OAF News

Mezzo-Soprano Judith Forst Wins $15,000 Award

Toronto, December 1, 2003 - Vancouver mezzo-soprano Judith Forst is the first winner of the $15,000 Paul de Hueck and Norman Walford Career Achievement Award for Classical Singing.

Established by Norman Walford, the former Executive Director of the Ontario Arts Council (OAC), and his partner Paul de Hueck, former Production Manager for arts programming at CBC television, the awards recognize career achievement in three artistic disciplines:  keyboard artistry, photography, and classical singing.  These awards are made possible through a fund set up in 1995 at the Ontario Arts Council Foundation (OACF).

The Ontario Arts Council manages the selection process.  The members of this year's jury are: Rosemarie Landry, Head of the Voice Department, L'Université de Montréal; William Littler, arts critic; and Timothy Vernon, conductor.

In choosing Ms. Forst as this year's award recipient, the jury recognized not only her stellar stage career but also her commitment to new composers, fellow performers, directors, and conductors, as well as her mentoring of young professionals and students.  Hailed as ìone of the greatest singing actresses on the contemporary operatic stageî by Time Magazine, Judith Forst has sung with major opera companies throughout North America and Europe, including 17 seasons with the New York Metropolitan Opera. 

Previous winners of the Paul de Hueck and Norman Walford Career Achievement Award are pianist Robert Silverman in 1998 for keyboard artistry, and photographer Jeff Wall in 2001 for art photography.

Established in 1991 as a public charitable foundation, the OACF manages funds given by individuals to support the arts, and administers the Ontario Government's $50,000,000 Arts Endowment Fund Program.

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For further information, please contact:
Janet Stubbs
Ontario Arts Council Foundation
416-969-7413 / jstubbs@arts.on.ca


Ontario Arts Council Foundation Announces Winners of the 2003 Lieutenant Governorís Awards for the Arts (The Jackman-Bickell Awards)

Toronto, November 28, 2003 - The ninth annual Lieutenant Governor's Awards for the Arts (The Jackman-Bickell Awards) were awarded this evening to 17 arts organizations from throughout Ontario in a special ceremony held at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto.

These esteemed Awards, which are Canada's largest monetary prizes for arts organizations, recognize Ontario-based arts organizations that have maintained a high level of artistic excellence while demonstrating exceptional community and private sector support.

The $300,000 awards programme is the only one of its kind in Canada.  Since its creation by The Honourable Henry N.R. Jackman in 1995 when he was Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, the programme has awarded more than $2.5 million in 162 prizes to 84 different arts organizations throughout the province.

The 17 winning arts organizations recognized today by The Honourable James K. Bartleman, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario; The Honourable Henry N.R. Jackman, former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario; and Victoria Jackman, Executive Director of the Henry N.R. Jackman Foundation, are based in Drayton, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ottawa, Parry Sound, Stirling, Stratford, Toronto, and Windsor, OntarioThis year the Awards are disbursed as follows: one prize of $50,000; six prizes of $25,000; and 10 prizes of $10,000.

Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir is the recipient of the top prize of $50,000. This is the first time an orchestra has been recognized with the $50,000 Award.   It marks the fourth time that Tafelmusik has received a Lieutenant Governor's Award for the Arts, having previously won the $25,000 prize in 2002, 1998 and 1995.

ìAlthough their artistic disciplines are very different, the recipients all exemplify the vision and dedication that inspire exceptional community and private sector support,î said The Honourable James K. Bartleman, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. ìI congratulate them on their creativity, ingenuity and hard work! These winners contribute to the enormous wealth of artistic experience that enriches the thriving cultural scene in Ontario.î

ìThe arts are fundamental to our quality of life, and we are privileged to live in a province with such a thriving and diverse cultural sector,î Victoria Jackman,Executive Director, The Henry N.R. Jackman Foundation, stated.  ìIn the face of a struggling economy, the decline in tourism, and fierce competition for philanthropic dollars, tonight's winners demonstrate the strength and resilience of the Ontario arts community,î she elaborated. ìWe applaud their vision, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit.î

