Arts Awards

Arts Awards Recipients

hamilton arts awards 2022 banner

The City Hamilton is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2022 City of Hamilton Arts Awards!
Join us at our dynamic in-person experience at 3 venues to celebrate all nominees and recipients on Thursday June 9 as part Hamilton Arts Week 2022.

Lifetime Achievement Award

One Lifetime Achievement Award is conferred annually to recognize living artists or arts managers 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.

Arts Awards Short Listed Nominee Harrison Kennedy

Harrison Kennedy

Born and raised in Hamilton, Harrison Kennedy is respected worldwide as a living blues legend. He was a member of the million-selling group, The Chairman of the Board and has released six JUNO-nominated albums as a solo artist, including the JUNO-winning, This is From Here, inspired by his hometown of Hamilton.

Creator Awards

The Creator Awards recognize living artists or 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.

Arts Awards Short Listed Nominee Donna-Michelle St. Bernard

Donna-Michelle St. Bernard

Donna-Michelle St. Bernard aka Belladonna the Blest is an emcee, playwright and agitator. She is emcee in residence at Theatre Passe Muraille, associate artist at lemonTree Creations, artistic director of New Harlem Productions, coordinator of the AD HOC Assembly, and of new play development at Nightwood Theatre and Theatre Aquarius



Arts Awards Short Listed Nominee Emma Smith

Emma Smith

Emma Smith is an award-winning artist and educator who aims to celebrate the significance of place, environment, and land, through her life philosophy and artistic practice. Exploring this theme largely through woodfired ceramics, her work is made to be experienced quietly, encouraging moments of contemplation and reflection.

Arts Awards Short Listed Nominee Jaclyn Desforges

Jaclyn Desforges

Jaclyn Desforges is an award-winning poet and children’s book author. Her debut poetry collection, Danger Flower, was one of CBC Books’ picks for the best Canadian poetry of 2021. She writes about neurodivergence, queerness, and nature, and aims to make poetry accessible to all through her teaching and community work.



Arts Awards Short Listed Nominee Joe Ollmann

Joe Ollman

Joe Ollmann is a cartoonist who has lived in Hamilton most of his life. He is the author of seven graphic novels. His most recent book, Fictional Father was short-listed for The Governor General’s Award in Canada, the first time a graphic novel was nominated for that award.

Arts Awards Short Listed Nominee Kristina Durka

Kristina Durka

Kristina Durka is a media artist, arts administrator, and rabbit enthusiast from Hamilton, Ontario. Her work has been exhibited throughout North America and is held in international private collections. Durka is currently the Co-Chair of Assembly Gallery, Operations Coordinator for Factory Media Centre, and Programming Assistant at Hamilton Artists Inc.

Arts Awards Short Listed Nominee Marla Panko

Marla Panko

Marla Panko is an established painter who also works in collage and fibre. Her approach is visually rooted in abstract formalism, while contextually, her work examines how the individual interacts with our shared culture. Marla has concurrently sustained a long and varied career in art education and arts administration.

Arts Awards Short Listed Nominee Santee Smith

Santee Smith

Santee Smith is a multidisciplinary artist from the Kahnyen’kehàka Nation, Turtle Clan, Six Nations of the Grand River. Her artistic work speaks about identity, Indigenous narratives, creative process and representation. Santee is a sought-after teacher and speaker on the performing arts and Indigenous performance and culture. Having recently culminated The Mush Hole tour, a production based on the truths of Canada's first Indian Residential School, her upcoming public art commission Talking Earth will premiere in June at the Gardiner Museum, TO.


Arts Awards Short Listed Nominee Terrance Odette

Terrance Odette

Hamilton Film-maker Terrance Odette began directing music television series & specials, including 150 music videos. He’s written & directed 4 award-winning narrative feature films to critical acclaim (Variety, Village Voice), screening at festivals including Sundance, Berlin and TIFF. Odette latest feature films include two documentaries “Festa” and “Unimaginable”.


Arts Awards Short Listed Nominee Yuma Dean Hester

Yuma Hester

Anishinaabe (Neyaashiinigmiing), and Ililowuk (Moose Factory) Yuma has spent the better part of 20 years in community development, working and consulting with over 30 First Nations communities. Currently a founding member, and Creative Director with Bawaadan Collective. Yuma along with a diverse group of Indigenous artists and accomplices work collaboratively to continually develop our collaborative approaches to modern artistic storytelling and film production processes.

Arts Champion Awards

Arts Champion Awards are conferred annually to 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 students and youth over 14 years old.

Arts Awards Short Listed Nominee Nancy Benoy and Cornelia Peckart

Art to Go Podcast (Nancy Benoy, Cornelia Peckart)

Art To Go Podcast was created by Nancy Benoy and Cornelia Peckart. The co-hosts are artists and educators who created the podcast to celebrate the arts and culture of the city of Hamilton. They laugh, have fun, enjoy adventure and tend to be on the optimistic side of the spectrum.


Arts Awards Short Listed Nominee David Beresford

David Beresford

David Beresford has over 15 years professional experience doing live caricature drawings, illustrations and painting projects. He has volunteered with the Lawson Ministries Paparella Art program and the Autism Centre in Downtown Hamilton. He has helped many individuals with their art projects, creative ideas and social interaction skills.


Arts Awards Short Listed Nominee Jamie Smith

Jamie Smith

Jamie Smith, Diploma Radio Broadcasting at Mohawk College of Applied Arts and Technology; host of SCM radio program on CFMU 93.3FM and INDI 101.5FM, member of the CFMU 93.3 programming committee. Currently working on creating a media channel dedicated to the greater Hamilton area arts and music community.



The Arts Awards are a joint effort amongst many, and we thank those who have contributed to this year’s program, including the nominees, nominators, sector review panel and jurors.  The selection process Arts Awards was divided into 2 phases:

  • Phase 1 An Arts Sector Review Panel reviewed and ranked the Long List of nomination statements of support submitted by the public. These rankings were used to create the Short List.
  • Phase 2 The Final Arts Awards Jury adjudicated the Short List’s full nomination packages to select the Arts Champion, Lifetime Achievement and Creator Award recipients through a consensus-based discussion process.

Read the 2022 Final Jury Reports detailing the jury’s discussion and decisions:

2022 Arts Sector Review Panel

  • Alex Zafer
  • Amanda Immurs
  • Amina Zurhiwady
  • Amy King
  • Andrew McPhail
  • Astrid Hepner
  • Brian Morton
  • Darlene Macneil
  • Dave Kuruc
  • Dejean Hamilton
  • Donna Akrey
  • Dejean Hamilton
  • Florencia Berinstein
  • Janessa Pudwell
  • James Mall
  • James Tennant
  • Jody Boston
  • Kayla Whitney
  • Kelly Wolf
  • Klyde Broox
  • Lisa La Rocca
  • Lisa Pijuan Nomura
  • Margaret Flood
  • Olivia Brouwer
  • Sandra Mulder
  • Siobohan Lynch
  • Stephanie Montini
  • Stephen Near
  • Tony Clenell
  • Trevor Copp
  • Victoria Long

2022 Final Arts Awards Jury

  • Carmela Langese
  • Christina Tarsitano
  • Dan Edmonds
  • Heather Kanabe
  • Jennifer Gillies
  • Josh Taylor
  • Laura Couchie
  • Liss Platt
  • LTtheMonk
  • Luis Arrojo
  • Nancy McKibbin Gray
  • Scott Barnim

Jury Auditors (Arts Advisory Commission)

  • Lisa La Rocca
  • Monika Ciolek

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