Reimagined Emerging Artist Award To Recognize Ottawa IBPoC Artists

OTTAWA, ON – January 21, 2021 – Since 1988, the Ottawa Arts Council has awarded more than $340,000 to exceptional artists and to those who have shown outstanding commitment to the arts in the Ottawa community through a program that has grown to seven awards. For the fourteenth edition of the Emerging Artist Award, the Ottawa Arts Council is launching a reimagined award focused on recognizing emerging artists from Ottawa’s IBPoC (Indigenous, Black, and Persons of Colour) communities. 

The Emerging Artist Award was established to celebrate the achievements of Ottawa artists who are in the early stages of their career in the arts and are working towards becoming recognized professional artists, while engaging with the arts community. By focusing on accomplished IBPoC artists, we hope to acknowledge and encourage the important contributions of these often underrepresented artists to our arts community.

In addition to a program-wide review of our engagement with underrepresented communities, the change in sponsorship has given us the opportunity to reimagine the award and address historical inequity of our program. Joining the Council in celebrating and recognizing the accomplishments of emerging IBPoC artists in Ottawa is presenting sponsor Kelly Santini LLP and finalists sponsor The Ottawa Chapter of the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers (CABL).

“We are very excited to be working with the Ottawa Arts Council and CABL on this award,” said Mitchell K. Kitagawa, partner at Kelly Santini LLP. “Kelly Santini LLP takes diversity seriously both within our walls and within the community. It is a privilege to be associated with the Ottawa Arts Council and this award especially.”

“The Canadian Association of Black Lawyers (CABL) Ottawa Chapter, is excited that Kelly Santini LLP has agreed to join us in co-sponsoring the Ottawa Arts Council 2021 Emerging Artist Award for Indigenous, Black and People of Colour (IBPOC),” said CABL Ottawa Chapter president Antoine L Collins. “In these turbulent times, we believe it has never been more important for the legal community to support artistic expression within our wider community. CABL is an organization that prides itself on working with others to create a culture of inclusion that generates opportunities for all. We will continue to forge new relationships with unique opportunities such as this and broaden our role within the community.”

The Emerging Artist Award will recognize emerging artists of all disciplines from Ottawa’s IBPoC community. As with past editions, the 2021 recipient will receive a $5,000 award and two finalists will receive $1,000 awards.

Deadline for applications is February 12, 2021

For more information about the award and how to apply please visit:

About the Arts Award

Every year since 1988, the Council pays tribute to local artists, arts leaders and community supporters through the Arts Awards program. With the generous support of our partners, sponsors and dedication of our jurors, we’re proud to have awarded more than $340,000 since the awards program’s inception.

The Arts Awards are:

  • Victor Tolgesy Arts Award
    Inaugurated in 1987 in honour of the renowned Ottawa artist, this award recognizes the accomplishments of residents who have contributed substantially to enriching cultural life in our city.
  • Peter Honeywell Mid-Career Artist Award
    Named in honour of the Council’s former Executive Director, the award recognizes and encourages the achievements of Ottawa artists of all disciplines who have evolved beyond the emerging stage in their career to become recognized professional working artists contributing to the community.
  • Emerging Artist Award
    The Emerging Artist Award recognizes and encourages the achievements of Ottawa’s IBPoC artists who are in the early stages of their career in the arts and are working towards becoming recognized professional artists, while engaging with the community.
  • Project X, Photography Award
    Designed to recognize the merits of a publicly presented photographic project by an Ottawa-based artist, the award recognizes the recipient with a cash prize and an exhibition at the Ottawa Art Gallery.
  • Corel Endowment Fund for the Arts Award

A future-oriented award that encourages evolution, innovation, creativity, and excellence of artists working on new initiatives in all art disciplines in Ottawa.

This award recognizes local businesses in the community who have shown great support of the local arts sector.

A mentorship-driven award established to support young Ottawa artists 14 – 17 years old.

For more information about the awards please visit:

About the Council

The Ottawa Arts Council is a bilingual service organization that advances, promotes and advocates for the arts in Ottawa. For nearly forty years, the organization has represented the interests of Ottawa artists and is dedicated to strengthening our membership and Ottawa’s arts and culture sector.

For more information about the Ottawa Arts Council please visit:

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  • […] Artists (30 and under), and Artists living in Regions outside Toronto” (italics ours). The Ottawa Arts Council just announced an Emerging Artist Award that can only be claimed by IBPOC when over 75% of Canada’s capital is white identifying. The […]

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