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2019 City of Hamilton Arts Awards Recipients Announced

HAMILTON, ON - The City Hamilton is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2019 City of Hamilton Arts Awards, presented Thursday June 13 at Theatre Aquarius Dofasco Centre for the Arts.

The awards ceremony and reception celebrated Hamilton's dynamic arts community with art installations, live performances, locally-sourced catering, and the announcement of the 19 Award recipients profiled below.

Lifetime Achievement, Arts Innovation and all discipline-specific recipients received a $2,500 cash prize and bronze medallion; Emerging Artist recipients received $1,000; and the Shirley Elford Emerging Artist Prize recipient received $2,000 and a glass sculpture.

Award nominations are submitted by community members. An independent jury comprised of discipline-specific artists and arts professionals evaluates and selects the strongest nominations, based on each nominee’s work, career, and reception by the arts community at large. Nominations must achieve a minimum benchmark score to be eligible for the award. 


Bob Doidge
Proud Gordon Lightfoot Producer and owner of Grant Avenue Studio, music has taken Bob everywhere from the North Pole to Easter Island. Working with artists such as U2, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Los Lobos, Rita MacNeil, Caroline Wiles, Red Green Show and Bruce Cockburn resulting in two gold and a triple-platinum album.


Briana Palmer
Briana Palmer’s teaching, research and practice are deeply rooted in the western traditions of print media. Her approach is to consider the historical impact of the printing press, with regards to material process and the health of our society; to challenge social ideologies, perception and experience of conventional knowledge.


Presented by the Shirley Elford Fund at the Hamilton Community Foundation

Aaron Hutchinson
Aaron Hutchinson is a producer, engineer, musician and sound artist. They make music as Hutchie, with Eschaton, Haolin Munk and many other ensembles. Aaron has taken their music to the United States, Europe and around Canada. They are a founding member of Fort Rose, the Hamilton Audio Visual Node and HAVNrecords.


Sue Crowe Connolly
Sue Crowe Connolly teaches functional vocal training and community music facilitation. She works with people to claim their own voice, and trains vocal teachers and choral leaders. She founded Hamilton Sings! Community Choir, a non-audition choir for adults and older youth. She is deeply honoured by this nomination.

Emerging Artist: Hanna Bech Mathieson


Stephe​n Near
Stephen Near is an established writer, educator, and arts administrator based in Hamilton. For eight years, he was Program Director and Operations Officer with the Hamilton Arts Council where he assisted in such programming as the Hamilton Literary Awards, Arts Week, and the arts council’s annual Culture Guide.

Emerging Artist: Jo Johnson


Jay Jillard
For the last decade, Jillard Guitars has found success on the worldwide stage through the creation of high quality custom guitars, while also becoming a pillar in the Hamilton music community. This year Jay spearheads the '99 James' guitar project, in support of Hamilton charity, ‘An Instrument For Every Child’.

Emerging Artist: Jonny Aplin


Taien Ng-Chan
Taien Ng-Chan makes maps, videos, websites, podcasts and radio plays, artist book-works, and social events. She has written and produced for stage, screen, and CBC radio; her media works have been shown across Canada and internationally. She is a founding member of the artist-research collective Hamilton Perambulatory Unit.

Emerging Artist: Sonali Menezes


Amy King
Amy has been a leading Music Producer and Recording Engineer at the legendary Grant Avenue Studio since 2002. She has proven to be essential, not only to the success of the many artists who use her skills exclusively, but also to the continued success of Grant Avenue Studio.

Emerging Artist: Alex Whorms


Trevor Copp
Trevor is a physical theatre creator. As Artistic Director of Tottering Biped Theatre, he has developed and toured original theatre pieces internationally, created an annual outdoor Shakespeare production with the Royal Botanical Gardens, and developed a gender- neutral system of partner dancing. His work is known for its unique physicality combining theatre with mime, contact improvisation, and gusto. 

Emerging Artist: Jesse Horvath


Carmela Laganse
Carmela Laganse creates interactive, portable, and modular environments in a variety of media that critically reflect on displacement, colonization, immigration and migration. Her work curiously unpacks the affects of these experiences and examines how they contribute to material culture as well as her own identity, quality of life and her ongoing education. Originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Laganse now resides in Hamilton with her family and teaches at the School of the Arts at McMaster University. 

Emerging Artist: Kiera Boult


Award-winning bellydancer, Eshe is the owner of Hamilton's Mahasti –The Bellydance Emporium where she hosts classes, shows, workshops, competitions and more. Born and raised in Hamilton, she’s trained extensively in Canada, Japan, Egypt, and Turkey and has performed internationally in America, Turkey, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia.

Emerging Artist: Angela Josephine

Emerging Artists and Award Sponsors

Each award winner in a discipline specific category selected an emerging artist for recognition. Each emerging artist received a monetary prize of $1,000 to support the development of their work. Local businesses financially contributed to the 2019 Arts Awards Program to make these emerging artist prizes possible and representatives were on hand to present the awards and connect with deserving nominees.

The City of Hamilton gratefully acknowledges these organizations, and the Reception and In-Kind sponsors for their generous contributions:

  • Arts Education and Community Arts Award - Marz Homes
  • Arts Management Award - BLR, LLP Chartered Professional Accountants
  • Fine Craft Award - Elizabeth Parker, Sales representative, Judy Marsales Real Estate Ltd Brokerage
  • Media Arts Award - dpai Architecture Inc
  • Music Award - Mohawk College
  • Theatre Award - The Incite Foundation for the Arts
  • Visual Arts Award - Upper James Toyota 
  • Dance and Performing Arts Award - Core Urban Inc.
  • Media Sponsor - The Hamilton Spectator
  • Venue Sponsor - Theatre Aquarius
  • Photography Sponsor - Banko Media
  • Print Sponsor - Reprodux
  • Reception Sponsor - IPC Securities, Next Steps Planning and View Magazine

Fast Facts

  • The City of Hamilton Arts Awards is one of the oldest municipally-led arts awards programs in Canada.
  • The program celebrates and builds awareness of the valued contribution that artists make to Hamilton, demonstrates the City’s pride in Hamilton’s arts community, inspires and enhances success, fosters growth and develops talent.