Edmonton artists receive grants to support creative contributions

From a rapper and blues singer, street artists and muralists, dancers, filmmakers, internationally-recognized playwrights and more, the talents supported bring a wealth of creative vitality to our city

Article content

On Tuesday, the Edmonton Arts Council announced its 2022 recipients of the Edmonton Artists’ Trust Fund Award. Twenty local artists from a variety of disciplines who’ve made an impact in their field and community were awarded $15,000 to assist them in continuing to develop creatively.

Advertisement 2

Article content

The Edmonton Arts Council, which selected the recipients, is a not-for-profit organization supporting and promoting local artists, and the awards are made possible with proceeds from the trust fund, managed by the Edmonton Community Foundation.

Article content

According to Sanjay Shahani, executive director of the EAC, recipients are selected through a process of nominations from the community and are then reviewed by a group of peers. The award typically sees anywhere from 50 to 100 nominees annually.

“There is recognition for the individual and the impact they have had,” says Shahani. “These people are at the top of their game.”

This year’s winners include two street artists and muralists. Jamaican-Canadian artist Adrian (AJA) Louden, creator of the Aerosol Academy workshop series which educates people about art history through a street-art lens, and Woodland Cree painter Kevin Cardinal whose work is featured at the NiGiNan housing complex in the Belvedere neighbourhood.

Advertisement 3

Article content

Those who’ve taken in Flying Canoe Völant will recognize the work of Dylan Toymaker, the light installation artist responsible for the dozens of intricate lanterns and sculptures that illuminate Mill Creek Ravine every winter.

Dylan Toymaker installs his lantern artwork for Deep Freeze: A Byzantine Winter Fête at Borden Park last January.
Dylan Toymaker installs his lantern artwork for Deep Freeze: A Byzantine Winter Fête at Borden Park last January. Photo by Ian Kucerak /Postmedia

Madeline LeBlanc is a visual artist passionate about creating inclusive art spaces and highlighting classism in the art world, and graphic artist Vikki Wiercinski creates colourful housewares for Mezzaluna Studio and is the lead organizer for the Royal Bison Art and Craft Fair.

The few musicians who made the list include award-winning singer-songwriter and pianist Ann Vriend, Mat Cardinal, a member of the Bigstone Cree Nation and lead singer of The Prairie States, Juno-nominated producer and player Robbie Townsend, and Lindsay Walker, a sound designer who’s composed scores for numerous theatre projects.

Advertisement 4

Article content

Also honoured in the local theatre world are several playwrights. Deaf actor Connor Yuzwenko-Martin, Indigenous actor Tai Amy Grauman who’s adapting several plays into a film series, and award-winners Louise Casemore and Lianna Makuch, the latter a Ukrainian Canadian playwright whose recent works Barvinok and Alina have achieved international recognition.

Dancers Tia Ashley Kushniruk, who’s been affiliated with Cirque Du Soleil since 2013, and Reckie Lloyd, founder of the West-African drumming and dance school, Sangea Academy, also made the list.

Local filmmakers Nauzanin Knight and Katrina Beatty were recognized for their work. Beatty, a producer of the recently-released feature film Before I Change My Mind, has had an award-winning career spanning nearly two decades, while Knight is the CEO and executive producer of Edmonton-based 1844 Studios.

Advertisement 5

Article content

And in the realm of literature is author Gail Sidonie Šobat, a MacEwan instructor and founder of Youthwrite, which educates and inspires young writers.

Shahani says it’s always difficult to pick a favourite when there are so many talented recipients, but there were a few he was especially excited about.

“Michelle Campos Castillo is a visual artist who has done public art for the Valley Line at the Belvedere station,” says Shahani. “She is from El Salvador. Her work is very evocative of the culture where she comes from.

“And an artist named Mouraine who is a hip-hop artist. I would love to see him perform.”

The awards granted will support and facilitate an infusion of art into the local landscape to enhance the experience of our city for residents and visitors alike.



Advertisement 1


Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *