Emerging Professional Artists

Photo Credit: Akashdeep

Peace Akintade
Interdiscilpinary Poet

“Peace Akintade works tirelessly to introduce the power of traditional African (Yoruba) oral literature, storytelling, and performance art to the growing art ecology of Saskatchewan and beyond, and to make poetry and spoken word accessible.”

Peace, an African Canadian interdisciplinary poet, storyteller, and public speaker pioneers Saskatchewan’s poetic landscape. Through her work with the Bridges Art Movement, Persephone Theatre, and the Remai Modern, her leadership elevates BIPOC voices, fostering unity and recognition in Saskatchewan.

–  from Aldeneil Espanola’s nomination statement


Photo Credit: Josh Campillos

Jordan Baraniecki
Visual Artist

“Art has always been the raft onto which we climb to save our sanity.” – Dorothea Tanning

Jordan Baraniecki’s mentorship and community contributions, especially within the 525 ecosystem, spotlight his commitment. His guidance to emerging artists, participation in group shows, and mental health advocacy through art mark significant impacts.

–  from Kehan Fu’s nomination statement

Photo Credit: Adriana Maldanado

Cristian Barreno

“Creating art feeds the soul, it is a place where you can truly find yourself.” – Roberto López López

Cristian Barreno is a talented, humble artist and never tries to take the spotlight; however, he deserves it in accolades. His work is breathtaking. His most recent achievement is a piece he did for the Faculty of Indigenous Social Work in the fall of 2023.

– from Cathy Uhersky’s nomination statement 

Photo Credit: None

Tommy John Ehman

“That song gives me chills.” – Gary Tallent on Tommy’s song 'Jack and the Letters Home'

We are giving the recommendation of Tommy John Ehman. We feel that Tom is such a great asset to the communities of Saskatchewan. Although Tom is legally blind, he continues to pursue his career in music and continues to find himself writing and producing new songs even with such challenges.

–  from Jeanette Wicinski’s nomination statement

Photo Credit: None

Miguel Fenrich
Author and Publisher

“You are not born racist. You are born into a racist society. And like anything else, if you learn something, you can unlearn it.” – Jane Elliot

 Miguel Fenrich is a 21-year-old author and journalist from Battleford. He is passionate about the literary arts in Saskatchewan and helping other writers become authors. His first novel, Blue: A Novel, was published in June 2022, and his second, What Lies in the Valley, was published in January 2023. He started his own publishing company, Supernova Press, in Battleford in March 2022.        

–  from Brianne Hager’s nomination statement

Photo Credit: None

Bruno Hernani
Visual Artist

“Only those who attempt the absurd will achieve the impossible.” – M.C. Escher

Bruno has found his niche in public art pieces. Most recently, he was involved in a mural project with the Regina Open Door Society in the summer of 2023. Bruno is a native Peruvian who now calls Regina home. His connection with new Canadians was a perfect fit for this project.

–  from Cathy Uhersky’s nomination statement

Photo Credit: None

Katelyn Lehner
Country Singer-Sonwriter

“Take a mental snapshot every time that you are on stage performing. It’s pretty incredible that we have the opportunity to do this as a career.” – music mentor

Katelyn has been a 2023 Country Artist of the Year Nominee (SaskMusic), the 2022 Artist of the Year (North Sask Webzine), and the 2021 Emerging Artist of the Year (Saskatachewan Country Music Association). She has had the #1 song Sirius XM and twice charted on Billboard, and she has performed at the Labour Day Classic Halftime Show and Country Thunder.

–  from Simon Jasieniuk’s nomination statement

Photo Credit: Nolan Martin

Frans Lotz
Visual Artist

“Don’t let technique dictate your imagery or style.” – Elizabeth Brim

 Frans was born in South Africa and graduated from the University of Regina in 2015. In May 2023, he had a solo exhibition at Slate Fine Art Gallery.

–  from Yolande Krueger’s nomination statement

Photo Credit: Jody Lerat

Alana Moore
Artist, Youth Mentor and Community Organizer

“Art is sort of an experimental station in which one tries out living.” – John Cage

Alana Moore and Amber Phelps-Bondaroff have been working on a community-engaged art project for people living with dementia and their care partners. Belong Where You Find Yourself works with 12 artist participants from Yorkton and will lead to a gallery exhibition at the Godfrey Dean Art Gallery in 2023.

–  from Rachel Broussard’s nomination statement


Photo Credit: None

Morit Music

“Talent, much like a plant, requires consistent nourishment to flourish. Neglect it, and it withers away; nurture it, and it blossoms into its fullest potential.”

