About the Arts Awards

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The City of Hamilton Arts Awards is one of the oldest programs of its kind in Canada and has been at the forefront of recognizing creative talent since 1976.

Arts Award Medallion

Each year, citizens nominate artists for consideration by independent juries who choose 20 notable artists to honour for their excellence in 11 disciplines. Each successful nominee is presented with a cash award and an official certificate of recognition from the City of Hamilton; Established Artist recipients and Arts Community Leadership Award recipients also receive a signature medallion.

The purpose of the program is to:

  • celebrate and build awareness of the incredible contribution that artists make to Hamilton
  • foster growth in the arts sector
  • develop the talent that drives this vital part of our city

Learn more about previous Art Awards recipients

Arts Awards Event Details

Wednesday June 6, 2018
Theatre Aquarius Dofasco Centre for the Arts
190 King William Street, Hamilton


Reception: 5:30 pm
Awards ceremony: 7 pm
Master of Ceremony: Clifford Myers

Celebrate Hamilton's vital arts community at the 2018 City of Hamilton Arts Awards. The event will be a dynamic tribute to the arts in Hamilton and will feature a catered reception, (cash bar), art installations, performances, live music and - of course - the announcement of the Award recipients!

Welcome Reception

Emilio Bonito & Sarah Good performing in the Theatre Aquarius courtyard
Emilio crafts intricate instrumental songs that fuse fingerstyle guitar with avant-garde, indie folk and pop culture influences. CBC Radio described his debut single “Marth” as “a great example of contemporary fingerstyle guitar.” Subsequent releases have explored themes of rumination, introspection and personal discovery.

Sarah is a uniquely talented musical force from Hamilton.  A meticulous songwriter, she has released two solo records with a new one in the works.  Sarah plays and writes music with GlassEyelashes, Dame Classique, and The Pucumber Sasssquash Family Band and is co-creative director of a capella ensemble Earth Wind & Choir.

Large scale prints by Stylo Starr exhibited in the Theatre Aquarius Lobby
Stylo Starr is a Hamilton artist, or ‘visual alchemist,’ and is known primarily for her multi-layered collage pieces. Stylo has had her work recently featured alongside the works of Andy Warhol at the Art Gallery of Hamilton in the summer of 2017, and looks forward to continuing her explorations in collage and multimedia arts through a residency with the Cotton Factory in 2018.

OPTICKS and Form Contemporary Dance collaborate in the Black Box Theatre
OPTICKS (John Smith, Andrew O’Connor, Lee Skinner, Troy Witherow, Aaron Campbell) and Form Contemporary Dance Theatre (Lisa Emmons) collaborate on an immersive installation.  Experience space, time, and emotion through a world composed of movement, ambient audioscapes, and experimental projections.

Awards Ceremony

Emcee Clifford Myers
Clifford Myers is a professional comedian from Hamilton, Ontario. He has been featured on NXNE, JFL42, SiriusXM and MTV. He is the monthly host of Comic Encounters at Mancala Monk and The Dryer at the Elaine Mae Theatre; a dry comedy show in support of sobriety.

Spoken Word by Kahsenniyo Tahnee Williams
Kahsenniyo is a poet from the Mohawk nation, wolf clan from Six Nations. She draws on her history and contemporary indigenous issues to crate her work.  Kahsenniyo will be presenting a spoken word piece on land acknowledgment.

Fashion Presentation by Angela DeMontigny
Angela DeMontigny is an internationally renowned Indigenous Canadian designer based in Hamilton, working in luxury leathers, suedes, shearling and Canadian fur.  Angela has not only been a trailblazer for Indigenous fashion in Canada, she is the leader of the ‘Indigenous Luxury’ movement. Each collection she designs is created from inspiration derived from her native heritage and often tells a story.  Angela will present her latest capsule collection, inspired by the ancient Anishinaabe creation story – The Seven Daughters of the Stars (Pleiades) and named accordingly, Of the Stars. 

