The Canada Council has today announced the winners of three of the most prestigious arts prizes in the country, each with a cash award of between $7,500 and $50,000.
The Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts ($50,000)
The award recognizes the artistic excellence and career achievement by artists working in music, theatre or dance and cycles every four years between dance, theatre, dance and music.
After last years win by BC-based composer Rodney Sharman, the award this year goes to Bill Coleman, a dancer and choreographer based in Toronto.
“From the very beginning of my career to this moment, I have been encouraged, supported and accompanied by exceptional First Nations artists, without whom many things would not have happened for me,” said Coleman in a press release statement.
Coleman work has focused on the idea of “home” as it relates to the physical identity, and our shared natural and cultural environment. He is currently touring his recent creations, Dollhouse and FELT.
The Virginia Parker Prize ($25,000)
The Virginia Parker Prize has been awarded to violinist Blake Pouliot.
“I am constantly finding myself drawn toward striking displays of creativity,” said Pouliot. “Those who possess the ability to capture raw emotional passion and intensity with an apparent ease of execution are what really grab my attention and ignite my desire to pursue greatness.”
The prize is unique in that it recognizes musicians under the age of 32, who demonstrate outstanding talent, musicianship and artistic excellence, and who make a valuable contribution to creative life in Canada and internationally.
Pouliot has performed as a soloist with the Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra, the Edmonton Symphony, the Montreal Symphony, the NAC Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony, the Vancouver Symphony, and symphonies in Europe and South America.
The Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music ($7,500)
The Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music has been awarded to Toronto’s Brian Current for his work Shout, Sisyphus, Flock (2016). The award comes with a $7,500 cash prize and recognizes excellence in innovative chamber music composition.
“I am very fortunate to be able to conduct lots of great music written by my colleagues,” Current said. “This is hugely inspiring when it comes to composing.”
You can hear Current’s winning piece on Faster Still (2017, Centrediscs).
Congrats to all of these amazing artists!