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Ontario Arts Council (OAC)
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Ontario Arts Council Indigenous Arts Award


The Ontario Arts Council Indigenous Arts Award was created in 2012 by the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) in recognition of the distinctive contributions made by Indigenous artists and arts leaders in Ontario. The award will be presented annually to honour their distinguished careers and outstanding achievements. The winner will receive a cash award of $10,000.

The award also aims to acknowledge the many promising Indigenous artists who will become future Indigenous leaders in the arts in Ontario. The award winner will be asked to select an emerging Indigenous artist who best exemplifies the next generation of Indigenous leadership in the arts. The recipient will receive a cash award of $2,500.

The award winner and the nominated emerging artist will be announced at a local celebration (chosen in consultation with the winner) as part of National Aboriginal History Month in June each year.


  • an Indigenous person
  • resident of Ontario
  • Canadian citizen or a Permanent Resident of Canada
  • professional artist or arts leader

Selection Procedure

A jury composed of up to five recognized Canadian professional artists and arts leaders is responsible for nominating the candidates and selecting the award winner.

The Ontario Arts Council manages the selection process and assembles the jury that chooses the award recipient.

The OAC awards office does not accept unsolicited nominations for this award.


  • Annual