Performance by Chaika Ukrainian Ensemble
Created in 1957 under the auspices of the Hamilton Branch of the Ukrainian National Federation, the Chaika Performing Ensemble is dedicated to the development of Ukrainian folk song and dance. Led by choir director Oksana Wasylyk, the energy and spirit of Chaika is reflected in its choreography - integrating ballet with Ukrainian folk stage theatre.  Chaika has thrilled audiences worldwide and won recognition and praise with their memorable performances throughout Canada, the United States and Europe.

Performance by Wax Mannequin
Wax Mannequin (Christopher Adeney) has honed his weird, folk-punk anthems over years of travel and tribulation. His songs are dark and thoughtful at times, pounding and ridiculous at others…or all of these things at once. Songsmith, performance-art provocateur and self-sabotologist, Wax Mannequin continues indefinitely to carve a deep, indelible groove across the face the modern music underground.  He will be accompanied by Tyrone Ramsey (double bass), Annie Shaw (piano), Nick Burson (percussion) and Peter Michael Wilson (visuals).

Arts Awards Steering Committee

The Arts Awards Steering Committee, composed of members of Hamilton’s arts community, play an essential advisory role in developing and implementing the program.  In addition to advising on all aspects of the nomination, adjudication, event and evaluation phases, they facilitate ideas, concepts, and community linkages in order to build a successful program that connects the entire community.

We are grateful to the current members of the Steering Committee for their vital contributions to the 2018 Arts Awards program.

Kojo Easy Damptey

Kojo Easy Damptey is a musician, social activist and scholar born and raised in Ghana, West Africa. He moved to Hamilton in 2001 to attend McMaster University. Since graduating from McMaster University he has been an ardent member of the music scene in Hamilton for over a decade. When he is not in the studio recording or touring he spends his time advocating for equitable representation and opportunity for creatives in Hamilton who identify as people of color. 

Colette Kendall

Colette Kendall is the Executive and Artistic Director of The Staircase Theatre, where she incubates new and emerging local talent, and programs upwards of 100 cultural events monthly. Colette is a recipient of a City of Hamilton Arts Award for Established Theatre Artist and a multiple nominee in the Performance and Arts Administration categories. She is a three time Canadian Comedy Award nominated performer/writer for her one-woman productions. She has appeared in several award winning independent and feature films including Ten for Grandpa and the HBO/Julia Roberts produced Kit Kittredge: An American Girl.

Petra Matar

Petra is an artist and contributor to the local HAVN collective, and a designer with dpai architecture inc. Born in Nigeria to Lebanese parents, Petra moved to Hamilton from Dubai in 2011. Petra’s fascination in Hamilton’s downtown urban fabric and its burgeoning art and music community made her consider this City a home worth contributing to and advocating for.

Nea Reid

A Vancouver born Capricorn with Scorpio rising, Reid is a collaborative stargazer, an impractical idealist. Raised on the outskirts of Hamilton, Reid was bullied into a freespirit and artist of protean character. Her work is often ignited through issues of social justice and curiosities of an anxious heart. Past incarnations include sculptor, performer, director, producer, and poet. Presently Reid impacts the lives of many of budding youth poet voices by providing a local platform (Hamilton Youth Poets/Louder than a Bomb Hamilton) upon which they may share their stories and ideas and also have the opportunity to be mentored by some of the country’s most successful and well-established poets. A passionate advocate for young voices, Reid frequents her time in schools, correctional facilities, and within her community. Reid resides in Hamilton, Ontario, with her first and only born child, Maia (the metahuman of this story).

Kyle Andrew Skinner

Co-chair of the City of Hamilton Arts Advisory Commission, Kyle Andrew Skinner is an actor, model, photographer, dragonslayer and Viking. Kyle has been an active member and participant in the arts community for several decades. His interests in a diverse range of artistic disciplines fuels his passion to contribute to the development of the arts community in our ever expanding city of Hamilton.

Connect with us in person

Jen Anisef
Phone: 905-546-2424 ext. 7612
Email: artsawards@hamilton.ca
Office address: Lister Building, 28 James St. North, 2nd Floor
Hours: Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Meetings by appointment only - call or email to book.

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