Winnipeg Arts Council

WAC Awards 2018

Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 Winnipeg Arts Council Awards. This year’s nominees came from a wide range of disciplines and reflect the diverse nature of the Winnipeg Arts Scene.

RBC On the Rise

  • Photo credit A Marie Photography

    Niki Little / Wabiska Maengun

    Niki Little / Wabiska Maengun is an emerging curator interested in resurgence practices of engagement, responsibility and relationship building for Indigenous communities that focus on cultural economies/consumption and creating space for Indigenous women.

    Nominated by Dave Barber

  • Photo credit Mariana Muñoz Gomez

    Noor Bhangu

    Noor is an emerging curator and writer. Her research and presentations are devastatingly urgent, exploring questions of historical violence, representation, and collections through her research in diaspora, museum collection histories, and curation as communication.

    Nominated by aceartinc

  • Photo credit Caitlin Spencer

    Jodi Carmichael

    Jodi Carmichael, a Young Adult author, has been quietly gaining steam, garnering awards and publishing credits while promoting literacy to the youth she's made it her vocation to write for.

    Nominated by Carolyn Gray

  • Michael Joyal

    Michael Joyal’s mix of discipline, generosity and creative passion are complemented by a variety of skills; illustrating books, painting and assembling art, all while helping artists achieve success in their practice.

    Nominated by At Bay Press

  • Kaya Wheeler

    As an emerging Anishinabe artist, arts administrator and volunteer, Kaya is committed to creating positive change for Indigenous people in her community.

    Nominated by National Screen Institute

Making a Mark

  • Freya Björg Olafson

    Freya Björg Olafson is an innovator and experimental artist who has made a mark with her exhibition, performance and collaborative work both in Winnipeg and around the world.

    Nominated by Video Pool Media Arts Centre

  • Photo credit Kristen Sawtzky

    Brenda McLean

    Brenda McLean is a multidisciplinary artist who has dedicated her career to continuous learning, experimenting, and creation. She has directed, created, performed in and designed theatre productions for 20 years.

    Nominated by Theatre by the River & Theatre Incarnate 

  • John Paskievich

    The films and photographs of John Paskievich lyrically celebrate the dignity and humanity of outsiders. With an international reputation, Paskievich's work continues to return to his home neighbourhood, the North End, and its values.

    Nominated by University of Manitoba Press & Merit Motion Pictures

  • Ellen Peterson

    As playwright, and dramaturg for MAP and elsewhere, Ellen Peterson has had a significant influence on the theatre community in Winnipeg and across Canada. Her dedication to her fellow artists, and encouragement to younger ones, is tireless.

    Nominated by Rory Runnells and Prairie Theatre Exchange

  • Photo credit Bernie Miller

    Jeanne Randolph

    Jeanne Randolph is a multidisciplinary writer and artist. Her prolific and long-term practice has opened new avenues of critical discourse.

    Nominated by Platform Centre for Photographic & Digital Arts

Making a Difference

  • Keith Oliver

    As a respected artist + craftsperseon, tireless advocate, builder, networker + exceptionally generous volunteer + board member, Keith Oliver has poured his time, labour + love into the Winnipeg Arts Community for over 40 years.

    Nominated by Manitoba Craft Council

  • crys cole

    As long-time director of send + receive, and maintaining an internationally-recognized personal practice, crys cole has proven to be pivotal both to Winnipeg's audio, and the greater arts community.

    Nominated by send+receive : a festival of sound

  • Angela Heck

    Through her 30-year career as an actor, filmmaker, arts administrator and advocate, and mentor, Angela's passion for the arts in Winnipeg is as unflagging as her infectious energy.

    Nominated by Madison Thomas

  • Alexander Mickelthwate

    Alexander Mickelthwate is a world-renowned orchestral conductor who has made a significant difference to the music and arts community in Winnipeg.

    Nominated by Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra

  • Louis Ogemah

    As one of the founders of Urban Shaman, Louis Ogemah has been instrumental in bringing to the forefront contemporary Indigenous art practice to the Winnipeg Arts Community.

    Nominated by Urban Shaman Contemporary Aboriginal Art Gallery

  • Photo credit Winnipeg Free Press

    Jennifer Smith

    If there's no leader, it's not getting done so Metis curator Jennifer Smith joins volunteer arts boards to bring innovative programs attracting youth, supporting diversity and improving arts worker wages.

    Nominated by Mentoring Artists for Women's Art

Outstanding Volunteer Award

  • Photo by Mark Dela Cruz

    Ellen Oberlander & Trish Smerchanski

    Under the outstanding governance of Ellen Oberlander and Trish Smerchanski, the School of Contemporary Dancers attained national and international recognition as a leading centre for professional contemporary dance training in Canada.

    Nominated by The School of Contemporary Dancers

  • Jane Helbrecht

    Prairie Theatre Exchange and Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet are jointly nominating Jane Helbrecht for her incredible dedication and exceptional commitment to both organizations and to the wider arts community in Winnipeg.

    Nominated by Prairie Theatre Exchange & Royal Winnipeg Ballet

  • Alice MacKenzie

    Alice MacKenzie has served on the MCO Board for 25 years, and has initiated and chaired several special events in support of operations. She embodies the best of volunteerism.

    Nominated by Manitoba Chamber Orchestra

Arts Champion

  • Michael Nesbitt

    Michael Nesbitt has a vision for Winnipeg that places this city securely on the national and international stage as a significant player in the music and fine arts scene.

    Nominated by Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra

  • BMO Financial Group

    Celebrating 200 years as an ambassador to the arts, BMO works with its community partners to shape the story of tomorrow by centering on enriching culture through collaboration, education and innovation.

    Nominated by Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre