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2021 City of Hamilton Arts Awards short list announced

HAMILTON, ON - Thirty-seven local artists, arts collectives, arts community leaders and volunteers have been announced as part of the 2021 City of Hamilton Arts Awards short list. Nominees are listed below, and their biographies can be found at

Nominees are recognized in one of three categories:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Creator Award
  • Arts Champion Award

Winners will be selected by a jury of leading arts professionals and announced in a series of online presentations premiering each evening from Thursday, June 3, 2021, to Saturday, June 12, 2021, as part of the programing for Hamilton Arts Week in association with the Hamilton Arts Council.

An arts sector panel comprised of 45 local artists and arts professionals evaluated 122 public nominations for the 2021 Arts Awards, short listing the 37 nominees. 2021 marks the first year that public nominations have been shortlisted by an arts sector panel making the nomination process easier for the public and allowing arts sector professionals to contribute their expertise.

2021 City of Hamilton Arts Awards short list

Lifetime Achievement Award

Recognizes those who have contributed substantially to the artistic vitality of the city over the course of a career. One to be awarded.
Lifetime Achievement Nominees

  • Ron Weihs and Judith Sandiford
  • Tom Wilson

Creator Award

Conferred to individual artists and artistic collectives (including bands) working in any artistic discipline and at any career level. Up to nine to be awarded.
Creator Nominees

  • Aaron Joel Craig
  • André Bisson
  • Andrew Mcphail
  • Andrew O'Connor
  • Ariel Bader-Shamai
  • Azuline Duo
  • Bill Majoros (The Foreign Films)
  • Colette Kendall
  • Dan Edmonds
  • David Brace
  • Emma Smith
  • Hamilton Aerial Group
  • Jennifer Gillies
  • Jim Ruxton
  • Jolanta Oko
  • Jordi Alfaro
  • Karen Ancheta
  • Laura Ellis
  • Leon ‘Eklipz’ Robinson
  • Lyla Miklos
  • Michael Allgoewer
  • Nora Hutchinson
  • Olivia Brouwer
  • Rae Bates
  • Steacy Easton
  • Stephanie Hope Lawlor
  • stylo starr
  • Yuma Hester

Arts Champion Award

Honours the work of arts sector volunteers, advocates, or board members who are essential in supporting success in the arts community. Up to four to be awarded.
Arts Champion Nominees

  • Bethany Osborne
  • Bradlee Henry
  • Brenda Ferguson
  • Erica Commisso
  • Judy Marsales
  • Nancy McKibbin Gray
  • Teba Faisal

Quick Facts

  • A total of 122 public nominations were received for the 2021 Arts Awards, the highest number of nominations on record.
  • Recipients of the Creator and Lifetime Achievement Awards will receive a cash award of $2500, a commemorative medallion or certificate, and civic and media recognition. Arts Champions will be recognized with a special gift of recognition.
  • The Arts Awards is a City of Hamilton program managed by the Tourism and Culture Division.
  • The City of Hamilton Arts Awards Program has awarded $325,000 and 166 awards since 2011.
  • Cobalt Connects, the Arts Awards Program Consultant for 2021, oversees the nomination and adjudication process as well as event production.
  • The Arts Awards program was established in 1976.


“The City of Hamilton Arts Awards recognizes and celebrates the rich culture and talent we have in our community. Art has been the motivating factor to drive innovation in Hamilton and is a key influence in the development and revitalization of our city. Congratulations to the 2021 short list of nominees.”

Mayor Fred Eisenberger

“As one of Canada’s longest-running municipal arts awards programs, it is exciting to see the City of Hamilton Arts Awards program evolve to become more accessible and reflective of today’s arts community. We appreciate all of the artists and arts professionals who have contributed to making this year’s program a success.”

Carrie Brooks-Joiner, Director of Tourism and Culture

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