OAF News

Ontario Arts Foundation disburses $3.2 million to arts organizations across Ontario

Toronto - March 9, 2017 - The Ontario Arts Foundation announced today $ 3.2 million in endowment income payments have been made to 260 arts organizations in over 60 communities across the Province of Ontario. The annual payout represents income earned on endowments created by arts organizations and funded jointly by the private sector and the government through two matching programs:  the Arts Endowment Fund, and the Canada Cultural Investment Fund, Endowment Incentives Component.

“The Ontario Arts Foundation is pleased to make the annual disbursement of income from the endowment funds established under the federal and provincial matching programs,” says Anthony Graham, Board Chair, Ontario Arts Foundation.  “Matching programs provide arts organizations and their donors the satisfaction of knowing their gifts have been leveraged for an arts organization's long-term benefit.  The Foundation is available to assist organizations that are interested in making endowment building a part of their fundraising activities.”

Arts Endowment Fund (AEF)
The Arts Endowment Fund (AEF) is a program of the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport and administered by the Ontario Arts Foundation.  Under the AEF Program, money raised for endowment was matched, dollar for dollar, up to a predetermined maximum. Each year organizations receive income to be used for their ongoing operations. The Province of Ontario committed $60 million in matching funds between 1998 and 2008. Since inception, over $68 million in income has been paid from the endowment funds to Ontario arts organizations. Endowments established under the AEF Program now total over
$145 million

Canada Cultural Investment Fund - Endowment Incentives
The Canada Cultural Investment Fund - Endowment Incentives Component is a program of the Department of Canadian Heritage that provides matching funds of up to one dollar for every dollar raised privately for endowment.  Since its inception in 2001-2002, the Endowment Incentives Component has provided a total of $212 million in matching grants, leveraging private sector donations of $276 million, for a total of $488 million invested in public charitable foundations and benefitting the long-term financial health of 189 arts organizations across Canada. 


For further information, please contact:

Alan Walker
Executive Director Ontario Arts Foundation
T. 416-969-7413 awalker@arts.on.ca

Established in 1991, the Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) is passionately committed to building long-term support for the arts in Ontario. In 2015-2016, the OAF paid over $3.0 million in endowment income and $300,000 in awards and scholarships.

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Emily D'Angelo and Danika Lorèn Take Top Prize at the 2017 Christina and Louis Quilico Vocal Awards

Toronto, February 14 2017 – On Monday, February 13, the rising stars of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio, Canada’s premier training program for young opera professionals, competed in the fourth biennial Christina and Louis Quilico Awards, with Emily D'Angelo and Danika Lorèn both claiming prizes of $4,000 each.  Charles Sy won the third prize of $2,000. The event took place in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

(l-r) OAF Executive Director Alan Walker, Christina Petrowska Quilico, Third Prize Winner Charles Sy, COC Chorus Master and judge Sandra Horst, co-winners Danika Lorèn and Emily D'Angelo, soprano and judge Adrianne Pieczonka, and COC General Director and judge Alexander Neef.  Photo: Chris Hutcheson

The competition was adjudicated by a panel composed of Alexander Neef, General Director of the Canadian Opera Company, Sandra Horst, Chorus Master of the Canadian Opera Company, and Adrianne Pieczonka, internationally acclaimed Canadian soprano.  The young artists sang one aria of their choice and one aria selected by the panel.

Italian-Canadian mezzo-soprano Emily D’Angelo won First Prize and Audience Choice Award at the Canadian Opera Company’s 2015 Ensemble Studio Competition and is a winner of the 2016 Metropolitan Opera National Council Audition Finals. She made her European debut in 2016 at the Spoleto Festival dei Due Mondi as Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro under the baton of James Conlon. She received her bachelor of music in performance from the University of Toronto in 2016 where she was the recipient of the Jim and Charlotte Norcop Prize in Song and the Tecumseh Sherman Rogers Graduating Award. Additionally, she is a 2016 grant recipient of the Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation. This season with the COC, she sings the role of Second Lady in The Magic Flute.

A native of Saskatoon, Danika Lorèn is a recent winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Buffalo/Toronto District Auditions and won the 2015 University of Toronto Concerto Competition. Her recent engagements include Tiny in Paul Bunyan (UofT Opera) and Rosina in The Barber of Seville (Saskatoon Opera). Orchestral appearances include Richard Strauss’ Op. 27 with the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Fauré’s Requiem with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra and Mozart’s Coronation Mass with the London Fanshawe Chorus. She is also founding member of Collectìf, an artist collective dedicated to exploring art song as theatre. Ms. Lorèn completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at UofT. This winter, she sings the role of Woglinde in the COC’s Götterdämmerung.


About the COC Ensemble Studio
The COC Ensemble Studio is Canada’s premier training program for young opera professionals. Since the inception of the program in 1980, over 220 young professional Canadian singers, opera coaches, stage directors and conductors have acquired their first major professional operatic experience through the Ensemble Studio. Former members include Ben Heppner, Isabel Bayrakdarian, John Fanning, Wendy Nielsen, Joseph Kaiser, David Pomeroy, Allyson McHardy, and Krisztina Szabó.

