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City of Hamilton Arts Awards

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Contact Information

We are here to help! Please contact the office if you have any questions about the nomination process or would like to get involved with the Arts Awards program.

Jen Anisef
Tourism and Culture Division
(905) 546-2424 extension 7612

The Lister Block
28 James St N, 2nd floor
Hamilton, Ontario

Monday through Friday
9:00am to 4:30pm 

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2014 Arts Awards

Tony Clennell accepting the Fine Craft Award_photo credit Low Key Studio
Tony Clennell accepting the Fine Craft Award_photo credit Low Key Studio

Congratulations to the 2014 City of Hamilton Arts Awards Recipients!

Our Awards Ceremony took place on May 29, 2014 at Theatre Aquarius, where the recipients were announced. The 2014 City of Hamilton Arts Award recipients are as follows:


Dr. Alvin A. Lee is a widely celebrated author, scholar and patron of the arts. Since arriving in Hamilton in 1960, Dr. Lee brought great acclaim to McMaster University, first within the English Department as an internationally celebrated expert on old English poetry and later as Dean of Graduate Studies. As the University’s President, he was an exceptional champion of the arts who was instrumental in establishing the McMaster Museum of Art and acquiring its founding collection from Dr. Herman H. Levy. In his retirement, Dr. Lee has remained a close friend of the Museum, now housed in a building that bears his name, while extending his patronage to local sculptors, painters and chamber orchestras.
In academic circles, Dr. Lee is best known for his scholarship on Beowulf and his work as the editor of the 30-volume Collected Works of Northrop Frye. He has received numerous honours and awards during his career including a Canada Council Senior Fellowship and a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Fellowship.


Established: Astrid Hepner is a trained musician, passionate teacher and innovative thinker with a diversified administrative and marketing background that includes media relations, advertising and special project responsibilities. She is the Executive Director and co-founder of the Hamilton Music Collective and the leader of An Instrument for Every Child, a visionary musical project that provides elementary school children in Hamilton’s inner-city schools with the opportunity to learn to play an instrument.
Emerging: Dejehan Hamilton is a former student of Astrid’s in the Mohawk Music program. He recently completed his BA in Music Business at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Dejehan is not only an accomplished musician and teacher, but also the co-founder of the Musical Madness Camp in Hamilton, a summer music camp created to engage and expose children to musical genres, theory, history and performance.


Established: Emma Rush teaches guitar at Mohawk College and Redeemer University College and is the Director of the Hamilton International Guitar Festival, which provides educational opportunities to guitar students all ages and experiences from across North America. She connects her work as an educator to the performative aspects of her musical career and is active with the Hamilton Guitar Association and the Classical Guitar Open Mic Guild, both of which provide supportive performance opportunities for students.
Emerging: Sarah Lawrence has been active in Hamilton’s musical community as a performer, arts volunteer and educator. Emma commends her excellent work as an educator with An Instrument for Every Child as well as her enthusiastic commitment to music education in Hamilton.


Established: Ian Jarvis is a film and media artist who sees the arts as a catalyst for social change and has a long history of conducting artistic programs that take art out of the galleries and into the community. He has initiated many outreach projects in partnership with artist-run centres and most recently coordinated Unlocking HIV, a project in which four media artists from Centre3 worked directly with people living with HIV to uncover their experiences of stigma, discrimination and criminalization.
Emerging: Thea Faulds worked closely with Ian on the production of Unlocking HIV and is a media artist who has shown a deep commitment to community arts practice in her work with youth and marginalized populations. She is a past Board member of Hamilton Artists Inc. and a founding organizer of the Toronto Zombie Walk.


Established: Tony Clennell is a ceramicist and teacher at Sheridan College whose tireless commitment to mentorship and scholarship in his craft have made him a highly respected figure in the ceramic arts across North America. He has remained dedicated to the art of wood firing his glazed and unglazed works throughout his 35-year career, always with an eye for the subtleties of colour and texture that result from the interaction of fire and clay.
Emerging: Christine De Takascy studied ceramics under Tony’s tutelage at Sheridan College where she distinguished herself as a leader on the Clay Club Executive and continues to serve her craft as treasurer and Firing Captain for the Hamilton Potters Guild. As well as creating her own work and participating in professional workshops, Christine is renovating and establishing a fine craft gallery at 129 James Street North.