Moses and Rita Idowu of Morit Music/Tutoring have been promoting music and entertaining others in events around Saskatchewan and the Unites States. They held free concerts with their team and students, where they taught how to play several musical instruments like drums, piano, guitar and saxophone.

–  from Adeyinka Adebose Dawodu’s nomination statement

Photo Credit: None

Madison Pascal
Visual Artist

“My people will sleep for one hundred years, but when they awake, it will be the artists who give them their spirit back” – Louis Riel

Madison is an artist who can make anyone feel welcome in the world of art. She has always been open to sharing her knowledge and encourages and teaches others to pursue their passions and develop their skills in ways that are best for everyone. Her pet portraiture captures love and intimacy beautifully, and her delicate works addressing women’s experiences and Métis Heritage provide great opportunities for education and awareness.

–  from Vanessa Wraithe’s nomination statement

Photo Credit: Betta Schum

Bailey Randell-Monsebroten

“Dreams are so important in one’s life, yet if followed blindly, they can lead to the disintegration of one’s soul.”

Bailey is an amazing Métis beader, art historian, auntie and graduate student whose humorously pointed work was purchased into the SK Arts Permanent Collection recently. She also sells her work through the MacKenzie gift shop. I am excited to see what she does next!

–  from Julia Krueger’s nomination statement

Photo Credit: Andrew Robertson

Andrew Robertson
Fine Artist

"It's the job of an artist to take the beauty that they see and offer it up to the world."

Andrew is a young artist whose work is stunning and thought-provoking. He has accomplished a lot in his short time as a full-time artist and is only just beginning.

–  from Shandean Reid’s nomination statement

Photo Credit: Ever Rising Media

Dara Schindelka
Artist Musician

“Freedom, courage and love are the anchors that guide me in life and in music.”

Dara’s Saturn Returns album was voted number six in the Saskatchewan Music Awards. She co-founded a recording label to share the music of Saskatchewan artists. Her album, She Imagined, is born out of research into traditional folk songs that tell the stories of women and highlight present issues that marginalized voices face.

–  from Sabrina Cataldo’s nomination statement

Photo: Self Portrait, JingLu Zhao, 2024

JingLu Zhao

"Even in my 'darker' paintings, I always make sure to put hope there. We all need encouragement to keep moving closer to our dreams."

JingLu practiced as a visual artist in China and moved to Canada in 2013. She started her practice full-time again in 2021. She is a talented painter, and three of her artworks were purchased for SK Arts’ permanent collection in 2023. She was also recognized in SK Arts’ We Celebrate You campaign in 2023.

–   from Shandean Reid’s nomination statement

Established Artists and Arts Leaders

Photo Credit: Felipe Gomez

Müveddet Al-Katib
Visual Arist, Community-Engaged Artist

 “Art is not an object, but rather a social necessity and a way to connect with one’s surroundings.”

Müveddet Al-Katib is passionate about community engagement and has devoted her career to breaking down barriers and empowering and uplifting women, girls, and youth while fostering understanding and inclusion. She uses art as a catalyst for cultural bridging between newcomers and indigenous people.

–  from Wendy Nelson’s nomination statement

Photo Credit: Studio D

Kris Alvarez
Treaty 4 Theatre Artist

“We are stardust, we are golden, and we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.” – Joni Mitchell

Kris’ live theatre program, Burnt Sienna, is a raw, live, thematic exploration of culture, racein colour, and feasting. Burnt Sienna features BIPOC guests discussing their businesses, art, and lives. Recently, Kris expanded Burnt Sienna to Burnt Sienna Boulevard, which invites children and their families to consider how big concepts of identity, race and culture can thoughtfully exist in an interactive variety show on a street where we all live.

–  from Sabrina Cataldo’s nomination statement

Photo Credit: None

Dean Bauche
Professional Artist, Curator and Cultural Consultant

“Creative people are more likely to be productive and more original if surrounded by other creative people.” – Dr. Susan Biali

He is having a solo exhibition; he has been an advocate for the arts forever.

–  from Lyndon Tootoosis’ nomination statement

Photo Credit: Bryce Clark

Jackie Berting
Visual Artist

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.” – Joseph Campbell

Her contribution of the iconic glass wheatsheaf has become a staple of Saskatchewan craft since exhibiting the Glass Wheatfield (1992). With a wholesale supply of 30+ shops in Canada, her ability to capture the essence of the Saskatchewan prairies is distinctive through her imaginings of wheat, lilies and crocuses in glass.

