About the Arts Awards

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2018 Arts Awards nominations are now closed

Nominees will be announced in the Spring.


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

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.

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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.