The Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council (NLAC) held a news conference to make several announcements related to the 2009 Arts Awards Show and Gala. The news conference took place at the Research Centre for the Study of Music, Media and Place (MMaP) at the Arts and Culture Centre in St. John’s.
The NLAC Arts Awards is an annual celebration of the arts in Newfoundland and Labrador. Artists of all disciplines are recognized through the presentation of six awards.
The Arts Awards Show and Gala will take place on Saturday May 2, 8 p.m. at the Reid Theatre in St. John’s.
Finalists were announced today in three award categories:
Artist of the Year 2008 – recognizes the art or activity of a person, group or organization that has made an outstanding contribution to the cultural life of Newfoundland and Labrador in 2008.
The finalists are:
• Duo Concertante – classical chamber music ensemble
• Justin Simms – filmmaker
• Sherry White – screenwriter, filmmaker and performer
Arts in Education 2008 – recognizes an artist who has made an outstanding contribution to arts in education in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2008. The finalists are:
• Robin Grant – visionary, writer and youth activist
• Rob Power – performer and music educator
• Christina Smith – Newfoundland musician and teacher
Emerging Artist 2008 – recognizes new and undisputed talent. It is awarded to an emerging artist, group or arts organization that has earned significant recognition for a piece of work or a generally out-sized impact on the scene. The finalists are:
• Curtis Andrews – percussionist, composer and teacher
• Riddle Fence – journal of arts and culture
• Kellie Walsh – choral conductor
Also announced today were the 2009 inductees into the NLAC Hall of Honour. This award recognizes a person, group or organization that has made a distinguished lifetime contribution to the cultural life of Newfoundland and Labrador. The inductees for 2009 are:
• Rick Boland – actor, writer and director
• Central Newfoundland Visual Arts Society (CNVAS)
These awards will be officially presented at the Arts Awards ceremony on May 2.
Two more awards will be presented on May 2nd: Arts Achievement 2008 and Patron of the Arts 2008. (Council does not prepare a list of finalists in these award categories.)
Well-known theatre director Danielle Irvine returns this year to produce and direct the show. The theme she has chosen to work with is “Anything is Possible”.
“Reflecting over the past year it was inspiring to see, both as a province and as an arts community, all the amazing places Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have found themselves,” said Irvine. “Our Premier has been quoted as saying “anything is possible”, and that has launched our theme for this year.”
The NLAC is delighted to have actor and comedian Phil Churchill host the show, along with musical hosts the Terri Lynn Eddy Band. The evening will include performances by Anahareo White-Malone and Wonderbolt Circus, East Rock Crew, and The Once.
Also unveiled at today’s news conference was the artwork that will be presented to the winners in five of the award categories. This year’s artwork was created by Torbay sculptor John Goodyear. Each piece is a one of a kind sculptured hollow form made from American Walnut. They are approximately six inches in diameter and four inches in height and consist of two layers: a thick bark-like outer layer, which has an eroded appearance that reveals the inner form. The inner form consists of what appears to be an intricate organic web like structure. These pieces are based on the concept of erosion; the revelation of a lost and secret gift that has been exposed due to the erosion process.
Tickets for the Awards Show and Gala (Saturday, May 2, 8 p.m.) are now on sale at the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre Box Office, 729-3900. Tickets are $20 with proceeds going to the Cultural Assistance Plan for Emergencies (CAPE Fund).
Bios and photographs are available on request.
For more information contact:
Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council