The recipients of the 2003 Lieutenant Governor's Awards for the Arts are:

Arts Organization:

Based in Ontario:

Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra & Chamber Choir Toronto $50,000


George R. Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art Toronto $25,000
Orchestra London London $25,000
Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery at Harbourfront Centre Toronto $25,000
Shaw Festival Theatre Foundation, Canada Niagara-on-the-Lake $25,000
Soulpepper Theatre Company Toronto $25,000
Stratford Festival of Canada Stratford $25,000
CanStage Toronto $10,000
Drayton Entertainment

Drayton, Grand Bend, Penetanguishene, St. Jacobs

Festival of the Sound Parry Sound $10,000
The Hannaford Street Silver Band Toronto $10,000
Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony


Ottawa Bluesfest Ottawa $10,000
Ottawa Chamber Music Society Ottawa $10,000
Smile Theatre Toronto $10,000
The Stirling Theatre Festival Stirling $10,000
Windsor Symphony Orchestra Windsor $10,000

Henry N.R. Jackman established The Lieutenant Governor's Awards for the Arts in 1995 through a $1 million gift to the Ontario Arts Council Foundation (OACF). In 1996, the awards were increased to $300,000 thanks to two annual commitments: an additional $75,000 from The Henry N. R. Jackman Foundation and $150,000 from the J.P. Bickell Foundation.

This year, the winners were chosen by a distinguished panel consisting of Victoria Jackman, Executive Director of The Henry N. R. Jackman Foundation; David  Windeyer, Secretary, Management Committee, J.P. Bickell Foundation; Julia Foster, Chair, Ontario Arts Council; and Jim Pitblado.

The Ontario Arts Council Foundation manages the endowment that funds the Lieutenant Governor's Awards for the Arts, and administers the selection process.  Established in 1991 as a public charitable foundation, the OACF manages funds given by individuals to support the arts, and administers the Ontario Government's $50,000,000 Arts Endowment Fund Program.

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For further information, please contact:

Janet Stubbs                                                Karen Lynch
Ontario Arts Council Foundation              Media Relations        
416-969-7413                                              416-461-5772  
jstubbs@arts.on.ca                                    klynch@interlog.com


Ruth Schwartz Childrenís Book Award

Toronto, May 7, 2003 ó Two student juries from Rose Avenue Public School in Toronto, Ontario, today announced the winners of the 2003 Ruth Schwartz Children's Book Award.   This year the prize money has been doubled from $5,000 to $10,000

Grade 4 students awarded the children's picture book prize to The Night Walker written by Richard Thompson, illustrated by Martin Springett.  The author and illustrator each received $3,000.  Author Deborah Ellis received $4,000 for her book Parvana's Journey, the winner of the young adult/middle reader book category.

This national award ó one for a children's picture book and one for a young adult/middle reader book ó recognizes authors and illustrators from across Canada who demonstrate artistic excellence in children's literature. 

Five students in grade 4 chose The Night Walker as the best picture book because it was ìpartly a mystery and partly funny.î  One student said of the illustrations that it was ìas though the illustrator had read the author's mind.î   Five students in grades 6 chose Parvana's Journey, the sequel to The Breadwinner, as the best young adult/middle reader book, saying that it ìshows compassionî and ìmade us think we should be happy with what we have.î 

At the Rose Avenue Public School event, The Ruth Schwartz Foundation also presented complete sets of the 38 winning Ruth Schwartz books to the principals of nine downtown Toronto schools and Bobcaygeon Public School. 

The Ruth Schwartz Children's Book Award was established in 1976 by Sylvia Schwartz in honour of her sister, the late Ruth Schwartz, a respected Toronto bookseller. Each year, the Ontario Arts Council selects an Ontario school to provide the juries for the prizes. The administration of this award is shared by the Ontario Arts Council, which selects the juries, the Ontario Arts Council Foundation, and the Canadian Booksellers Association, whose members select the short list of books.

OAC Media Contact: Kirsten Gunter, Manager of Communications
Tel: (416) 969-7403. Toll-free outside of Toronto: 1-800-387-0058, ext. 7403.
E-mail: kgunter@arts.on.ca


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