The following is a submitted Letter to the Editor from Katherine Porter, Executive Director of Kingston’s H’art Centre. The views and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Kingstonist.
To the Editor,
We want to say thank you to the Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce for recognizing models of excellence and community service by businesses in Kingston at the 26th annual Business Excellence Awards held at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts last week.
Congratulations again to the many deserving nominees in this Arts & Culture category at the Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce’s Business Excellence 2022 Awards ceremony, including Cornerstone Canadian Art & Craft, Katarokwi Indigenous Art & Food Market, David Dosset of Martello Alley, EronOne, Kingston Theatre Alliance, and Cantabile Choirs of Kingston. It shows how important and integral the arts are to our community to see how many were nominated. It is an honour to be chosen to receive this award and to be a part of this vibrant community with you all.
Since 1998, the registered not-for-profit, charitable H’art Centre has been a downtown inclusive arts hub where artists with disabilities and those facing barriers can create, study, and produce works in the arts, and collaborate with qualified, trained community artists. We do this to nurture a vibrant, exciting, and supportive culture that encourages artists, staff, volunteers, and audiences to reach beyond limiting beliefs and expectations. We want people to value and recognize artists individually for their abilities, and to share this understanding with the world.
We believe the arts should be accessible to everybody in our community for the duration of their lives. We are fortunate to be able to work with the artists at H’art Centre and to show the community what they can do and to showcase their talent when so often they are denied that opportunity. This award means so much to us — the staff, volunteers, and professional artists, but it also means so much to the artists who come and work with us every day to build their talent and create their works.
We look forward to sharing their new work, and the artwork of 10 inclusive arts studios from across Canada, with you starting next month. We are hosting a national inclusive art exhibit in our new outreach and gallery space, The Mix. Look for event details on our website soon. Until then, sign up for our newsletter at www.hartcentre.ca to stay tuned, because we’re just getting started, Kingston!