Arts Awards

About the Arts Awards

2020 Arts Awards

2020 City of Hamilton Arts Awards Online Video Series
June 12, 14, 16, 18 & 20  at 7 pm

Celebrate the 2020 City of Hamilton Arts Awards nominees and winners. A series of 5 online videos will be released as part of Hamilton Arts Week (June 12-20) Join host Laura Ellis as we announce the award winners and feature nominee profiles, feature interviews and headliner performances.

Join the Watch Party

Starting on June 12 at 7 pm, you can be a part of the watch party on the City of Hamilton Arts Awards Facebook page or on Hometown Hub - videos will be posted here the day after they air.

Episode 1

Friday June 12, 7pm
Episode 1 features greetings from Mayor Fred Eisenberger, the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Hamilton Youth Poets speaking on themes of resiliency.

Episode 2

Sunday June 14, 7pm
Episode 2 features awards in Theatre, Visual Art and Fine Craft.

Episode 3

Tuesday June 16, 7pm
Episode 3 features awards in Arts Management, Dance & Performing Arts, and Media Arts.

Episode 4

Thursday June 18, 7pm
Episode 4 features Writing, Music and the Shirley Elford Emerging Artist Prize in Arts Education & Community Arts. 

Episode 5

Watch Party Saturday June 20, 7pm
Episode 5 features the Arts Innovation award, messages from City of Hamilton leadership, and a special performance by emo dream pop artist ELLIS.


Laura Ellis is an award winning actor, director, writer and arts educator in the theatre and film industry. Over the past ten years, she has worked with several companies including the Hamilton Film Festival, Nightwood Theatre, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Canadian Stage, Tarragon Theatre, the Magnetic North Theatre Festival, and Theatre Aquarius. Laura is the Co-Artistic Director of Women’s Work  and Co-Founder of The Hamilton LOFT - Ladies of Film and Television (two local professional artistic collectives driven to create female-centric work). In 2015, she was the recipient of the Emerging Artist Award in Theatre Performance from The City of Hamilton Arts Awards. Currently, Laura hosts the show "Backstage Pass" on Cable14, which highlights the careers of local artists. In her not-so-spare time, she can be found kicking butt in martial arts classes, performing as part of the female comedy sketch troupe The Awkward Rebels, and napping with her cats.


Fri June 12 Hamilton Youth Poets (HYP) is a community grounded in the belief that all people have important stories to tell. We are people from different backgrounds who have come together to understand the importance of our own stories and those of others, so all can pursue a chosen path and work to make the places we call home more just and equitable. Our relationships began at HYP based on a shared love of creative expression through the written and spoken word.

 Sat June 20 Ellis is the music project of Linnea Siggelkow. In 2018 she released her debut EP The Fuzz which quickly drew international acclaim and caught the attention of Fat Possum Records.  2020 saw her release her debut record Born Again.  Born Again unfolds with a mesmerizing subtlety, gracefully spotlighting Ellis’s unhurried melodies, starkly confessional lyrics, and the luminous vocal work she’s shown in opening for artists like Soccer Mommy and Alvvays.

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. 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

Arts Awards Steering Committee

The Arts Awards Steering Committee is the citizen working group that assists in planning and delivering the annual Arts Awards program. The Committee advises on program elements including the nomination package and adjudication criteria, contributing nomination outreach and event planning guidance based on their specialized knowledge of Hamilton’s arts community.

We thank the 2020 Arts Awards Steering Committee for their contributions in shaping the 2020 Arts Awards Program.

  • Beeka Abraham
  • Sonali Menezes
  • Shane Pennells
  • Heather Kanabe
  • Sara Dickinson
  • Christina Volpini
  • Bronwyn Gent
  • Eileen Reilly (Arts Advisory Commission representative)

Connect with us in person

Jen Anisef
Phone: 905-546-2424 ext. 7612
Email: [email protected]
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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Check out #HAA2020 on Twitter to join the Arts Awards conversation.