The members of the Ensemble Studio are the COC’s resident artists and important ambassadors for the company. They receive a blend of advanced study and practical experience through an individually tailored, multi-year program, involving understudying and performing mainstage roles, intensive vocal coaching, language and acting studies, and career skills development, as well as participation in masterclasses with internationally renowned opera professionals


About the Christina and Louis Quilico Awards
Christina Petrowska-Quilico established the Christina and Louis Quilico Fund in 2000 to honour her late husband, renowned baritone, Louis Quilico, and to recognize outstanding young singers, pianists and composers for voice. During his 45 years on the stage, Louis Quilico shared performing credits with Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, José Carreras, Joan Sutherland and Renata Tebaldi. He was instrumental in furthering the careers of many young singers through his teaching and master classes. The Ontario Arts Foundation manages the endowment that funds the Christina and Louis Quilico Awards.


For information, please contact: 

Alan Walker
Executive Director, Ontario Arts Foundation
Tel: (416) 969-7413

Kristin McKinnon
Publicist and Publications Coordinator, Canadian Opera Company
Tel: (416) 306-2383


Established in 1991, the Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) is passionately committed to building long-term support for the arts in Ontario. In 2015-2016, the OAF paid over $3.0 million in endowment income and $300,000 in awards and scholarships.

Based in Toronto, the Canadian Opera Company is the largest producer of opera in Canada and one of the largest in North America. The COC enjoys a loyal audience support-base and one of the highest attendance and subscription rates in North America. Under its leadership team of General Director Alexander Neef and Music Director Johannes Debus, the COC is increasingly capturing the opera world’s attention. The COC maintains its international reputation for artistic excellence and creative innovation by creating new productions within its diverse repertoire, collaborating with leading opera companies and festivals, and attracting the world’s foremost Canadian and international artists. The COC performs in its own opera house, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, hailed internationally as one of the finest in the world. For more information on the COC, visit coc.ca. 

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Dorian FitzGerald Receives the 2017 Laura Ciruls Painting Award

Toronto, February 1, 2017 - Toronto artist Dorian FitzGerald is the 2017 recipient of the Laura Ciruls Painting Award. The $5,000 award is given annually to recognize an Ontario based mid-career painter.

Hacker-Pschorr Beerhall, Oktoberfest, Munich (2005)
acrylic and caulking on canvas mounted to board,
144 × 216 inches

Dorian FitzGerald makes monumental paintings of materially excessive situations. Past subject matter has included the dining room of Stefano Gabbana’s yacht, the throne room of the Queluz National Palace in Lisbon and an image of Elton John’s sunglasses collection at his estate in Old Windsor, England.

Each of the paintings has been made using acrylic paint and caulking in a slow, precise method that FitzGerald has refined in his studio over several years. FitzGerald’s largest painting to date, “The Hacker-Pschorr Beerhall, Oktoberfest, Munich” (2005), at twelve feet wide by eighteen feet high, took the artist more than three years to complete.

FitzGerald is a 2001 graduate of the Art and Art History Program of the University of Toronto and Sheridan College.

FitzGerald was selected by a jury of visual artists comprising Barry Ace (Ottawa), Rebecca Comber (Holland Centre), Roula Partheniou (Toronto), Julie René de Cotret (Hillsburgh), and Roberto Rosenman (Toronto). The jury members were enthusiastic and unanimous in their selection and stated, “Dorian’s process distinguishes him; it is unique and ambitious. The viewer interacts with the work in two planes at once: abstract and photorealistic. The subject matter documents the markers of wealth and luxury, and the work and its scale mirrors the opulent subject matters.”

The Laura Ciruls Painting Award was established by Laura Ciruls, a professional graphic and web designer, as well as an acrylic and watercolour painter. Through a bequest, Laura set up the Laura Ciruls Painting Award, to recognize artists like herself, who were contributing to the development of painting in Ontario. The Ontario Arts Foundation manages the endowment that funds the award. The Ontario Arts Council administers the nomination and selection process.

Previous recipients of the Laura Ciruls Painting Award include: Jinny Yu (2012), Andrew Rucklidge (2013), Melissa Doherty (2014), Sasha Pierce (2015), and Steven Volpe (2016).


For more information, please contact:

Alan Walker
Executive Director, Ontario Arts Foundation
Tel: (416) 969-7413


Established in 1991, the Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) is passionately committed to building long-term support for the arts in Ontario. In 2016-2017, the OAF paid over $3.0 million in endowment income and $30,000 in awards and scholarships.

For more than 50 years, the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) has played a vital role in promoting and assisting the development of the arts for the enjoyment and benefit of Ontarians. In 2015-2016 the  OAC funded 1,676 individual artists and 1,125 organizations in 209 communities across Ontario for a total of $50.5 million.

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