–  from Emily Kohlert’s (Saskatchewan Craft Council) nomination statement

Photo Credit: SLD Photography

Darlene Briere
Executive Director, Saskatchewan Drama Association
Regina Beach

“Just do it!”  – Dr. Norman Yakel

Darlene has been a pivotal leader for SDA for several years. Her passion and expertise in theatre combined with her education have helped lead SDA in achieving and promoting the growth and development of drama in Saskatchewan and in promoting professional development in various aspects of theatre.

–  from Chip McDaniel’s nomination statement

Photo Credit: Tenille Campbell

Patrick Bulas
Artist, Educator and Printmaker

“You need to overcome resistance to create art.” – Walter Jule

 In addition to a long-established studio practice, Patrick is the U of S printmaking studio tech, a sessional instructor, and a board member of SK Printmakers. His talent and support have benefited countless students, and his experimental print methods (Nuit Blanche) bring in new folks to experience art.

– from Emily Kohlert’s (Saskatchewan Craft Council) nomination statement

Photo Credit: Alex Crawley

Jesse Campbell
Independednt Curator and Arts Administrator
Prince Albert

“The current of the river of life moves us. Awareness of life, beauty and happiness is the current of the river. With great awareness we move rapidly. With no awareness we do not move.” – Agnes Martin

Jesse is the Coordinator/Curator with the City of Prince Albert Artists in Communities program. She provides outstanding peer support, guidance and professional development to help the artists she works with as they develop long-term arts programming and projects for marginalized groups in our community.

–  from Lynda Monahan’s nomination statement

Photo Credit: Louis Lafferty Photography

Leah Marie Dorion
Visual Artist 
Prince Albert

“Create the world you want to live in.”

Leah’s contribution to Saskatchewan’s art community is unparalleled through her practice as a visual artist and educator. Her work is a best-seller at the Saskatchewan Craft Council, with many pieces sold internationally. Her work pays homage to women, earth-based spirituality and Indigenous knowledge through a dynamic style that is unique to her.

–  from Emily Kohlert’s (Saskatchewan Craft Council) nomination statement

Photo Credit: Bonnie Gilmour

Charley Farrero
Visual Artist

« J’apprécie ce que j’ai créé et j’attends avec impatience mes créations de demain. »

“I enjoy what I have created, and I look forward to my creations of tomorrow.”

Charley Farrero is an internationally recognized master ceramic artist, educator and mentor, with a 50-year career. Some of his recent activities include solo and duo exhibitions, teaching workshops, completing commissioned works for national Francophone organization awards and creating a new body of works for an upcoming Saskatchewan Craft Council exhibition.

–  from Patrick Close’s nomination statement

Photo Credit: GA Portraits

Alyssa Fearon
Director and Curator, Dunlop Art Gallery

“I want the work I’m doing to have an impact on the community 50 to 60 years from now.”

Alyssa has contributed meaningful new research and programming about historical Black communities of Saskatchewan and Black Prairie artists. She has taken a leadership role in the Canadian Art Museum Directors Organization and has supported greater recognition for BIPOC Saskatchewan artists.

–  from Peace Akintade’s nomination statement

Jennifer Fitzpatrick

Photo Credit: Brent Fitzpatrick

Jennifer Fitzpatrick
Director of Cultural Services, City of Humboldt

“Our team strives to enhance community life because, as Gloria Steinem noted, 'the great gift is to have some way of thinking you may have made a little difference in the world.'"

 Jennifer is a director who wears many hats as she oversees the Museum, Art Gallery, and Historic Water Tower in the City of Humboldt. Last year, she was involved in significantly expanding the permanent collection for the Art Gallery.

–  from Yolande Krueger’s nomination statement

Photo Credit: None

Traci Foster
Artist and Founder, Listen to Dis' Community Arts Organization

“Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.” – Celia Cruz

Traci Foster is the Artistic Director and Founder of Listen to Dis’ Community Arts Organization (LTD). Over the last 18 months, she has been creating and rehearsing The Dripping Honeys’ Not Just Christmas Show with guests Carla Harris and JJ Voss, which was presented at Darke Hall and five care homes in Regina; creating and rehearsing The Dripping Honeys’ Bits & Pieces of Dis’ & Dat, presented numerous times across Saskatchewan; and, in 2023, toured the company of Bits & Pieces of Dis’ & Dat to northern Saskatchewan, among other projects.

– from Sabrina Cataldo’s nomination statement

Photo Credit: None

Margaret Pelletier Harrison
Fibre Artist
Zenon Park

“Creating hand stories of our Métis Culture. My mother's spirit lives on.”

