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Shoshana Wasser

Associate Director of Public Affairs and Communications
Toll-free in Ontario: 1-800-387-0058

10th Annual Awards Ceremony Recognizes Exceptional Ontario Artists and Arts Organizations

October 6, 2016

Premier Kathleen Wynne honoured the winners of the 10th annual Premier's Awards for Excellence in the Arts at an event at the Art Gallery of Ontario last night.

The awards program recognizes outstanding artists and arts organizations for their contributions to Ontario’s vibrant arts and culture sector. This year, two of the three winners are Indigenous artists.

Christi Belcourt   Christian Chapman   A Different Booklist
Christi Belcourt   Christian Chapman   A Different Booklist

Christi Belcourt, a Métis visual artist from Espanola, won the Individual Artist Award. Like generations of Indigenous artists before her, Belcourt’s work celebrates the beauty of the natural world while exploring its symbolic properties.

Christian Chapman, an Anishinaabe visual artist and filmmaker from Fort William First Nation, was honoured as Emerging Artist of the Year. His two-dimensional mixed-media artwork fuses elements of computer-manipulated images, painting, drawing and printmaking.

A Different Booklist, an independent bookstore and literary cultural destination in Toronto, won the Arts Organization Award. A Different Booklist is respected nationally and internationally for its specialty in books by African-Canadian and Caribbean writers.

Supporting artists and art organizations is part of the government's economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest infrastructure investment in hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and transit in Ontario's history and is investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.


“Ontario’s art sector reflects the drive, talent and diversity of our province. I am honoured to recognize the outstanding winners and finalists of the 10th annual Premier’s Awards for their passion, dedication and commitment to excellence. Thank you for enriching our daily lives and inspiring us all.”
— Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario

“The winners of this year’s Premier’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts exemplify the talent, passion and vitality that Ontario’s arts community is known for. Congratulations on this well-deserved honour, and thank you for all you do to inspire us, challenge us and bring beauty to our lives.”
— Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

“Congratulations to Christi Belcourt, A Different Booklist, and Christian Chapman on receiving the 10th annual Premier’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts. Each of this year’s winners show how the arts can bring together communities, draw attention to crucial issues, and inspire us to see the world from new perspectives. My thanks to them, and all of this year’s finalists, for their outstanding work.”
— Rita Davies, Chair, Ontario Arts Council


  • The Premier’s Awards are open to artists and arts organizations engaged in any professional arts practice in Ontario whose artistic work or service spans a significant period of time.
  • The awards are administered by the Ontario Arts Council. Winners are selected by jury, and the Emerging Artist of the Year is chosen by the winner of the Individual Artist Award.
  • The winning artist receives a $35,000 prize and selects an emerging artist who receives a $15,000 prize. The winning arts organization is awarded $50,000.
  • The culture sector adds more than $25 billion to Ontario’s economy each year and generates about 280,000 jobs.
  • Nominations for the 2017 awards are being accepted until December 1, 2016. All Ontarians are invited to submit a nomination.