2018 Recipient Notes

2018 Arts Leadership Award Recipients

 

Arts Leadership Award in Community Arts - WINDSOR FEMINIST THEATRE

 

The 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.

They take pride in “working with other organizations in a non-performance specific manner to create respectful and healthy arts communities”. Three of the partners they are currently working with include: SPARC, whose mission is to sustain and grow the performing arts in rural and remote communities; Bloomfield House where they are helping to create an accessible community black box theatre; Making Waves Windsor Essex, a grassroots organization that promotes social justice.

Arts Leadership Award in Literary Arts - TERRANCE "TEAJAI" TRAVIS

Teajai Travis is a sought-after Spoken Word poet turned novelist and historical archivist. In 2017 he launched his “Missing From History: Women of the Underground Railroad” project to identify the important role women played in the intricate network of freedom fighters known as the Underground Railroad. He went on to develop these stories through poetry, spoken word and theatre. He has since been approached by a publishing company to document those stories in a book. 

He is currently working on a novel entitled Fugitive Slave Town and is nearly complete a collection of poetry and songs entitled Chattel: Bred, Birthed and Broken.  He is also gathering materials 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 our ancestors.” 

Arts Leadership Award in Performing Arts - 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. He has been credited for being a proactive leader who will seek out accomplished singers and musicians locally and regionally to perform with the WSO on main subscription series concerts.

Maestro Franz has been instrumental in diversifying the WSO’s Education program for elementary and high school students. For post-secondary students in our area, he teaches a master class each semester at the university’s School of Creative Arts where he works one-on-one with up to 10 music students each. 

Arts Leadership Award in Visual Arts - 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

Emerging Artist Grant in 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. It is her passion to produce films with a balance of substance, creativity and social change. She describes her style of filmmaking as being on “the darker side” because she attempts to evoke empathy from her audiences by showcasing the first hand experiences of a person suffering from 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.

 

Emerging Artist Grant in Literary Arts - KATE HARGREAVES

Kate Hargreaves is a Windsor poet, author and book designer. She received her Masters of English and Creative Writing from the University of Windsor in 2012. The work she produced for her Masters earned her the Governor General’s Gold Medal in Graduate studies, and went on to become her first published poetry collection called Leak .  She released her first book, Talking Derby: Stories from a Life on Eight Wheels in 2013.

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 within the next six to eight months.

 

Emerging Artist Grant in 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 Grant in Visual Arts - 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. 

Svjetlana says that much of her film work is influenced by her life experiences of transition, finding and leaving community and understanding her roots. She was born and raised in Bosnia and Herzegovina and immigrated to Canada after living through the Bosnian War in 1992.

The Lois Smedick Emerging Artist Grant will go towards the production costs 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

 

Arts Infrastructure Grant in Community Arts - VANGUARD YOUTH ARTS COLLECTIVE

Since its inception in 2015, the Vanguard Youth Arts Collective has been a vital resource for young artists in this area through its skills-based workshops, networking events and community partnerships. Their mission is simple: to act as a voice for an emerging generation of artists within the Windsor-Essex region.

They 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.

 

Arts Infrastructure Grant in 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. 

 

Arts Infrastructure Grant in Performing Arts - MUSIC MOVES KIDS

 

Music Moves Kids was first established as a summer camp in 2010 before it became a choir in 2013. In five short years, they have performed as the children’s chorus in six operas both in Windsor and Toronto and are now regular performers with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra.

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.

 

Arts Infrastructure Grant in Visual Arts -  PAUL MURRAY

A native of St. Clair Beach, 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. As a child in 1967 he visited family living in Tennessee which led to his first introduction of the culture of the Appalachian people that he has depicted in much of his work.  When he is not painting, he is teaching master classes and workshops, working on his new book series, visiting schools and raising funds for local charities.

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.


2018 Elizabeth Havelock Grant in the Arts - 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 Elizabeth Havelock Grant funds to travel to Italy to study with the famous soprano Aprile Millo and the well-known conductor Richard Bonynge. The opportunity to sing with these two opera legends is by invitation only, and Erin was excited and humbled to receive her invitation this year, after Mme Millo heard her sing Amneris in Verid’s Aida last spring with Opera Niagara. 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 in the Arts - ALEXANDRIA MASSE

Alexandria is a visual artist and high school senior at Walkerville Collegiate Institute. Last year, a mixed media quilt she created won first prize in the Encounters with Canada, “In Flanders Fields” contest. Her visual arts teacher, Kevin Lock, describes her as an “exceptionally gifted young woman driven by the need to both excel and comment on the world as she sees it.” He goes on to say 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.”  In the fall she will head off to Halifax to 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 visual artist and high school senior taking advanced visual and media arts classes in the Walkerville Center for the Creative Arts Program. Recently, she has been learning about graphic design which is something she wishes to pursue in the future. She is also interested in learning about business, especially as it relates to the arts. Four years ago, she started her own company teaching art lessons to children and has also sold her artwork and done commissioned pieces for the public. Through The Eric Jackman Youth Grant in the Arts, Corinne will be connected with a local arts organization where she will work as an intern learning about the “business of art and the art of business” before receiving her grant funds and heading off to the University of Windsor in the fall.  


The Windsor Mayor's Arts Awards Recipients

 

Arts Organization - ARTS COUNCIL OF WINDSOR & REGION

Julie Tucker (Director of Public Programs and Advocacy) and Laura Service (Gallery Manager & Membership Coordinator)

    

 

Artist - DR. BRUCE KOTOWICH (chorale conductor)

 

Volunteer - PETER WASYLYK (past Board Member, AGW)

 

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