I had the pleasure of curating Margaret’s work in Prairie Interlace. Not only is Margaret an amazing artist, but she is also an artistic leader and teacher who has presented countless workshops on Métis rug hooking and traditional embroidery. She is featured in a film from the Gabriel Dumont Institute on Métis rug hooking.

–  from Julia Krueger’s nomination statement

Cindy Hoppe

Photo Credit: Chandra Archdekin

Cindy Hoppe
Artist and Chair, Saskatchewan Craft Council

“Myrna Harris and Martha Cole are the mentors that showed me I could find my own path in fabric art. The sharing spirit of the fibre artists in this province lifts us all.”

Cindy is an innovative fibre artist who has long supported & participated in the craft community through her leadership and practice. She has been on the SCC board for over 10 years. Her staple technique of “thread painting” is unique and inventive and has influenced many other artists.

–  from Emily Kohlert’s (Saskatchewan Craft Council) nomination statement

Photo Credit: Carmen Ironstar

Em lronstar
Executive Director, Saskatchewan Arts Alliance

“Leading the Saskatchewan Arts Alliance amidst these challenging times for the arts is an honour and a privilege.”

Em has secured a significant operational funding increase for Arts Alliance, led a process of re-imagining governance, fostered partnership with Listen to Dis’ on arts accessibility, created the “Arts Everywhere” podcast and published the Economic Impact Report. The Economic Impact Model research model has quantified this data for the first time in Saskatchewan.

–  from Sabrina Cataldo’s nomination statement

Photo Credit: Peter Scoular Photography

Brandy Jones
Indigenous Visual Artist

“There is a longing among all people and creatures to have a sense of purpose and worth. To satisfy that common longing in all of us, we must respect each other.”

Brandy Jones has many accomplishments. I probably can’t mention them all. She has:

  • painted a mural at Riffel Highschool in January 2023;
  • had art on display and for sale at Bar Willow Eatery in March 2023;
  • collaborated with Geanna Dunbar on the Path to Reconciliation mural project in downtown Regina in June 2023;
  • collaborated with Rodger Ross, the Paralympics, and Hockey Canada this year to design both the players’ award and a personal piece for the investors and stakeholders in June 2023;
  • created a wall mural at Old Fashion Foods in October 2023;
  • collaborated with Jason Eaglespeaker on a coloring book in January 2024; and
  • been one of the ice sculpture artists at the Frozen Festival in January 2024.

–  from Lisa Crowe’s nomination statement

Jackie K

Photo Credit: Nicole Romanoff

Jackie Kroczyński
Artist and Educator
North Battleford

“Once a writer finds their own voice, they can’t forget that it exists.” – Mary Gauthier

Jackie wrote and recorded an album of her own songs which she released on IWD in 2023. She received a Saskatchewan Music Awards nomination, two Saskatchewan Country Music Awards nominations, and recently performed three artist showcases at Folk Alliance International. She also has been teaching music, band, and guitar to students from grades K to 12 for 26 years.

–  from Tom Kroczynski’s nomination statement

Photo Credit: Carey Shaw Photography

Rebecca La Marre
Visual Artist

"Art is a guarantee of sanity. This is the most important thing I have said." – Louise Bourgeois

Rebecca’s transference of her grandmother’s passion for clay & desire to learn more about the medium has resulted in multiple residencies (Medalta, the Bunkhouse), experimenting with atmospheric firing techniques. Her advocacy for neurodivergent minds is also an important part of her practice.

–  from Emily Kohlert’s (Saskatchewan Craft Council) nomination statement

Photo Credit: Danielle Anderson

Paul Lapointe
Visual Sculptor, Painter and Printmaker

“In the 70’s, the textile artist Kaija Harris told me she worked a 60-hour week at her craft. Her work ethic made a large impression.”

Paul’s work exemplifies a life-long dedication to his craft. His kind spirit, love of nature and technical mastery has an undeniable presence in his printmaking & sculpture work. His exhibition at Saskatchewan Craft Council in November 2022 had over 3,500 visitors. He won Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal for contribution to the arts in 2023.

– from Emily Kohlert’s (Saskatchewan Craft Council) nomination statement

Photo Credit: Trint Thomas

Monique Martin
Artist and Art Educator

“The silencing of women is so loud.” – Jasmin Thomas

In the past 18 months, Monique has exhibited on three continents, five provinces, and three states, received SK Arts & Canada Council funding for an art project in Sweden, partnered with southeast and southwest SK communities, and received a Queen’s Jubilee art award.

–  from Amber Anderson’s nomination statement

Photo Credit: David G. Miller

Cathryn Miller
Visual Artist

“To circumvent the NO of the material with the YES of an inventive solution, that is the way new things come about.” – Anni Albers

I had the pleasure of getting to know Cathryn Miller and their work while curating Prairie Interlace. Their artistic practice has evolved over the decades to encompass weaving and bookwork with Byopia Press. They are a pillar of the Saskatchewan craft community with two solo exhibitions in 2023.

–  from Julia Krueger’s nomination statement

Photo Credit: Wayne Tunison

June Mitchell

“Aging is inevitable. Whining is optional.”

 June is a senior stateswoman of Saskatchewan poetry. She has published books of poetry, appeared in collections, and is working with the cerebrally challenged community to articulate yet another perspective of our home.

–  from Carol Benesh’s nomination statement


Photo Credit: Ricahrd Avram

Connie Moker Wernikowski
Dance Artist

“I see dance being used as communication between body and soul to express what is too deep to find words.” – Ruth St. Denis

Connie Moker Wernikowski has actively contributed to the profession of dance within this province for over 40 years. Last April, Connie presented Full Tilt Two, a full-length dance performance with 15 artists embodying Connie’s robust choreography. A vibrant event in our contemporary dance ecology!

–  from Johanna Bundon’s nomination statement

Photo Credit: Shaun Leach

Sandee Moore
Artist and Curator of Exhibitions, Interim Director, Art Gallery of Regina

"The revolutionary potential of art is to imagine what does not (yet) exist." 

Sandee Moore is the Curator, Interim Director, and backbone of the Art Gallery of Regina. The Art Gallery of Regina is the only Regina art gallery to have a mandate of prioritizing the exhibition of Saskatchewan artists and art. In the last 18 months, Moore has curated six exhibitions featuring over 28 artists. Sandee continues to do the often overlooked but relentless work of securing media attention, fundraising, administration, programming, installation, applying for grants, and many of the practical functions of an art gallery.

–  from Madeleine Greenway’s nomination statement

Photo Credit: None

Jessica Morgun
Visual Artist

“Thelma Pepper’s belief in the ‘divine spark’ in everyone and how that impacted her collaborative practice continues to inspire me today.”

Jessica Morgun works as a high school art educator at Aden Bowman Collegiate. She has been a practicing artist and visual arts teacher and related courses for over 15 years. Jessica explores what it means to be human in her drawing-based, site-specific, and relational art practice. In 2023, Jessica presented her digital work at the International Society for the Study of Time in Yamaguchi Japan.

–  from JingLu Zhao’s nomination statement

Alexis Normand

Photo Credit:Nicole Romanoff

Alexis Normand
Singer-Songwriter and Filmmaker

« Ça lui tient à cœur d’unir ses deux langues qu’elle aime tant, le Français et l’Anglais. C’est fait tout en délicatesse et en douceur. » – Annie-Soleil Proteau, Salut Bonjour (TVA)

“Uniting both her languages, French and English, is important to her. She crafts her work with delicacy and gentleness.” – Annie-Soleil Proteau, Salut Bonjour (TVA)

Alexis was named one of ten influential figures in Canadian Francophonie in 2023. She has performed over 70 shows across Canada and France, is the official spokesperson for national event, Les Rendez-vous de la francophonie Début documentary, and her directed film French Enough, won Best franco-Canadian film at RVQC film festival in Montreal.

–  from Elma Bos’ statement

Photo Credit: Felipe Gomez

Marea Olafson
Potter and Educator

“Take your passion and make it happen!” – Professor Robert Kelly

Marea has a passion for art and teaching. She spent 25 years in the public school system before deciding to go where her heart pulled her, which was to be a full-time potter. Marea recently converted her attic into a comfortable, calming space for an immersive pottery retreat. People who register arrive on Friday and stay until Sunday. They eat locally curated foods, learn techniques for throwing pottery, and connect and create new friendships.

–  from Nicola Finnson’s nomination statement

Photo Credit: None

Gordon Pepper
Independent Filmmaker

“Find something you love doing and you’re off to the races!” – Thelma Pepper, Saskatchewan Order of Merit

Over the past 18 months, Gordon has created 16 short films, some of which have screened and won awards in countries all over the world, including England, France, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, and the United States.

–  from Logan Vanghel’s nomination statement

Photo Credit: Dyan Robson

Susan Robertson 

“Smile, it looks good on you!”

Susan’s success in establishing one of three économusées in Saskatchewan is an achievement that pushes craft into the commercial mainstream and creates opportunities for tourism, education and community in craft. Her guidance to artist peers in wholesale in February 2023 was instrumental to their success.

–  from Emily Kohlert’s (Saskatchewan Craft Council) nomination statement

Photo Credit: Lucy MacGarry

Jillian Ross
Master Printer and Print Publisher

“Without prints you don’t understand the culture of the world.” – Leo Steinberg

Three years ago, Jill moved back to her hometown, Saskatoon, and opened her own printmaking studio; she continues to collaborate and has produced two major series of prints with Kentridge in collaboration with the University of Alberta’s printmaking department. Between April and August 2024, Jill will be moving her entire print studio into the Remai Modern and will be printing a large-scale and complex print in the gallery.

–  from Monique Martin’s nomination statement

Photo Credit: Erin Crooks Photography

Craig Salkeld
Lover of Music

“No matter what you believe – even if it is in conflict with those around you – the best thing you can do is bring love and joy into the world”.

Craig has been involved with the arts sector in Saskatchewan for over 30 years. His achievements include work with Globe Theatre, the Olympics, Regina Symphony Orchestra, Saskatchewan Express and many others. He is also an accomplished vocalist, musician and songwriter.

–  from Chip McDaniel’s nomination statement

Photo Credit: Vera Saltzman

Vera Saltzman
Fort Qu'Appelle

“I was trying to write something so sad it was pretty.” – John Prine

 Vera is an established artist who works in the medium of photography. She recently had a collaborative project with Sue Bland titled Where Will the Frogs Sing, and part of it was exhibited at the Art Gallery of Regina.

–  from Yolande Krueger’s nomination statement


Photo Credit: Zoë Schneider

Zoë Schneider
Visual Artist

 "Zoë is a caring friend, influential mentor, accomplished arts professional, and an inspiring artist." – Vanessa Wraithe

Through her dedication and drive as Visual Arts Manager at the Organization of Saskatchewan Arts Councils, Zoë ensures Saskatchewan residents have opportunities to experience the work of Saskatchewan visual artists through touring exhibitions to communities across the province. Her practice examines the complexity of fat identity and the impact on “atypical bodies” because of societal pressures and norms.

–  from Vanessa Wraithe’s nomination statement

Photo Credit: Daniel Paquet

Tara Semple
Sound Alchemist

“Time for this butterfly to trust her wings.”

Tara Semple has been a fixture in the Saskatchewan musical area for the past 30+ years. She is currently the Assistant Principal Flute and Principal Piccolo in the Regina Symphony Orchestra and was the Artistic Director of Per Sonatori, Regina’s Baroque musical ensemble for over 15 years before retiring from the ensemble in 2023. She regularly performs all over Regina in various ensembles as a freelance musician, including with Regina Summer Stage and the Regina Philharmonic Chorus.

–  from David Popoff’s nomination statement

Photo Credit: Shannon Brunner

Leona Theis
Literary Artist


Freehand Books is pleased to celebrate the career of Saskatoon writer Leona Theis, whose last book, If Sylvie Had Nine Lives, was awarded the Saskatchewan Book Award (a provincial prize) and the High Plains Book Award (an international prize). In August 2023, it went on sale as an audiobook.

–   from Kelsey Attard’s (Freehand Books) nomination statement

Photo Credit: Jan Corcoran

Karen Pask Thompson
Artist and Teacher

“Making art is like digging for gold. The longer you are at it, the deeper you have to dig.” – Unknown

Karen paints the prairies through the landscape, but often features people or simple objects that inspire emotion. Karen taught in Saskatoon, leaving a legacy of up and coming artists. She has been in two exhibitions in the last 18 months. Her work is phenomenal.

–  from Dawn Lawrence Floen’s nomination statement

Photo Credit: Wayne Tunison

Wayne Tunison
Master Bell Ringer

“You thrive going beyond the boundaries of the acceptable and possible.” – Ki-Tsien Ho

Tunison is a multidisciplinary artist active in literary, visual, performance and music. He is recognized internationally as a master bell ringer. His work is satirical, pointing at the contradictions of modern life. He works in the realms of the traditional, spiritual and avant-garde.

–   from Brenda Brin’s nomination statement

Photo Credit: Peter Lozinski 

Lana Wilson
Acting Curator and Manager of Education and Programs, Mann Art Gallery
Prince Albert

“Lana has worked very hard and creatively to develop a robust and multi-faceted education program that serves an impressively diverse range of people… Her enthusiasm creates a warm and welcoming environment at the gallery.” – Leah Dorion

Lana is a committed arts educator, manager, and administrator in Prince Albert. She juggles multiple roles at the Mann Art Gallery as Acting Director/Curator and Gallery Educator. Lana created an exemplary residency program with Leah Dorion, uplifting her artistic goals and Métis knowledge sharing.

–   from Jesse Campbell’s nomination statement

Aspiring Youth Artists

Mary Liv

Photo Credit: Little Jack Films

Mary Liv

"Find out who you are and do it on purpose." – Dolly Parton 

Mary Liv has supported bluegrass and old tyme music for several years. She recently released her album Fiddlin Around this last year (2023), which features works of her fiddle students and group jam players, other established musicians, and her work. Mary Liv works to build weekly jam sessions. She volunteers her time to the Northern Lights Bluegrass and Old Tyme Music Society, has been involved in teaching fiddle in remote northern Saskatchewan schools and is currently doing a similar program in Nunavut until February. Mary Liv is 19 years old and an accomplished fiddle and banjo player. She is also a self-taught guitar player. She is active in teaching, hosting events, performing for social and family dance events, and helping anyone who wants to learn to play.

–  from Urban Morelli’s nomination statement

Photo Credit: None

Lachlan Neville
Rural Songwriter

"The highway is for gamblers, better use your sense. Take what you have gathered from coincidence." – Bob Dylan

Lachlan has become, in his short 18 years, an accomplished songwriter, singer and versatile musician. He is recording his first album after being signed to Blake Berglund's label, Western Seer. Since high school graduation, he has performed with Blake, JJ Voss and Belle Plaine.

–  from Melanie Graven’s nomination statement


Photo Credit: Paige Bell

Paulina Salisbury
Singer, Actor, Dancer and Musician

"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent." – Victor Hugo.

Paulina wrote and composed her first songs at age 17, was the Nouvelle Scène 2022 Winner and received the Public Choice Award. Since then, she has released six songs and a music video, is releasing her first full album in May, and is adapting her songs for a new original musical this summer.

–  from Elisabeth Foucault’s nomination statement

Photo Credit: Stacia Whelan Photography

Brooke Zarubin
Moose Jaw

"I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being." – Oscar Wilde

Brooke has competed extensively in the music festival system in Saskatchewan, winning eight provincial titles spanning classical voice and musical theatre. In 2023, Brooke earned three scholarships at provincials and went on to represent Saskatchewan at the Canada West Performing Arts Festival in Edmonton. The sole participant competing in both senior classical voice and musical theatre, Brooke placed runner-up in musical theatre across the western provinces and received a mark of 92 for her classical voice program.

–  from Jeri Ryba’s nomination statement



Photo Credit: Nicole Stevenson Photography

25th Street Theatre's Saskatoon Fringe Festival
Theatre Festival

“I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.” – Oscar Wilde

Saskatoon’s 25th Street Theatre continues bringing the excitement of live theatre to its community with the play Luna being a particular highlight. It also puts on the Saskatoon Fringe Festival which brings people together from all walks of life in Saskatoon. It deserves to be celebrated!

–  from Eric Anderson’s nomination statement


Photo Credit: Don Hall

Art Gallery of Regina
Art Gallery

"Art enables us to understand the world in new ways, to discover shared experiences of this time and place, and to empathize with and feel what we haven't experienced ourselves." – Sandee Moore

From bat-watching to tattooing, the exhibitions and programming at the Art Gallery of Regina are fun, inclusive, engaging and unexpected. I am always looking forward to the next show.

–  from Julia Krueger’s nomination statement


Photo Credit: Don Hall

Be Kind Rewind Productions
Theatre Company

“You have a deeper, wiser, loving self that you can always ask for help.” – Annette Funicello

We believe Be Kind Rewind Productions should be celebrated for their work on Annette is a Bimbo!, a new musical by Carson Walliser that premiered as part of RISER Regina 2023. It was produced by The Women’s Company and Be Kind Rewind Productions, with support from On Cue Performance Hub and Why Not Theatre.

–  from Angeline Lypka’s nomination statement


Photo Credit: Tomisin Fadeyibi (Tee Lens Photography) 

Black History Month Music Show
by the Black Professional’s & Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan
Music Show

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” – Harriet Tubman

The Black History Month Music Festival is an annual enjoyable event featuring emerging professional artists in the community entertaining with music, poetry, dances and rich Black history and culture. The music festival also helps to showcase talents and rising stars in the community.

