April 23, 2009
For immediate release
Artists and Visionaries Honoured at 2009 Prince Edward Island Arts Awards
Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour
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Premier Robert Ghiz and Ministers Carolyn Bertram and Gerard Greenan joined Lieutenant Governor Barbara Hagerman and Dr. Greg Doran, Chair of the Prince Edward Island Arts Council, at Fanningbank for the presentation of the 2009 Arts Awards on April 22, 2009.
“The Prince Edward Island Arts Awards recognize the important role of the arts in PEI culture and society,” said Dr. Doran. “While the Awards were spearheaded by the Council, they were not the only group to make them happen. This evening’s event, and these awards, would not be possible without the generous support of the Provincial Government and her Honour, the Lieutenant Governor.”
Awards were presented to the following:
Businessman Michael Schurman was presented with the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Patron of the Arts in honour of his ongoing and generous support of the Confederation Centre of the Arts.
Well known dancer and dance instructor Judith MacLean received the Premier’s Award for Volunteerism in the Arts for the countless hours she has donated on her own and with her students to the benefit of charitable groups across the Island.
The Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour Award for Creative Community went to the City of Summerside for its foresight and commitment in supporting and encouraging the arts.
Ellerslie Elementary School teacher Peter Robinson was the proud recipient of the Educator in the Arts Award for his work in inspiring and encouraging thousands of young people through his teaching and participation in the arts.
The Father Adrien Arsenault Award was presented to world-renowned Island artist Brian Burke, whose unique style, composition and imagery have received critical acclaim.
Ron Irving, 2006 Father Adrien Arsenault Award recipient, a professor, actor and leader on the Island theatre scene, was also presented with his award during the evening’s events.
“I want to thank the Arts Council for initiating the 2009 Arts Awards and sincerely congratulate all nominees and winners. Their contributions to our province go beyond the boundaries of any one discipline, and benefit us all,” said Premier Ghiz.
“Arts and culture-based activities help build community identity and pride, help meet the basic human need for creativity, improve education and in general make our province a better place to live,” said Minister Bertram. “Through their commitment to various arts disciplines, the 2009 Arts Award recipients enhance our One Island Community.”
“One of the primary reasons we have such a vibrant arts community in our province is because of the excellent music, drama and visual arts programs in our schools,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Gerard Greenan. “We are pleased to have this great new opportunity to provide our arts educators with well deserved recognition.”
The Prince Edward Island Arts Awards (with the exception of the Father Adrien Arsenault Award) were established by the Prince Edward Island Council of the Arts in 2009 to recognize the value of arts and culture on the Island. Each award carries a monetary value of $2,000.
The Father Adrien Arsenault Award, valued at $5,000, was established in 1994 by the Prince Edward Island Council of the Arts to honour and acknowledge the excellence of the work of a senior Island artist and as a memorial to the late Father Adrien Arsenault. Past recipients are Marc Gallant, Henry Purdy, Hilda Woolnough, Erica Rutherford, Barry Jeeves and Ron Irving.
Award recipients were nominated by Island residents and selected by a jury of Island artists, art educators and employees of cultural institutions.
The 2009 Award:
The beautiful turned bowls presented to all winners of the 2009 Prince Edward Island Arts Awards were made by Artisan Tom Dean of Tyne Valley, Prince Edward Island under a commission awarded by the Prince Edward Island Council of the Arts.
Lieutenant Governor's Award for Patron of the Arts:
• Established to honour and acknowledge an Island citizen, or Island-based business who has made a significant financial contribution in any of the practices of visual arts, writing and publishing, music, dance, fine craft, theatre, film, or video.
• An important feature of this award is the subsequent donation, by the recipient, of the cash portion of the award to an arts and culture organization of their choosing.
Recipient ~ Michael S. Schurman
• Former owner and operator of the Schurman Building Supplies Stores.
• Well known for his business acumen and leadership, and his dedication to his community and family.
• Champion of many programs and institutions across the Island, including youth sports, education and the University of Prince Edward Island.
• Has donated generously to the Confederation Centre of the Arts through the Michael S. Schurman Foundation, which enabled the Centre to: set up scholarships and create a youth outreach program in Summerside; continue and enhance well-known programs, such as Dance Umbrella and the Children's Choir; and expose new audiences to the arts through the Young @ Arts programming.
• Instrumental in the creation of Summerside’s Lefurgey Cultural Centre.
• Mr. Schurman’s daughter, Pam Montgomery, accepted the award and announced that her father would donate the award money to Dance Umbrella, part of the Youth Education Program of Confederation Centre.
Premier's Award for Volunteerism in the Arts:
• Established to honour and acknowledge the excellence of the work of an Island citizen who has made a significant volunteer contribution in any of the practices of visual arts, writing and publishing, music, dance, fine craft, theatre, film, or video.
