Photos by Epica Pictures
On February 20, a crowd of enthusiastic arts and heritage supporters celebrated the achievements of individuals, groups, and businesses and the important contributions they make to our community. Hosted by CBC Radio’s Lisa Laco, the annual recognition program and gala event was organized by the City of Thunder Bay, and held at the Prince Arthur Waterfront Hotel & Suites with an after party at The Foundry.
“The awards evening is important in recognizing the achievements and talents of those actively engaged in the cultural sector and also those who have made significant contributions to the sector”, said Leah Bayly, Supervisor of Cultural Services & Events. “We are proud to support and congratulate all of the nominees and winners.”
This year marked The Walleye’s inaugural year as the presenting sponsor of the event. With the 45th issue due out next week, editor Michelle McChristie said, “We started The Walleye because we wanted to shine a spotlight on the positive aspects of life in Thunder Bay—it’s a hip place to live,” adding that “our people and our landscape continue to inspire our team—thank you for enabling us to be part of this incredible scene.”
In addition to the awards presentation, the event included a comedy break with local comedians Ron Kanutski and Chris Holland. As part of their hilarious take on The Debaters, Kanutski and Holland went head to head on three local issues, including “what’s better the Persian or the Finnish pancake?” With the winner determined by applause, the audience favoured both comedians equally.
After the awards presentation, the North Light Media Collective unveiled its 3D art installation. The face of the historical Lyceum Theatre was transformed into a living canvas as they projected still images, archival photos and film. Created by North Light members Chris Kosloski and Riaz Mehmood, the installation celebrated our region’s rich cultural history and was the largest 3D projection Thunder Bay has ever seen.
Awards were presented to:
Shayne Ehman – Performing & Media Arts
Jean Marshall – Visual Arts
Liana and Robert Frenette –Built Heritage
Robert Neff – Cultural Heritage
Community Arts & Heritage Education Project – Cultural Organization
Carly Irrgang – Outstanding Youth Contributor to the Arts
Claudia Otto – Cultural Educator
Michael Sobota– Cultural Supporter
Gallery 33 – Cultural Business
Philpot & Delgaty Insurance Services – Small Business
The Chronicle Journal – Large Business
The nominees represented a wide spectrum of culture in Thunder Bay from individual artists, film creators and historians to cultural business, educators, and supporters. Awards included cash prizes of $500-$1,000 and original works of art by local artists Linda Brown, Jean Marshall, and Christopher Stones.
The City of Thunder Bay and The Walleye congratulate all of this year’s nominees and winners—our collective efforts make our community unique and inspire others to contribute to our dynamic cultural sector.