WAC Arts Awards Nominations for 2017

The 2017 Winnipeg Arts Council Award Nominations

The Winnipeg Arts Council was proud to honour the 2017 Winnipeg Arts Council Award Nominees. Thirty-three nominees from a wide range of disciplines reflected the diverse nature of the Winnipeg Arts Scene. The nominees were celebrated and the winners announced at the Mayor’s Luncheon for the Arts, which took place Thursday, June 8th at the Fort Garry Hotel.

We were pleased to announce the 2017 MC was the award-winning singer/songwriter Leonard Sumner. Our keynote address was presented by the brilliant Alison Gillmor. We also had exciting performances by the talented One Trunk Theatre and Sing Out Louise!

Find out more about the Mayor's Luncheon for the Arts here.

Five awards recognize excellence and creativity in, and contribution to, the arts: the RBC On the Rise Award; the Making a Mark Award; the Investors Group Making a Difference Award; the Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Outstanding Volunteer Award; and the Arts Champion Award.

RBC On the Rise

Hannah Doucet

Nominated by PLATFORM centre for photographic + digital arts

Hannah Doucet is an emerging visual artist and educator exploring themes of representation through photographic experimentation. Although emerging herself, Doucet champions and fosters the work of her peers.

Nominated by PLATFORM centre for photographic + digital arts.

Jacqueline Harding

Jacqueline Harding is a dynamic and active artist whose performances run the gamut of musical genres - from opera to Motown to musical theatre and more.

Nominated by Manitoba Conservatory of Music and Arts.

Madeline Rae Hutchinson

Madeline Rae Hutchinson is a fierce young artist exploring the implication of sensuality on women's bodies. Questions of violence, friendship, religion and freedom are interrogated with work that is lush, intelligent, vampy and nuanced.

Nominated by aceartinc.

Philippe-Alexandre Jacques

Philippe-Alexandre Jacques is an incomparable young dancer and choreographer, committed to pushing the boundaries of his art through research and new choreographic works, as well as engaging the community at large through his passion for dance.

Nominated by Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

Frances Koncan

Frances Koncan is an Indigenous emerging writer and director from Couchiching First Nation, now based in Winnipeg. Her multidisciplinary avant-garde work deals with incendiary political topics in innovative, original ways.

Nominated by Anjali Sandhu.

Megan Krause

Megan Krause is a painter whose work explores the interconnectedness of the Earth's resources, grappling with the discordant reality of modernity in beautifully realized metaphorical landscapes.

Nominated by Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art.

Julie Lumsden

Julie Lumsden

Julie Lumsden is a multi-talented young actor and singer with a promising career in the performing arts. She also mentors the next generation of artists through her work as a teacher.

Nominated by Ginny Collins.

Kimberley Rampersad

Kimberley Rampersad's long career as a dancer, actor and choreographer has recently transitioned to theatre director. Her artistry, dedication and leadership qualities are being recognized on a national level.

Nominated by Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre.

Andrea Roberts

From San Francisco to Havana to Montreal, Andrea Roberts, an intermedia artist whose work merges sound, performance, video and installation, has shown and performed at art galleries and festivals worldwide.

Nominated by Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art.

Colby Richardson

Colby Richardson is a video artist and filmmaker who explores the relationship between technological obsolescence and death through video-sculpture, installation and by utilizing commercially obsolete video and broadcast equipment.

Nominated by Video Pool Media Arts Centre.

Making a Mark

Alain Delannoy

Alain Delannoy is an accomplished and internationally recognized Canadian independent animation filmmaker who shares his passion with his students at Université de Saint-Boniface.

Nominated by Université de Saint- Boniface.

Jeff Funnell

An inspiration to countless students and colleagues over the years, visual artist Jeff Funnell consistently tends toward the unexpected, oppositional and unorthodox in his playful yet vital, wide ranging work.

Nominated by  Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art.

Julie Hackett

Julie Hackett's creative skill as a film editor alongside her passion for mentoring and guiding young filmmakers makes her invaluable to Winnipeg's arts and culture community.

Nominated by  National Screen Institute.


With a multi-faceted and distinct visual style, jaymez has worked in the visual art, dance, theatre and music communities. His video work has appeared in international festivals, theatrical and dance productions.

Nominated by Winnipeg's Contemporary Dancers.

Steve Kirby

Steve Kirby, for his outstanding artistic achievement of composing and arranging All Over the Map, an ambitious work of art blending cultures and genres with inspired musical talent.

Nominated by Head in the Sand.

