Five Winnipeggers who have made significant contributions to the local arts scene were feted with Winnipeg Arts Council Awards at the Mayor's Luncheon for the Arts on Friday.
Leonard Sumner, an Anishinabe MC/songwriter and videographer from Little Saskatchewan First Nation in Manitoba's Interlake, took home the $2,500 RBC On the Rise Award, which recognizes an emerging professional artist in any discipline. His latest album, Rez Poetry, came out in 2013.
Aganetha Dyck, a renowned local artist who is interested in environmental issues, received the $2,500 Making a Mark Award, which applauds an established professional artist -- in any discipline -- who is receiving critical recognition in Winnipeg and beyond. Dyck has previously won the Manitoba Arts Council Award of Distinction and the Governor General's award in Visual Art.
Laurie Lam, a longtime producer with the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, was honoured with the $2,500 Investors Group Making a Difference Award, which recognizes the contribution of an artist or arts administrator to the growth and development of the arts in Winnipeg.
Candice Masters, a 30-plus-year volunteer with the Winnipeg Folk Festival, received the Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Outstanding Volunteer Award, which honours an individual who has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to volunteerism within the Winnipeg arts community. The award is a $1,000 cash donation on behalf of the winner to the Winnipeg arts organization of his or her choice, and a unique work of art, this year by Leo Simoens.
Richard Irish, a community leader in Winnipeg's cultural sector, was recognized for his commitment to arts and culture with the Arts Champion Award, which honours an individual or business patron who has demonstrated sustained support to the arts in Winnipeg. The award is a unique work by a Winnipeg artist, this year by E. J. Howorth.
The luncheon was attended by more than 500 patrons and hosted by poet and novelist Chandra Mayor, who delivered a keynote address about Winnipeg as a river city, shaped and bridged by artists. The event also included performances by Rainbow Stage and Pizzicelli, a cello quartet.