Established: Tyler Tekatch works primarily in film, video and digital media as well as arts education through his role as media artist in residence with Culture for Kids in the Arts’ Artasia program. His creative aim, as demonstrated in his recent exhibition Terrors of the Breakfast Table at the Art Gallery of Hamilton, is to fuse his film training with emerging digital technologies in order to explore the potential of new technologies to create new interactions between art and the viewer.
Emerging: Kearon Roy Taylor came to Tyler’s attention just prior to the opening of HAVN, a collaborative media arts gallery co-founded by Kearon in 2012. Impressed by Kearon’s work and professionalism, Tyler has since collaborated with Kearon on multiple installations and projects including a HAVN installation for Supercrawl 2012 and Terrors of the Breakfast Table.


Established: Lori Yates is a singer-songwriter, producer and promoter whose talents are widely recognized in both her success as Songwriter of the Year at the 2007 Hamilton Music Awards and her popular songwriting workshops and variety shows. In addition to appearing on the main stages of major music events, Lori has been commended for the generosity with which she has shared her years of experience in Nashville and Toronto with younger artists.
Emerging: Mimi Shaw first came to Lori’s attention when performing on stage at Supercrawl 2012. She is an emerging solo roots artist who has since opened for Lori Yates and performed with several local bands, most recently The Highnote Ramblers. Mimi is currently hard at work on her solo debut album to be released this fall.


Established: Lisa Pijuan-Nomura is a multi-disciplinary storyteller and performer who is equally respected for her efforts as a community organizer, mentor and producer of new artistic initiatives in Hamilton, including Speak: Storytelling at the Staircase and The Quarterly at The Pearl Company. She recently presented her new one-woman show, Small Sweet and Quiet, at Theatre Aquarius.
Emerging: Clifford Myers impressed Lisa with his humour and talent while performing at the Staircase Theatre. His ongoing performances as a comedian at storytelling and comedy events continue to explore his edgy, fearless style of comedy at multiple venues and festivals throughout the region.


Established: Peter Lloyd is a director, performer and set designer who has been an active visionary and trusted mentor in community theatre throughout the Hamilton region. He is lauded as a moving force for creative challenge in Dundas Little Theatre where he recently directed Drama at Inish and has served as a Board member for several smaller not-for-profit organizations, freely contributing his experience in arts administration to companies that lack the funds to hire such expertise.
Emerging: Gregory Cruikshank is a young actor whose recent roles in Dundas Little Theatre’s Drama at Inish and How Could You, Mrs. Dick? impressed Peter with his dedication, discipline and fearless appetite for innovation. He studied Theatre at York University and was shortlisted for Tarragon Theatre’s 2010 National Playwriting Competition for his play 10 Days.


Established: Fiona Kinsella is a painter whose ambitious works push at a sculptural dimension through her interest in the primordial, physical quality of oil paint as a medium. She is also well known for elegant yet unsettling cake sculptures, one of which is currently featured in the Art Gallery of Hamilton’s permanent collection exhibition Art for a Century: 100 for the 100th. She is also the co-founder and co-editor of Hamilton Arts & Letters and is represented by Nathaniel Hughson Gallery.
Emerging: Kearon Roy Taylor is a graduate of McMaster University’s Studio Art program, a co-founder of HAVN (Hamilton Audio Visual Node) and an active volunteer with multiple Hamilton arts organizations. Fiona cites Kearon’s ability to construct tension and push creative limits within his print and media works as a visual strength that motivated her nomination of this emerging artist.

Thank you to our Sponsors for making it possible to put on a great event!

Sponsor logos: City of Hamilton, Love your City, Theatre Aquarius, Hamilton Spectator, Upper James Toyota, incite, Judy Marsales, Dan Lawrie, dp.Ai 

How to Nominate an Artist

The nomination deadline for the 2014 Arts Awards program has now passed. Please sign up for our email list: if you would like to receive notification of the 2015 nomination period, which will launch in Fall 2014. Nominations will be due on Friday February 6, 2015.


The City of Hamilton Arts Awards is one of the oldest municipal-led arts awards programs in Canada. The Arts Awards celebrates Hamilton’s vibrant arts community and recognizes the many individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to arts and culture in our community.

Download the list of past City of Hamilton Arts Awards Recipients (PDF).

Frequently Asked Questions about the nomination process (PDF)

Established Artist and Lifetime Achievement Award recipients, selected by a jury, will receive:

  • $2500
  • Arts Awards bronze commemorative medal designed by artist Dora de Pédery-Hunt
  • Civic and Media Recognition

Emerging Artist Award recipients, selected by the Established Artist winner in each category, will receive:

  • $1000
  • Certificate of Recognition
  • Civic and Media Recognition

Arts Awards information available in multiple languages

Czech (pdf)
French (pdf)
Hungarian (pdf)
Italian (pdf)
Portuguese (pdf)
Simplified Chinese(pdf)
Somali (pdf)
Spanish (pdf)
Urdu (pdf)