Launched in 2018, the biannual Johanna Metcalf Performing Arts Prize aims to provide impactful artists in Ontario much need support.
The award is named after well-known philanthropist Johanna Metcalf, who passed away in 2018. Metcalf maintained a deep love of the arts expressed through the Metcalf Foundation, which she developed for over 40 years.
The inaugural winners are Sunny Drake (playwright and theatre creator), Alice Ping Yee Ho (composer and classical pianist), James Rolfe (composer), Santee Smith (multidisciplinary artist), and Maryem Tollar (performer and composer).
Each artist will receive $25,000 bestowed at a gala event on December 12, 2019, at Toronto’s Artscape Daniels Launchpad.
As per the award, the five winners have selected a protégé to receive an additional $5,000 to help further their creative work.
They are Bilal Baig — playwright, director, and actor (protégé of Sunny Drake), Cody Berry — Dance artist (protégé of Santee Smith), Demetri Petsalaki — Musician (protégé of Maryem Tollar), Roydon Tse — Pianist and Composer (protégé of Alice Ping Yee Ho), and Sophie Dupuis — Composer (protégé of James Rolfe).
“The goal of the Metcalf Prizes is to celebrate, elevate, and recognize performing artists in Ontario, and in part, alleviate some of the financial pressure that artists face, while supporting them in their careers,” said Sandy Houston, President and CEO, Metcalf Foundation.
The five winners have been chosen from fifteen finalists from across Ontario. The winners include artists in the disciplines of dance, theatre, and music/opera, and have been producing and showing work for at least ten years.