Arts Awards Nominees

Congratulations to the 2018 Arts Awards nominees! 75 established and emerging Hamilton artists have been nominated in 10 categories and the Shirley Elford Emerging Artist Prize.

The Awards Presentation will take place on Wednesday June 6, 2018 at Theatre Aquarius Dofasco Centre for the Arts as part of Hamilton Arts Week. The catered presentation event will feature great performers, art demonstrations, and the awarding of $35,000 in cash prizes to artists.

The nominees are as follows:

Kosha Braun

(Kosha Braun passed away in April 2018)
Kosha Braun taught for the HWDSB strings program for 36 years, until the age of 76, well past retirement age. She gave up her own performance career as a violinist with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra to commit to full time teaching in Hamilton's public schools. Kosha’s past students number in the thousands now and her devotion to music education has forever enriched our community.

Dr. David Gerry

(Dr. Gerry passed away in December 2017)
Dr. David Gerry was a Professor of Music in the School of the Arts for 25 years at McMaster University. The flute was his passion and he regularly performed in concerts locally as well as directing the McMaster Flute Ensemble. Holding Bachelor and Masters degrees in Music Performance from University of Toronto and a PhD in Music Cognition from McMaster’s School of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behavior, David was also registered as a teacher with the Suzuki Association of the Americas and Europe and a graduate of the Talent Education Institute in Japan.  David worked both locally in Hamilton as well as stretching around the world teaching music internationally in Japan, New Zealand, and England and working with students from all across the world stretching to places like Bermuda and Taiwan.

Brian Kelly

Brian Kelly was born in Hamilton at St. Joseph's Hospital. His grandfather was a carpenter/builder and his father a commercial artist who inherited his father's skills. Brian grew up learning how to make things ... he was object wired. That was the beginning and he's still doing that.

Graeme MacKay

For more than 20 years, Hamilton-born Graeme MacKay has showcased his work in the Hamilton Spectator as the editorial cartoonist. ​ A proud Dundas native, he attended Saturday classes at the DVSA and is a Parkside High School alumni. Graeme is the author of ‘You Might Be From Hamilton If’.

Diane Clark

Diane Clark is a true Hamiltonian, born and raised in the City. She has devoted the last 25-30 years to Hamilton’s Arts Community, working for Brott Music, supporting and encouraging interesting, new and often edgy ideas, while making sure the arts thrive through good fiscal practice. Diane is a huge sports enthusiast, an avid arts photographer and an adventurous traveler!

Astrid Hepner

Saxophonist/Educator Astrid is the Founder/CEO of the Hamilton Music Collective. As an Executive at Blue Note Records, EMI Music in New York City, she boosted and launched the careers of artists around the world. Now, as the Director of the HMC’s An-Instrument-for-Every-Child program, Astrid nurtures young budding musicians in Hamilton.

Kamila Miszelska

Kamila Miszelska is the founding coordinator of the Paparella Innovative Arts Program at Salvation Army Lawson Ministries of Hamilton. Kamila's enthusiasm for artistic expression and her genuine care for each aspiring artist with developmental disabilities, has resulted in the creation of thousands of authentic works of art, and in the growth and expression of each artist's world and sense of accomplishment.

Jolanta Oko

Jolanta Oko is the Founder/Director of Canada’s National Academy of Dance Education. She holds a Fine Arts and Master’s Degree in dance from York University, and is a graduate of Canada’s National Ballet School. As an Ontario Certified Teacher and author, Jolanta facilitates workshops for studios and school boards.

Bud Roach

Hamilton tenor Bud Roach has been recognized internationally for his ground-breaking achievements in historically-informed performance practice. He is the founder of the HAMMER BAROQUE concert series, Artistic Director of Capella Intima, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Hamilton Arts Council and the Bach Elgar Choir. 

Emma Rush

Classical guitarist Emma Rush is recognized world-wide as an exciting and innovative musician. An unstoppable performer, she has toured through North and South America, Europe, and China. At home in Hamilton she focuses on creative ways to celebrate music through education and outreach, and the Hamilton International Guitar Festival.

Kaime Sherman

Kaime Sherman, a Woman of Distinction and Hamiltonian of 38 years makes a profound impact encouraging excellence in the arts as thought leader, community builder and Founder / Artistic Director of AiDa - Academy of Imagination & Dramatic Arts. She offers workshops and camps for kids and Youth Initiative Mentor / Leaders lifting the human spirit through creative expression, self-discovery, emotional awareness, social change, leadership, mentoring and imagination.

