On October 22, Arts Council Wood Buffalo (ACWB) transformed the Suncor Energy Centre for Performing Arts into an extraordinary scene, created to amaze all the guests of the inaugural Wood Buffalo Excellence in Arts Awards. The sold out “Midnight Circus” themed awards showcase event treated guests to a breathtaking evening that included several high energy performances from a variety of disciplines, a visual arts display, a delectable assortment of carnival foods and for the main act, the presentation of 13 awards.
Arts Awards, AKA the “Buffys”, were presented to 13 local artists who have shown outstanding achievement and accomplishment in the arts. Each award was hand crafted by local Aboriginal artist Kathleen Marsel.
The 2016 award categories and winners are:
- Arts Administration – Ana Maria Mendez;
- Arts Education – Marie Gazzard;
- Creative Collaboration – “Fanny & Manny Tie the Knot” dinner theatre by Theatre; Just Because and Waypoints;
- Dance – Kim Hurley;
- Fine Craft – Leo Parent;
- Literary Arts – Kevin Thornton;
- Media Arts – Sean McLennan;
- Music – Dan Gillies;
- Theatre – Michelle Thorne;
- Visual Arts – Carol Breen;
- Traditional Aboriginal Arts – Lily Marcel;
- Rising Star – Avery Rex; and
- Arts Champion – Loraine Humphrey.
12 of the categories were open to nominations from the community, while the Arts Champion recipient was chosen by the ACWB board of directors to acknowledge an individual, small business, corporation, social profit, or foundation which has strengthened arts and culture in Wood Buffalo through their support and commitment to the sector in the past year.
Congratulations to all the recipients with a special shout-out to Theatre Alberta Board member Michelle Thorne and Theatre; Just Because!