– from Adeyinka Adebose Dawodu’s nomination statement


Photo Credit: None

Chokecherry Studios
Youth-Founded Arts Organization

“The hood deserves better.”

Chokecherry Studios is a youth led drop-in centre that creates a safe place for youth in the ’hood to get support and belonging. These artivists are using their lived experience to make story medicine; they have created zines, music, art and rituals to make changes in their lives and communities.

–  from Marjorie Beaucage’s nomination statement


Photo Credit: None

Conseil culturel fransaskois
Francophone Cultural Council

« Les Arts c'est de l'or. »

"Art is Gold."

The CCF’s 50-year impact was celebrated when six Fransaskois music performers gathered 37 nominations at the Gala Trille d’Or in 2023, winning 12 of the 22 awards. This March, the CCF and the MacKenzie Art Gallery will invite visitors to experience, in French, Laura St. Pierre’s solo exhibition.

–  from Denis Simard’s nomination statement

Photo Credit: Ken Greenhorn Photography

Free Flow Dance Theatre
Dance Company

“We endeavour to advance dance as an accessible art form that can be appreciated, experienced and enjoyed by everyone.”

 I’ve always been amazed and inspired by Free Flow Dance Theatre Company, by the quantity and quality of what they bring to appreciative audiences each year. In 2023, I attended and enjoyed several of their events, including their bingo fundraiser, International Dance Week events, Illuminated Hearts: A Glow Show, Back Alley Antics, and their year-end gala, Emerge. Each event was unique and wonderful! I’m so appreciative that they continue to provide opportunities to experience innovative dance!

–  from Ryan Bradshaw’s nomination statement


Photo Credit: Kevin Weedmark

Moosomin Visual Arts Centre
Arts Centre

“Our mission is to create an inclusive, safe environment where everyone is welcome and encouraged to explore, share ideas and learn about visual arts.”

This group of artists has joined forces and, against the odds, had a vision of arts representation in our community, and they had the fortitude and perseverance to create a new center designed to strengthen and grow the arts community. The hours the key players have invested have been immense!

–  from Jen Grant’s nomination statement


Photo Credit: Unknown

Regina Bell Ringers
Non-Profit Organization

"The bells are a gift for the citizens of Regina and are to be used for all cultures." – Francis N Darke  

Regina Bell Ringers is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of bell ringing in Regina, custodians of the traditions laid out by Francis N. Darke upon his gift of bells to the city. Ringing varies from large tower bells to tiny hand bells. The Bell Ringers also collaborate with other arts organizations.

–  from Stewart Graham’s nomination statement


Photo Credit: None

Saskatchewan Book Awards

“Celebrating Excellence in Writing and Publishing in Saskatchewan!”

They’ve celebrated excellence in writing and publishing for 30 years. Their work provides needed awareness. In the last 18 months, they’ve weathered uncertainties successfully and continue to serve literary artists and publishers. This workhorse of an organization deserves recognition and gratitude.

–  from Jillian Bell’s nomination statement


Photo credit: None

SK Printmakers
Printmakers Organization
Saskatoon and Regina

“SK Printmakers is committed to bringing artists, educators, students, and a wider audience together to share information and ideas, but most importantly their love of Printmaking.”

 In the past 18 months, Printmakers has grown its membership to over 70 members province-wide; hosted a two-day conference, Flatgrafika II, at the University of Saskatchewan; and hosted eight exhibitions and pop-up shows among other things. The future of SK Printmakers is bright. They have done a lot with little more than a dedicated group of volunteers, a small grant, and the support and enthusiasm of their members.

–  from Dawn Rogal’s nomination statement


Photo Credit: Kevin Ang (L-R: Chenise Puchailo, Jenny Kong

and Irish Williams)

Spud Publishing Company
Publishing Company

“By creatives. For creatives.”

In the last eighteen months, Spud Publishing Inc. has launched an independent publishing house and its first publication. Debut, an anthology of emerging Canadian writers and artists, sets the premise for how they hope to continue forward – as a publishing house for and by creatives.

–  from Amy Gerein’s nomination statement

Weyburn Art Gallery by Vanessa Lanktree

Photo Credit: Vanessa Lanktree

Weyburn Art Gallery
Art Gallery

“Community, friendship, art: stirred together, they make a powerful magic.” – Terri Wildling

Weyburn Art Gallery is unique because it is attached to a K-8 school and a state-of-the-art recreation facility. They ensure that access to contemporary art is as prominent as recreation and sport in their community, which is extraordinary in a rural community of 12,000 residents.

–  from Amber Andersen’s nomination statement