Established Artist: Laura Bromwich

Laura is a Clinical Art Therapist, Registered Psychotherapist and founder of the Art Therapy Program in Mood Disorders at St. Joseph's West 5th Hospital. Born and raised in Hamilton, Laura is also an artist, printmaker, community educator and instructor at the Dundas Valley School of Art.

Emerging Artist: Graham Stoltz

Established Artist: Claudette Brundage-Hampson

Claudette has impacted generations of students through The Creative Theatre Company, Artist in the Classroom, Telling Tales Festival, Sears Drama Festival, and community workshops. She is dedicated to instilling self-confidence, empathy, and resilience in her students, and creates an inclusive, kind, and creative space to explore the craft of acting.

Emerging Artist: Laura Ellis

Established Artist: Vanessa Crosbie Ramsay

Vanessa engages diverse populations as an Artist-Educator with The Royal Conservatory, and the Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts, sharing her passion for media and visual art with hundreds of students each year. She has created several successful community initiatives, presenting participants with opportunities to explore art and flourish through self-expression. 

Emerging Artist: Leah Klein

Established Artist: Dave Gould

Dave is a “sound hunter” of unique objects who tours North America performing hundreds of shows and workshops annually. From inventing mobile drum machines and electric antlers to founding a community samba band and a youth drum corps: It is Dave’s hope that people will be inspired to perceive their environments in positive new ways through art.

Emerging Artist: Becca Dowden

Established Artist: Becky Katz

Becky Katz is a Hamilton-born multi-disciplinary artist who can be accurately described as a visual artist, experimental feminist music-maker, art educator, promoter, and diy community-organizer. Becky is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Strangewaves, and the Director of Outreach at Centre[3] for Print & Media Arts, two not-for-profits in Hamilton.

Emerging Artist: Christina Tarsitano

Established Artist: Tyler Tekatch

Tyler Tekatch is a media artist who works in film, video and installation. He has exhibited in solo shows at the Art Gallery of Hamilton and the Ottawa Art Gallery, and has screened films internationally. He is a passionate arts educator who lectures and teaches regularly. He has worked closely with Hamilton’s Culture for Kids in the Arts since 2012 as a community artist.

Emerging Artist: Linda Ngo

Established Artist: Becca Dowden

Becca believes everyone should have access to the arts and the opportunity to create; to share in the benefits and joys that the arts bring to our community. She owns and operates a grant writing business, working with non-profit organizations and artists on the development, delivery, and management of projects, programming, and events.

Emerging Artist: Christina Tarsitano

Established Artist: Lori Le Mare

As the creator and director of Hamilton Aerial Group, Lori has led this circus troupe from its fledgling beginnings as a call for community participants, to its current status as a professional theatrical circus troupe.

Emerging Artist: Ariel Bader-Shamai

Established Artist: Lyla Miklos

Lyla Miklos is: Sex positive, LGBTQI2S+, feminist, labour activist. Trekkie. Theatre Nerd. Host of 101.5 FM's Centre Stage. Owner of Lyla The Publicist. Lay Chaplain for Hamilton's Unitarian Church. Maggie Awards Board Member. Special Events Organizer. Community Builder. Progressive politics and policy agitator. She sings! She writes! She connects! She gets it done!

Emerging Artist: Allison M. Jones

Established Artist: Hitoko Okada

Hitoko Okada is a fibre artist and craft maker from Vancouver, BC. She has exhibited work in galleries across Canada, and has been selected for the 2018 artist residency at the Haystack School of Craft in Maine, USA. Through her handcraft company, Hitoko.o, she intersects wearable art with cultural and politicized narratives. She is the co-ordinator for [Nu]Links program; a core member of the Hamilton 7, and a member of COBRA in Hamilton.

Emerging Artist: Amina Z. Suhrwardy

Established Artist: Carol Rossman

Carol Rossman has been a professional ceramic artist since 1985. She has been selected for group and solo shows in Ontario, Quebec, and Australia. Outside Canada her work can be found in the United States, Britain, Kuwait and Japan. Rossman’s work has appeared in numerous international publications and text books.

Emerging Artist: Lauren Levine

Established Artist: Monique Campbell

Monique Campbell observes the light that shines through the cracks illuminating the world. She developed an extraordinary sensitivity to her surroundings, situations and emotions of others because of her life experiences. Her photography is healing; a means of compensation for shadows in her mind as she chases the light.