Sarah Michaelson

Sarah Michaelson is a Winnipeg based DJ, educator and founder of Mama Cutsworth's DJ Academy for All Women and Non-Binary Folks. Revolutionary in her field, Michaelson's work champions feminist inclusivity, ingenuity and joy.

Nominated by Abigail Auld, Suzie Smith and Sarah Crawley.

Debbie Patterson

Debbie Patterson is an actor, playwright, director and multidisciplinary artist with a 30-year career of excellence on Winnipeg stages. She has deepened her commitment to serving an audience by building community through art.

Nominated by Prairie Theatre Exchange.

Heidi Phillips

Heidi Phillips has established herself as a pioneer in experimental media arts, exhibiting on prestigious international stages, while producing a large body of work and contributing to the local arts community.

Nominated by Video Pool Media Arts Centre.

Suzie Smith

Through socially engaged and exploratory practices, Suzie Smith redefines print making. Using gravitas partnered with humour, she immerses the viewer in a magical world of possibilities.

Nominated by Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art.

Margaret Sweatman

Margaret Sweatman is an award-winning novelist, playwright and singer-songwriter whose work has quintessentially shaped an artistic landscape while contributing to a dialogue on identity and nationhood.

Nominated by Barbara Schott.

Making a Difference

John Gill

Under John Gill's leadership and vision, NSI has successfully brought national dollars into Winnipeg. He has navigated an evolving screen industry and changes in government while making a difference for local storytellers.

Nominated by Carole Vivier, CEO Manitoba Film and Music.


hannah_g is a "Winnipegger" from Billericay, Essex, England, and the Director of aceartinc. She weaves the fabric of Winnipeg's contemporary art scene, connecting artists through meaningful interactions and engaged opportunity.

Nominated by aceartinc.

Grant Guy

Creating art in Winnipeg since 1973, Grant Guy has helmed arts productions of mythological proportions, and quietly but determinedly developed and promoted Winnipeg art and artists of varied disciplines.

Nominated by Carolyn Gray.

Jaimie Isaac

Jaimie Isaac, freelance curator and interdisciplinary artist, has published essays, presented at conferences, sat on numerous boards, exhibited nationally, and is a founding member of The Ephemerals, an all-female Indigenous arts collective. She is currently the Canada Council Curatorial Resident of Indigenous & Contemporary Art at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

Nominated by Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art.

Steven Leyden Cochrane

Steven Leyden Cochrane is a multidisciplinary visual artist and educator. Also a prolific critical writer of contemporary art, Cochrane has been responsible for connecting audiences to the local art community.

Nominated by PLATFORM centre for photographic + digital arts.

Arlene Minkhorst

Arlene Minkhorst, Director of Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, has dedicated her career to creating opportunities for thousands of Manitobans to enjoy the benefits of dance through her dynamic leadership and her own innovative teaching methods.

Nominated by Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

Usha Sharma

Usha Sharma is Winnipeg's first and only Kathak dance teacher, choreographer and mentor. Her artistic practice and tireless support of arts education have created a new Canadian Kathak.

Nominated by Manohar Performing Arts of Canada.

Thom Sparling

Thom Sparling has changed the face of Winnipeg's cultural landscape. For the past 30 years, Thom's "boots on the ground" dedication to advancing Winnipeg's creative economy has fueled his drive to promote, invent in and advocate for its artists and organizations.

Nominated by Jan Skene, Carol Finlay and Kate Vermette.

Outstanding Volunteer Award

Dianne Harms

Dianne Harms was a founding - and visionary - member of ArtsJunktion. She has since served as a Board member, Treasurer and general volunteer for the past 10 years.

Nominated by ArtsJunktion.

Alice MacKenzie

Alice is a stalwart volunteer, and shines as an MCO board member. She has initiated and managed programs that raise significant funds for the orchestra while building community profile.

Nominated by Manitoba Chamber Orchestra.

Gary Styrchak

Gary Styrchak is the longest serving Board member of Manitoba Printmakers Association in the roles of Board Secretary and Building Committee member. He has been instrumental in the support and physical development of what Martha Street Studio is today.

Nominated by Martha Street Studio.

Arts Champion

Centre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development Inc.

CAHRD's 12-year investment in the CBC New Indigenous Voices program, presented by NSI has resulted in 73% of grads working in the arts or pursuing related education.

Nominated by National Screen Institute.

Drs. William Pope and Elizabeth Tippett-Pope

For over four decades, Bill Pope and Elizabeth Tippett-Pope have supported Manitoba Opera as board members, donors and subscribers. Their patronage extends to many other arts groups in the community.

Nominated by Manitoba Opera and Manitoba Chamber Orchestra.

View WAC Arts Award Winners