THE Winnipeg Arts Council will recognize 91-year-old actress Doreen Brownstone with a special award for lifetime achievement at the seventh annual Mayor's Luncheon for the Arts next month.
It's the first time that a lifetime achievement award will be handed out by WAC and it goes to an actress who first performed on stage in 1943 in her native England and was in the inaugural production of the Manitoba Theatre Centre in 1958. Brownstone was the first Canadian stage performer to work past the age of 80 and she is still a working actress in the city.
In his nomination letter Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre artistic director Steven Schipper wrote, "Doreen exceeds the boundaries of conventional artistic practice by seeming to defy time, and by becoming a more fearless, formidable artist with each passing year."
The rest of the juried awards will be handed June 6 at a luncheon hosted by broadcaster Bill Richardson at the Fort Garry Hotel.
Nominees for the $2,500 Making a Difference award, celebrating the contribution of an artist or arts administrator to the growth and development of the arts locally, are TV producer Cam Bennett, aboriginal performer Columpa Bobb, choral music director Henry Engbrecht, artist Dr. Sherry Farrell Racette, dance teachers Odette Heyn and Faye Thomson, Prairie Theatre Exchange artistic director Robert Metcalfe, art gallery executive Elise Nadeau and Louis Ogemah, founder of Urban Shaman Gallery.
Contenders for the $2,500 On the Rise award, recognizing an emerging professional, are Swampy Cree filmmaker Kevin Lee Burton, actress Samantha Hill currently performing on Broadway, film actress Ashley Hirt, jazz drummer Curtis Nowosad and theatre producer Ryan Segal.
Nominees for the $2,500 Making a Mark award, which goes to a professional artist in mid-career, are filmmakers Deco Dawson and Mike Maryniuk as well as multimedia artist Divya Mehra.
The $1,000 Outstanding Volunteer award will go to either Gerry Berard, Heather Cram, Kevin Friesen and Pam Poulter-Freisen, Alison Norberg, Tracy Peters and Nicola Schafer. The Arts Champion award finalists are Gail Asper, Campbell McIntyre, Manitoba Bar Association and William F. White International.
Tickets for the Mayor's Luncheon for the Arts are available through the Winnipeg Arts Council website or by calling 204-943-7668.