Arts Awards

About the Arts Awards

2020 Arts Awards

Arts awards medallionThe 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.

Each year, citizens nominate artists for consideration by independent juries of arts professionals who choose notable artists and arts community leaders to honour for their excellence and contributions to Hamilton. In 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award and Creator Award recipients will be presented with a cash award and a signature medallion. Arts Champions will receive a special gift of recognition. Learn more about previous Art Awards recipients

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

Subscribe to the Arts Awards mailing list

Stay informed about nomination and celebration opportunities.

The City of Hamilton collects information under Section 227 of the Municipal Act, 2001. Any personal information collected for City of Hamilton Arts Awards newsletter will be used to email you the newsletter. By providing your email address, you are consenting to receiving emails from the City of Hamilton and/or their agents/contractors for information provision purposes. Information collected for this initiative may be stored on servers located in Canada and the United States and may be subject to Canadian and/or American laws.

Questions about the collection of this personal information can be directed to City of Hamilton Arts Awards, [email protected] 905-546-2424 ext. 7612

2021 City of Hamilton Arts Awards Recipients Announcements

Get to know the 2021 City of Hamilton Arts Awards recipients as they are revealed in a series of 11 podcast-style episodes that will be released as part of Hamilton Arts Week June 3 to 12.  Join host Gavin Stephens each evening at 7 pm for interviews with Lifetime Achievement, Creator, and Arts Champion Award recipients.

Tune in via Watch Parties on the City of Hamilton Arts Awards Facebook page or the City’s YouTube Channel. All episodes will also be available on the Arts Awards Online Presentation page.

Gavin Stephens

Gavin Stephens is a Hamilton-based stand-up comedian who skillfully balances playful irony and morbid silliness; he is known for his (really) quick wit and stream of consciousness comedic style.

Gavin has been featured in Montreal, & Toronto’s Just For Laughs Festivals. As well as the Cape Town Comedy fest,  and Austin’s SXSW, alongside comedy legends Margaret Cho, Janeane Garofalo, Andy Kindler, Reggie Watts, Hannibal Buress and Marc Maron. He has been named one of the “10 Funniest Canadians” by StarTV and chosen as “Best Local Stand-up Comic” in NOW Magazine’s Readers Choice poll. He’s appeared on CTV and the Comedy Network in The Buzz, Comedy Inc., and on CBC’s Debaters and The Baroness Von Sketch Show.

When he’s not performing or hosting the Uncolonized podcast, he can be found practicing his knitting or cheering on the Raptors.  His perfect day includes watching cartoons, reading comic books and watching indie wrestling.

Janet Rogers

Janet Rogers is a Mohawk/Tuscarora writer from Six Nations of the Grand River. She was born in Vancouver British Columbia in 1963 and raised in southern Ontario. Janet traveled throughout 2017-2019 working within numerous residencies in Vancouver BC, Santa Fe NM and Edmonton AB. Janet is based on the Six Nations territory of the Grand River where she operates the Ojistoh Publishing label. Janet works in page poetry, spoken word performance poetry, video poetry and recorded poetry with music. She is a radio broadcaster, documentary producer and media and sound artist.

Her literary titles include; Splitting the Heart, Ekstasis Editions 2007, Red Erotic, Ojistah Publishing 2010, Unearthed, Leaf Press 2011 “Peace in Duress” Talonbooks 2014 and Totem Poles and Railroads ARP Books 2016, “As Long As the Sun Shines” (English edition), Bookland Press 2018 with a Mohawk language edition released in 2019. “Ego of a Nation” is Janet’s 7th poetry title which she independently produced on the Ojistoh Publishing label 2020.

Jackson Twobears and Janet collaborate as 2Ro Media. They combined their individual talents and skills along with National Screen Institute training to produce two short documentaries;  NDNs on the Airwaves about Six Nations radio (APTN 2016), Moving Voice, a Telus STORYHIVE sponsored digital broadcast 2019 featuring the travels of literary trailblazer and Mohawk poetess E. Pauline Johnson, and The Spirit of Rage a short experimental video poem about anti-racism.  Janet won the 45th Annual American Indian Film Festival 2020, BEST MUSIC VIDEO award for her video Ego of a Nation produced with Wes Day of Fresh Shift Productions.

2021 Arts Awards Digital Magazine

Arts Awards Digital Magazine

View the 2021 Arts Awards Digital Magazine which includes illustrations profiling the recipients’ careers and other key program content.

NEW! Shirley Elford Emerging Artist Commission Prize

We are pleased to join with Hamilton Community Foundation's Shirley M. Elford Artists’ Fund to present the Shirley Elford Emerging Artist Commission Prize. As a new Arts Awards program development, in 2021 two emerging artists (practicing in any discipline) will each be given a $2000 commission fee to create an artwork that explores contemporary themes related to Hamilton’s evolving identity. The commissions will be presented at the 2022 City of Hamilton Arts Awards Event.

Learn more about this new opportunity for emerging artists

City of Hamilton Arts Awards Commitment to Inclusion and Representation

As Hamilton has seen many demographic, economic and cultural shifts over the past few decades, so has the city’s arts sector and communities. The individuals and groups who make up this sector are diverse among many lines. They include Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, differently-abled and LGBTQ2SI+ individuals and collectives at different stages in their artistic careers, and working in a wide diversity of disciplinary practices, and citizens practicing across Hamilton’s 15 wards.

Hamilton’s municipal Arts Awards program strives to represent the diversity of this sector through all aspects of the program including:

  • Composition of:
    • Arts Sector Review Panel
    • Final Jury
  • Outreach to key individuals, organizations and community groups to encourage public nominations
  • Commissioning of artist programming for the Arts Awards Event / Celebration

Learn more about the nomination process, eligibility criteria, submission requirements, and how nominations are scored

Connect with us in person

Jen Anisef
Phone: 905-546-2424 ext. 7612
Email: [email protected]

Join our email list

To sign up for our email list, email [email protected]

Follow us on social media

 City of Hamilton Arts Awards

Twitter icon @HamArtsAwards


Check out #HAA2021 on social media to join the Arts Awards conversation.