enterprises, charitable organizations and private individuals. His largest art work was designing a monument in Michigan honouring Ukrainian American Veterans. He also has won awards for his wooden carvings that have been displayed in museums in Detroit and Windsor. In 1987, his sculpture won Best in Show at the International Wood Sculpture Competition held at The Clearly.


2018 Emerging Artist Grant Recipients                                                                   


Community Arts: Sierra Parr

Sierra Parr is a writer and director who is dedicated to using her creativity to combat the stigma against mental illness. She has been working on a short film series that will ultimately include 3 films. To date she has released the psychological thriller TAPE in 2015 about suicide prevention, and the soon-to-be-released psychological drama Kalopsia about the hardships of loss. The third and final short film entitled Shifting will be produced with her Emerging Artist Grant funds.  One day she hopes to host a Windsor-wide film festival showcasing all three of her films as well as the work of other filmmakers with similar subject matter to educate our community about mental health disorders and to alleviate the stigma towards those suffering from them.

Literary Arts: Kate Hargreaves

Kate Hargreaves is a Windsor poet, author and book designer. She intends to use her Emerging Artist Grant to fund the completion of her fourth book manuscript entitled Winner. The literary short-fiction collection will explore the world of Winn B., an approaching-thirty-year-old coffee shop clerk, who in-between slinging lattes and collecting new allergies, navigates what is either a mid-life crisis foreboding early death, or a quarter-life one that will not quit. She hopes to submit the book to a publisher in 2019.

Performing Arts: Michael J. Krym

Michael J. Krym is a writer, actor and general theatre artist who has worked with such Windsor theatre groups as the Arts Collective Theatre, the Ghost Light Players, and Tall Tale Theatre Company.  He will use the grant funds towards the production of his latest play, Imaginary Lines to be premiered at Sho: Art, Spirit and Performance in the summer of 2019. Imaginary Lines is a historical play set on the Eastern front of Poland during WWII written around the stories he grew up hearing from his Polish relatives.  Since next year will mark the 80th anniversary of the start of WWII, he wants to include the play as part of the local Polish community’s commemoration activities. As well as showcase a few of the scenes as workshops in playwriting for local youth.

The Lois Smedick Emerging Artist in Visual Arts Grant:  Svjetlana Oppen


Svjetlana Oppen is a filmmaker and cinematographer who is well-known in the local filmmaking community. Since 2016 she has been crucial to the growth of the Windsor International Film Festival in her role as Technical Director who oversees the screening of all the films at the festival as well as the full technical team. She will use the grant funds towards the production  of her feature-length documentary “The Last Yugoslavs” where she will go back to the former Yugoslavia to trace the change from a single heterogeneous and peaceful country disrupted by an identity-driven war, to the resulting homogenous groups today.  She will work with artists inside and outside of the Canadian-Yugoslavian community to narrate a story relatable to Canadian audiences of many different identities to further understand the sense of displacement upon arrival in a new country.

2018 Arts Infrastructure Grant Recipients


Community Arts: Vanguard Youth Arts Collective

The Vanguard Youth Arts Collective plan to use the grant funds to launch “The 100 Journals Project” that will bring together Canadian, Newcomer, Indigenous and at-risk youth through a sketchbook/journal share. Over the duration of the project, Vanguard will encourage the youth to share their lived experiences through written word, imagery, photography and other forms of expression to break language barriers and open lines of communication. Once completed the 100 journals will be circulated between the participating service organizations and each of their youth groups. To commemorate the project, they would like to display the works during an exhibition and reception at a local gallery.

Literary Arts: Windsor Poetry Slam

The Windsor Poetry Slam is a not-for-profit organization in its third season of operation.  Since its inception, it has held 32 regular monthly slam events, awarded $1,120 in prizes, featured 20 top-tier national and international spoken word artists and has sent individual poets and teams to represent Windsor at national competitions and festivals.

They plan to use the grant funds to cover the costs of bringing top-tier poets from across Canada and the United States to Windsor to perform and hold workshops for local poets. As well as purchase promotional materials and offer a stipend to the Slam Master who runs the poetry slam events each month. 

Performing Arts: Music Moves Kids

They will use the grant funds to help get the 25 Music Moves Kids Choir members (ranging in age from 6 to 19 years of age) to New York City where they will make their debut at Carnegie Hall on May 28th. They will be performing John Rutter’s Mass of the Children, conducted by John Rutter himself, who is a very well-known English choral composer. The Mass of the Children is a 40-minute mass for children’s chorus, SATB chorus, baritone and soprano soloist. The Music Moves Kids Choir will make up half of the children onstage for this work, singing alongside a one hundred and eighty person adult choir on the Carnegie Hall stage.

Visual Arts: Paul Murray


Paul Murray is a self-taught, world-renowned artist whose artwork is displayed in various public buildings in Canada, the United States and abroad. Paul is best-known for his depictions of rural like from a bygone era. He will use the grant funds to support his new art and music showcase performance called “Music ‘n Arts Collide LIVE,” which will tour multiple high schools in Windsor-Essex in 2018-2019. The school tours have three phases: a pre-show art installation, a master class workshop, and a showcase live art performance featuring Paul Murray painting on massive canvases to the live music of award-winning musician Sarah Smith from London, Ontario.

The Elizabeth Havelock Grant in the Arts Recipient:   Erin Armstrong


Erin Armstrong is a multi-faceted, professional performer and music teacher. Presently, she sings and directs opera professionally, often with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra or in Toronto; she teaches voice lessons at Walkerville Centre for the Creative Arts; she conducts the Windsor Community Choir and her own children’s choir, Music Moves Kids; and she is the founder and Artistic Director of the indie opera company Abridged Opera. 

She plans to use the grant funds to travel to Italy in June, 2018 to study with the famous soprano Aprile Millo and the well-known conductor Richard Bonynge. Erin says the opportunity to work one-on-one with these incredible artists will be extremely beneficial to her operatic career and to the Windsor community at large because she will infuse the knowledge she receives into all her upcoming projects and pass it on to the young music students she teaches.     

The Morris and Beverly Baker Foundation Youth Grant: Alexandria Masse


Alexandria is recent graduate of the Walkerville Collegiate Institute. Her visual arts teacher, Kevin Lock, said that “the amount of work, time, and dedication that infuses her practice has led towards strong, evocative works that show her unique vision of the world.” It was for these outstanding qualities that the Walkerville staff nominated her for a Loran Scholarship.  In the fall of 2018 she will attend the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design to study fine arts and textiles with help from the funds she received from the The Morris and Beverly Baker Foundation Youth Grant in the Arts.

The Eric Jackman Youth Grant in the Arts: Corinne Garrett


Corinne is a recent graduate of the Walkerville Collegiate Institute. Four years ago, she started her own company teaching art lessons to children and has sold her artwork and commissioned pieces to the public. Through The Eric Jackman Youth Grant in the Arts, Corinne will complete a 60-hour internship/mentorship program at Art InDeed: Wellness Through Creativity to learn about the business of art and the art of business before heading off to St. Clair College to study graphic design in the fall of 2018 with help from the grant funds she will receive upon completion of her internship hours.      

©2019 Windsor Endowment For the Arts. All Rights Reserved.