Arts Awards

About the Arts Awards

2020 Arts Awards

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 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

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. Applications are due on or before Friday March 12, 2021.

Learn more about this new opportunity for emerging artists

2021 Arts Awards Nominations

Nominations for the 2021 City of Hamilton Arts Awards are now closed. Shortlisted Nominees will be contacted in the coming weeks, announced in the spring and celebrated at a public event in June

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

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

Connect with us in person

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

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