The Mayor’s Arts Awards is an annual recognition program that celebrates high artistic achievement and recognizes extraordinary contributions in and to the arts. Yesterday, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021, Mayor Bryan Paterson recognized the 2020 recipients of the Mayor’s Arts Awards at an online event.
“Congratulations to the recipients of this year’s Mayor’s Arts Awards program! This event, where we come together to celebrate our community’s remarkable artists, organizations and supporters of the arts, is always a highlight of my year,” said Mayor Bryan Paterson. “The arts add so much to our quality of life in Kingston and is a key part of what makes our city vibrant, and it’s a particularly important time for us to continue to support the arts in Kingston.”
The City, through the cultural services department, administers the Mayor’s Arts Awards program and works with the Kingston Arts Council (KAC) to document and promote the work of award recipients that includes commissioning profile videos, according to a release from the City, dated Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. The nomination of award recipients is facilitated through the City of Kingston Arts Advisory Committee (AAC) that, each year, establishes a Council approved Nominations Working Group (NWG) for this purpose.
The 2020 Mayor’s Arts Awards recipients will also be formally recognized by city council at the meeting tonight, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. The Jan.18 online event can be viewed here and the Jan. 19 city council meeting can be viewed here.
2020 Mayor’s Arts Awards recipients by category
The Creator Award (cash prize of $2,500, award and certificate) recognizes living artists, artistic collectives, or arts organizations. Three Creator Awards are given each year to honour artistic merit and/or innovation that advances the arts in the City, contributes to the development of the art form and expresses the cultural vitality of Kingston. The 2020 recipients are:
Kay Kenney, a professional contemporary dancer and choreographer. Kay trained with the Kingston School of Dance and the Professional Contemporary Dance Programme at The School of Dance in Ottawa. Her performance and choreographic accomplishments since graduation, and her work in Kingston, Montreal, Toronto, and Ottawa are impressive indicators of her dedication to advancing the art of dance. In 2018, Kay moved back to Kingston where shares her passion for innovative creation and performance through professional dance and movement instruction from her new studio in Portsmouth Village.
Chaka Chikodzi, a Zimbabwe-born Canadian sculptor who has been living and working in Kingston for the past decade. A talented stone carver, he imaginatively adapts the traditions of Zimbabwe to the Canadian context, using dense, beautifully figured volcanic rock to create dramatic forms. His work has been exhibited and collected across Canada, and he has been active in arts education in the schools, a camp for urban youth, and with newcomer youth. In 2015, he undertook a residency at the National Gallery Zimbabwe (Bulawayo) with the support of the Ontario Arts Council.
The Kingston Symphony Orchestra, a professional orchestra that, under the leadership of Music Director Evan Mitchell and General Manager Andrea Haughton, has excelled in making orchestral music meaningful to modern audiences. Its various outreach and education programs bring music to a broad and increasingly diverse audience, providing new relevance to the music of the past while championing the works of Canadian composers, women, and ethnically under-represented composers.
Arts Champion Award
The Arts Champion Award (award and certificate) recognizes a living individual, organization or corporation who makes an extraordinary, leading contribution to the arts in Kingston as a volunteer, advocate, supporter, sponsor and/or philanthropist. The 2020 recipient is:
Bruce Kauffman, a poet, editor, radio host, open-mic and other events organizer, and general nurturer of poetic talent. He has published four collections and four chapbooks and edited eight literary anthologies. Kauffman’s monthly open-mic reading series, begun in 2009, maintains a large and devoted following. His weekly literary radio show, “finding a voice,” has aired on CFRC since 2010. Last year, Bruce was profiled in a feature-length documentary of Kingston’s poetry community entitled “Who is Bruce Kauffman?”
Limestone Arts Legacy Award
The Limestone Arts Legacy Award (award and certificate) recognizes individuals of the past whose sustained and substantial contributions have built the artistic vitality of the City, nurturing and enabling forms of creation, participation, presentation and enjoyment, whose leadership has inspired others, and whose influence has been felt in the region and beyond. The 2020 recipient is:
Daniel David Moses (1952-2020), a highly respected dramaturge, editor, essayist, teacher, and writer-in-residence with institutions across the country. Along with being an award-winning playwright and poet, Daniel was unique in his position as a First Nations playwright with a body of work of consistent and superior quality. Over the course of 30 years, Daniel wrote more than 12 plays, four books of poetry and co-edited four volumes of ‘An Anthology of Canadian Native Literature in English.’ His exceptional artistry, demonstrated commitment, and ongoing creative growth served to elevate the art form.