Winnipeg Arts Council

Announcing The Winnipeg Arts Council Award Winners!



The Annual Winnipeg Arts Council Awards were presented at the Mayor's Luncheon for the Arts on Thursday, June 8, 2017 at the Fort Garry Hotel. The purpose of this annual celebration is to recognize and promote the arts, artists and partnerships that make Winnipeg a centre for cultural achievement.

Five awards were presented to the following recipients:

Frances Koncan for the RBC On the Rise Award

The RBC On the Rise Award recognizes the demonstrated promise of an emerging professional artist in any discipline. The award is a cash prize of $2,500.00.

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.

Debbie Patterson for the Making a Mark Award

The Making a Mark Award applauds an established professional artist, in any discipline, who is receiving critical recognition for excellence in their art practice in Winnipeg and beyond. The award is a cash prize of $2,500.00.

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.

Grant Guy for the Investor’s Group Making a Difference Award

The Making a Difference Award celebrates the contribution of an artist or arts administrator to the growth and development of the arts in Winnipeg. The award is a cash prize of $2,500.00.

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.

Bill Pope and Elizabeth Tippett-Pope for the Arts Champion Award

The Arts Champion Award honours an individual or business patron that has demonstrated sustained support to the arts in Winnipeg. The award is a unique work by a Winnipeg artist.

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.

Dianne Harms for the Liquor and Lotteries Outstanding Volunteer Award

The Outstanding Volunteer Award honours an individual who has demonstrated an excep­tional commitment to volunteerism within the Winnipeg arts community. The award will be $1,000.00 cash donation on behalf of the winner to the Winnipeg arts organization of his or her choice.

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.

The Luncheon was hosted by singer/songwriter Leonard Sumner. He kept the crowd entertained, made sure things ran smoothly and spoke eloquently about protecting treaty rights. Sing out Louise kept us all tapping our toes and writer Alison Gillmor gave a thoughtful speech about the power of art.

There was also opening entertainment in the lobby and elevator by deaf mime troupe 100 Decibels and engaging artwork leading us into the event by Katherena Vermette, Andrew Balfour, Arlea Ashcroft, Claire Friesen and Chris Bodnaruk. It was wonderful that Mayor Bowman presented awards and also spoke passionately about the incredible artists in Winnipeg.

Thank you for joining us to celebrate and if you didn’t make it this year, we hope to see you next year!

"As the politics of culture and the culture of politics collide, it's more important than ever to talk about the power of art. In divisive and difficult times, what can art do?"

Writer Alison Gillmor