Emerging Artist: Franca Marazia

Established Artist: Vanessa Crosbie Ramsay

As a professional artist, Vanessa’s practice includes film and video, storytelling, visual art, projection, site-specific installation, and community engagement. She’s a filmmaker and media artist with many years of experience creating both solo and collaborative works. Her art explores women’s identity and social equality, diverse representation, and the creative process.

Emerging Artist: Dima Matar

Established Artist: George Qua-Enoo

George is a lifestyle and advertising photographer based in Hamilton. When he is not out and about taking photographs for his numerous personal projects, he is creating beautiful photographic images for his clients in and around the Greater Toronto Hamilton Areas and for other international clients in the US and beyond. George’s photographs have been described by some as “lively”, “vibrant”, and “authentic”.

Emerging Artist: Richard Crabbe

Established Artist: Andre Bisson

This multi-talented vocalist, songwriter, and guitarist is a force to be reckoned with on the Canadian Blues/R&B scene. With the influences of Motown, Stax, and Blues, Bisson has recorded seven albums with orchestrations of up to 20 pieces. The success of these award-winning albums led to several international tours and sold-out concerts.

Emerging Artist: Vince Tarlton

Established Artist: Benjamin Hackett

Benjamin Hackett is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter. Working with his wife Mia in the duo Azalea, they have released five albums and tour extensively. Azalea’s song ‘I See The Church’ was nominated for a 2018 International Acoustic Music Award.  Benjamin is also lead vocalist and guitarist for the band Radio Merchant.

Emerging Artist: Jennifer Budd

Established Artist: Harrison Kennedy

HARRISON "SWEETTASTE" KENNEDY is a founding member of the million selling Detroit Group "THE CHAIRMEN OF THE BOARD" appeared on Soul Train, American Bandstand,  and the Tonight Show. His awards include a JUNO in 2016 for 'Blues Album of the Year',  Socan's 'Maple Blues Song Writer of the Year' in 2018, and the 39th Blues Music Awards Memphis Tennessee 2018.

Emerging Artist: Jason Hachey

Established Artist: Amy King

Amy has been a leading Music Producer and Recording Engineer at the legendary Grant Avenue Studio since 2002. She has proven to be an essential key, not only to the success of the many artists who use her skills exclusively but also to the continued success of Grant Avenue Studio.

Emerging Artist: Andrew MacPhail

Established Artist: Bill Majoros

Bill Majoros fell deeply in love with music at a very young age. As a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, teacher, author and performer he's recorded and toured the world with many legendary artists. 2018 has seen the release of his critically acclaimed 31 song, 3LP vinyl set under the name The Foreign Films.

Emerging Artist: Justin Ross

Established Artist: Mike McCurlie

Mike McCurlie grew up in Ancaster, playing and writing songs since high school. He spent several years on the road with Daniel Lanois in the 1970s, and then worked at Grant Avenue Studio in the 1980s. Since then, he’s headed up his own Hamilton audio & video production house, MJM Media.

Emerging Artist: Travis Stoddart

Established Artist: Terra Lightfoot

Terra Lightfoot is an acclaimed singer, guitarist and songwriter who has been active professionally since 2008, releasing four albums in the last decade. The only female artist yet to be awarded CIMA Road Gold status, Terra has toured four continents in support of her latest album, the JUNO-nominated ‘New Mistakes’.

Emerging Artist: Gillian Nicola

Established Artist: Max Schramp

Max Schramp is a musician from Hamilton, Ontario who has been experimenting with electronic music, jazz, and classical in various forms throughout the past 6 years under the alias of SLEEPYCATT. He hopes to revitalize the electronic music scene of the city with fresh, futuristic sounds.

Emerging Artist: Ryan Moore

Established Artist: Pip

Born in the mid-Atlantic, Pip rode a Carl Orff music raft to safety before even going to regular school. Although well-trained, he was part of the 70s First Wave. Subsequently he has led many bands in different genres and various countries performing Pip’s prolific and ever-more-nuanced musical output.

Emerging Artist: Olivia Brown

Established Artist: Marilo Nuñez

Marilo Nuñez is a playwright/director who was the founding Artistic Director of Alameda Theatre Company, one of Canada’s only theatre companies dedicated to the development of new work by Latinx playwrights. She is a graduate of Ryerson Theatre School’s acting program and is currently attending the University of Guelph for an MFA in Creative Writing.

Emerging Artist: Jenny Vasquez

Established Artist: Julio Ferrer

Julio Ferrer is a Cuban Canadian painter and printmaker whose Pop Art inspired artwork originates from and comments upon political, societal, as well as personal experience. Julio has participated in group exhibitions and solo exhibitions internationally. Ferrer has won numerous awards for his artwork, including two top prizes for his cartoons and political satire.

Emerging Artist: Katherine Murphy

Established Artist: Sylvia Nickerson

Sylvia Nickerson is a creator of comics, illustrations and installations that critique gender, class, capitalism and religion. Through exhibitions, printed books and social media Sylvia mobilizes her graphic art to question social norms around identity, representation, and belief. She is a member of the arts collective, Casino.

Emerging Artist: Benita Whyte

Established Artist: Gord Pullar

Ladies and wanna-be's, hailing from parts unknown, and sporting an anatomically correct Tigers-eye Jade skull ring and a full beard, Gord Pullar aka "Mango Salsa" has created a diverse body of work including illustrations for Guitar World magazine in New York, courtroom drawing for the CBC and most recently Hamilton Arts and Letters magazine. (Light Golf-clapping please)

Emerging Artist: Drew Taylor

Established Artist: Svava Thordis Juliusson

Svava Juliusson is a Hamilton based artist, born in Siglufjörður, Iceland in 1966. She received a BFA at NSCAD in 1997 and completed her MFA at York University in 2007. Juliusson has exhibited her work widely and her work can be found in public and private collections.

Emerging Artist: Maria Simmons

Established Artist: Josh Tiessen

Since earning top national awards in his first decade as a professional artist, Tiessen has garnered multiple international awards and is now recognized as a living master, representing Hamilton from New York to LA. Locally, he runs his own award-winning studio gallery, and curates a community gallery and artists group.

Emerging Artist: Amanda Cicero

Established Artist: Jamie Tennant

Jamie Tennant is a long-time freelance journalist and author. By day, he’s the Program Director at 93.3 CFMU FM, and the host of the literature program Get Lit. He was a National Magazine Award nominee and Hamilton Literary Awards finalist for his 2016 novel, ‘The Captain of Kinnoull Hill’.

Emerging Artist: Benjamin Robinson

Amber Aasman

Amber has been a full-time artist for most of her working life. Most recently in her craft practice, she creates jewelry from wood and epoxy resin, preserving tiny details from the natural world, and bringing them into full focus in her intimate pieces.

Connor Bennett

Connor Bennett is a sound sculptor, making woodwind mouthpieces by hand. He started his practice by sculpting mouthpieces for his own saxophones. After some years honing his skills, he expanded his practice to offer fully custom mouthpiece making services for musicians who are looking for a specific sound.

Pamela Blackwood Marques

Pamela Blackwood Marques has been supported by her husband for 32 years with two children and 6 grandchildren. She started designing dog wear and evolved into humans. Creating works of art has been a passion, and her creations occur organically. Pamela runs Out of the Attic Costume Design and is active in the theatre community.

Michelle Bosveld

Michelle Bosveld is a glass artist best known for being meticulous in her work. She currently focuses on the relationship between man-made and natural materials. Michelle often incorporates wood or stone with her glass-work, providing a way to bring nature indoors with a unique, personal aspect.

Aimee Burnett

As a Fine Craftsperson, Aimee Burnett practices shoemaking. Trained under master shoemaker Nasser Vies, she founded Pedlar Stock, a bespoke leatherworking company, in 2014 with Gabriel Baribeau. Aimee writes, exhibits, and educates others on craft and social enterprise entrepreneurship.

Mallory Gosselin

Mallory Gosselin is an emerging fashion designer from Hamilton, ON. She has an outstanding education from the esteemed George Brown College "Fashion Techniques and Design" program. She's not afraid to experiment with fabrics, techniques, and styles, never concerning herself too much with "the rules". Mallory's concepts are heavily inspired by nature, florals, and her personal journey as a young woman.

Jeff “Fuzzy” Mall

Fuzzy Mall is a self-taught textile artist.  As a recent transplant to Canada, he has spent the last year and a half quilting portraits of strangers who he's met, while exploring his new community of Hamilton.

Learn about the award categories and the selection process.