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Show some love for local artists

Nominations are open for the third annual Raven’ About the Arts Awards.

The awards, which will be presented during Culture Days in September, recognize artists and artisans in the community.

“Seven artists are picked as winners,” said Marianne Garrah of Habitat for the Arts. Also selected is a “patron, which is somebody who supports the arts, and a pillar, which is somebody who inspires or has been involved for years and years.

“I’m seeking nominations from as many places as I possibly can and anybody can make a nomination.”

The nominees should fulfill three criteria: excellence, merit and community impact, “but of course we also listen to what people think of the artists,” she adds.

Last years winners were Nicole Koebel for dance; Sonia Deleo for theatre; Jonathan Thornton for music; Gregory Deagle for visual arts; Paulette Dube for writing; and Mike Gere for photography. Helen Schwartz was named a pillar and Louise Medig was named a patron.

The arts community tends to be humble, said Garrah, but people are less shy now that this is the third year of awards. “People are sending in lots of nominations and dropping names.

“This is an industry that has supported me for over 30 years and while I personally know the value of the arts, it is often overlooked as a viable industry.”

The community has increased its awareness of the arts and artists are getting more involved in events, she points out. The recent Secret Garden Tour and Jasper in January are examples.

“This award is very special because not only does it give recognition to otherwise lonely artists and creators, it is coming from our peers,” said past recipient Dube. “The generations that follow are fostered, nourished and guided by the strong community support that such awards provide.”

The awards are a way to “increase community spirit about the arts and honour the absolutely incredible creativity that exists in our community already,” said Kim Wallace, who received an award in 2011 for theatre. “Garrah and Dave Baker from Habitat for the Arts put in a tremendous amount of work. I’d just like to see them honoured in our community, they do a lot for the arts.”

To send in a nomination, email arts@iotad.ca. Nominations are open until the end of August, and the awards ceremony takes place on Sept. 27 at the Legion.

 

Sarah Makowsky
reporter@fitzhugh.ca

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