Arts Awards

About the Arts Awards

hamilton arts awards 2022 banner

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 2022 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 Arts Awards recipients

2022 City of Hamilton Arts Awards Event

The Hamilton Arts Awards are back!
After two years of celebrating our remarkable arts community exclusively online, the City of Hamilton is excited to be offering a dynamic in-person experience on Thursday June 9, 7 to 9pm as part Hamilton Arts Week 2022.

To encourage the community to fall back in love with our city’s arts spaces, we’re hosting events at three venues (and online) simultaneously across Hamilton, each with their own unique flair, while also celebrating the 2022 Arts Awards Short List and Award Recipients.

Join us June 9 for exhibitions and performances, film screenings, secret patios, vinyl lounges, vintage ice cream trucks, and more!

Learn more about the free event

Award categories


Lifetime Achievement Award (1 Award, $2,500)

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes living artists and arts professionals who have contributed substantially to the artistic vitality of the city over the course of a career, and have inspired others through their leadership, creativity and artistic excellence. These individuals’ experience and impact may be local, national or international in scope.

Creator Awards (minimum of 8 Awards, $2500 per award)

The Creator Awards recognize living artists, arts professionals and artistic collectives working in any artistic discipline and at any career level. A minimum of eight Creator Awards will be given each year to recognize artistic excellence and/or innovation that contributes to artistic growth in the city, progresses the artform and expresses the cultural vitality and diversity of Hamilton’s art scene.

Note: Emerging artists and bands / art collectives are eligible for nomination for this award.

Arts Champion Award (up to 4 Awards, non-monetary award)

The Arts Champion Award recognizes living individuals who are outstanding supporters of the arts in Hamilton as volunteers, advocates, or board members. 

This is a non-monetary award and recipients will be given a special gift of recognition. This award is open to adults and youth over 14 years old.

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

2022 Arts Awards Recipients

Nominations for the 2022 City of Hamilton Arts Awards are now closed and a jury of arts sector experts have reviewed shortlisted nominations and selected the 2022 Award Recipients. Meet the 2022 Arts Awards Recipients.

Shirley Elford Emerging Artist Commission Prize

We are pleased to partner with the Hamilton Community Foundation to present the Shirley Elford Emerging Artist Commission Prize. In 2022 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 2023 City of Hamilton Arts Awards Event.

Applications for the Shirley Elford Emerging Artist Commission Prize are now CLOSED

Learn more about this 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]

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