• For any person who has, without pay or significant compensation, demonstrated an ongoing commitment to supporting and advancing the arts through volunteerism.
Recipient ~ Judith Gail MacLean
• A talented dancer and teacher, she has devoted her life to supporting emerging artists.
• The Judy MacLean dancers are a fixture at benefits and fundraisers across the Island, supporting the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, seniors homes, the Charlottetown Boys and Girls Club and Christmas Daddies, among many other organizations.
• Volunteering with the Charlottetown Boys and Girls Club, she mentored a trio of young dancers who were among the top tier in a national talent competition.
• An enthusiastic supporter of other performing arts, organizes events, such as the Sunday Night Shenanigans.
Award for Creative Community, sponsored by the Department of Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour:
• Established to honour excellence in the leadership of an Island community that has supported and fostered the arts, significantly, through public manifestations for the overall benefit of the entire community.
• Acknowledges demonstration of ongoing support for the arts, ongoing support for public or community arts, the recognition of the role of the arts in healthy vibrant communities.
Recipient ~ City of Summerside
• Recognized for understanding the contribution that arts and culture make to the social, spiritual and economic well-being of a community and its people.
• Put into place an infrastructure to support and encourage the arts, hired a cultural coordinator, formed a cultural advisory committee and commissioned a study to create an action plan to build a cultural community.
• Implemented a three-part arts and culture strategy to assist the arts through financial contributions, the most prominent examples are the College of Piping, and the Harbourfront Theatre; hire Island actors and musicians for city sponsored events; and financially support long-term initiatives, such as the Wyatt Heritage Properties.
• Demonstrates long-term vision with new initiatives such as cultural mapping, creating new art exhibit space and a summer festival that will see artists creating and performing on the city streets.
Award for Educator in the Arts, sponsored by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development:
• Established to honour and acknowledge the excellence of the work of an Island instructor, whether based in a school or in the private sector, who has made a significant educational contribution in any of the practices of visual arts, writing and publishing, music, dance, fine craft, theatre, film, or video.
• This award can encompass all manner of instruction, from classroom-based violin, to kitchen-based fiddle. An important criterion for success is that the efforts to “educate” in the arts be significant and part of an ongoing practice.
Recipient ~ Peter Robinson
• Dedicated teacher at Ellerslie Elementary School, recognized for his passion in bringing the love and joy of music to young people.
• Teaches fiddle to over 40 students and has brought cultural and performing opportunities to young people, judged talent competitions, volunteered with music festivals and is an active member in many cultural organizations.
• Also teaches an appreciation of arts and culture by example. His fiddle and piano playing have earned him recognition as a professional performer, most recently with the ECMA-nominated group The Lazy Jacks.
• Was a founding member of the PEI Symphony and a member of the PEI Regiment Band, the Tyne Valley Trio, the Prince County Fiddlers and High Tide.
Father Adrien Arsenault Senior Arts Award, established by the Prince Edward Island Council of the Arts:
• Honours and acknowledges the excellence of the work of a senior Island artist who has produced a significant body of work in the practice of visual arts, writing and publishing, music, dance, fine craft, theatre, film, or video.
• Serves as a memorial to the late Fr. Adrien Arsenault who extensively promoted and contributed to excellence in the arts in this province through his teaching and his own body of work.
• This is the most senior and significant recognition and honour to be conferred in the arts in Prince Edward Island and has been awarded approximately every two years since 1994.
• Past Recipients of the Father Adrien Arsenault Senior Arts Award include Marc Gallant, Henry Purdy, Hilda Woolnough, Erica Rutherford, Barry Jeeves and Ron Irving.
• Originally designed by ceramicist Ron Arvidson, and fired at the Breadalbane studio of Malcolm Stanley.
• Following the original style, this year’s award was created by ceramicist Michael Stanley.
Recipient ~ Brian Burke RCA
• A world-renowned Island artist. His unique style, composition and imagery have received critical acclaim. His work has been selected by some of the finest curators for public display and is featured in many national and international collections.
• His paintings are in a figurative tradition with an emphasis on an even balance between form and content. The work contains elements of social commentary and sometimes employs satire. A more universal reading of the work alludes to isolation and alienation in today’s society.
• Born in Charlottetown; studied design at Holland College and Fine Art at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design; member of the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts.
• Work featured in many public collections, such as the Canada Art Bank, the Canada Council for the Arts, the PEI Art Bank, as well as private collections in Canada, USA and Europe.
• The Canadian Cultural Property Export and Review Board has determined that Mr. Burke’s artworks are of outstanding significance and national importance.