2021 Saskatchewan Arts Awards

Presented by SK Arts, the Saskatchewan Arts Awards celebrates the achievements of individuals, groups and organizations in all arts disciplines. Recipients are given awards in six categories. Award recipients receive a cash prize and a limited edition award by a Saskatchewan artist.

SK Arts - SK Arts Awards - 2021 Saskatchewan Arts Awards

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Lieutenant Governor's Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient:

Maria CampbellMaria Campbell, Saskatoon

Since Maria Campbell was born on a trapline in northern Saskatchewan in 1940, her life has been filled with story, ceremony, love and teachings. For more than 50 years Maria has been a courageous and tireless artist and advocate, and there are few areas of Canadian or Métis culture that have not been made better by her influence. Her contributions as an interdisciplinary artist continue to break ground for new and emerging artists, and she remains a formal and informal mentor and guide to a wide range of creators at every stage of their career. She champions youth and women’s issues in all of her work.

Her memoir Half-breed sparked a revival of Indigenous literature in Canada, providing a voice and perspective that had not been heard before, and affirming the lived experiences of many Indigenous people. It is taught in many Canadian school curriculums and has been influential on an international scale. But Maria’s impact goes far beyond her best-known work. Among other successes, her play Flight was the first all-Indigenous theatre production to win the Dora Mavor Moore Award and her script The Red Dress became a National Film Board film. 

She is a powerful force in the Indigenous rights movement, and her efforts have been instrumental in the establishment of many cultural programs and organizations that are now considered to be institutions, including the Aboriginal Arts Program at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. The recognition Maria has received reflects her contributions and includes six honorary degrees from Canadian universities, the Gabriel Dumont Medal of Merit and the Saskatchewan Achievement Award.

Photo by Ted Whitecalf

Artistic Excellence Award Recipient 

Sponsored by the Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport

Jeannie MahJeannie Mah, Regina

Over the past four decades, Jeannie Mah has carved out a distinguished place as a ceramic artist in Canada and abroad. The formal and technical excellence of her work is matched by the sophistication and conceptual relevance of her art, which explores self-identity and place as the daughter of Chinese immigrants on the Prairies, as an arts activist, and as an engaged citizen. While grappling with the intricacies of place, race, and belonging, Jeannie also delves deeply into the history, symbolism, and cultural contexts of ceramics, using porcelain cups to tell complex stories about world trade and the global travel of goods, cultures, people, and ideas. 

Jeannie has received an honourable mention in the 1re Triennale de la Porcelaine, Nyon, Suisse 1986, the Jacqui Shumiatcher Award for the Arts in 2008, City of Regina Mayor’s Arts & Business Award in 2011. Her work appears in collections across the world, from the prestigious Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art in Toronto to the Jingdzhen Ceramic Art Gallery in China, and in many curated, thematic exhibitions, reflecting the impact and significance of her work.

Her art has been influential in Saskatchewan and across Canada, and so has her art activism. Since the 1990s Jeannie has spearheaded initiatives to save Wascana Pool, parks, heritage schools and houses, as well as the enduring institutions of Central Library, Regina Public Library Film Theatre and the Dunlop Art Gallery, as illustrated by her co-editorship of Regina’s Secret Spaces (2006) and Biblio Files: 100 years of the Regina Public Library (2017). 

Photo by Ed Jones

 

 

RBC Emerging Artist Award Recipient

Sponsored by RBC

respectfulchildrespectfulchild, Saskatoon

respectfulchild is a leading figure in the Saskatoon music scene and a multidisciplinary artist working with sound, performance, visual art and multimedia collaborations. Trained as a classical violinist, they use the violin in surprising and experimental ways, creating complex and distinctive soundscapes that have garnered critical acclaim. respectfulchild has performed in venues around the world, from Portugal and Germany to Hong Kong and Estonia, performing alongside artists such as Rae Spoon, A Tribe Called Red and Jeremy Dutcher. They have also been recognized with two Saskatchewan Music Awards, the Breaking Borders Award and Avant Garde/Experimental Artist of the Year. 

respectfulchild has been a committed participant in many important collaborations with other artists. These collaborations speak to respectfulchild’s practice and artistic ethics, which are rooted in community-building, conversation and nurturing relations. They are devoted to exploring the beauty and the tensions of their selfhood as a queer Chinese settler on the prairies. Their art reflects the seriousness of their commitment to truly grappling with the politics and relations of place and their understanding of their individual and communal responsibilities as an artist living as an uninvited guest on Treaty 6 territory. An artist of great courage and integrity, respectfulchild uses their public profile to advocate for justice and compassion. 

respectfulchild has demonstrated a long-term dedication to the arts community, with a special focus on supporting and uplifting young artists and queer artists. They haved served as a workshop facilitator with Camp fYrefly and have been involved with Girls Rock Camp Saskatoon since 2015.

Photo by Lindsey Rewuski

Arts and Learning Award Recipient

Sponsored by SK Arts

Khodi DillKhodi Dill, Saskatoon

Khodi Dill is a Bahamian-Canadian writer, emcee, spoken word artist, and educator. He received a master’s degree from the University of Saskatchewan in 2013 for his research on spoken word poetry and anti-oppression. He is also an advocate for racial justice and decolonization, activism that he lives out through his community engagement and his art. Khodi’s work examines some of the most challenging and pressing problems of our time, and his skill and the urgency of his creativity allow him to translate the dynamic and elusive experience of this world in ways that are simultaneously profound and digestible.

Khodi’s commitment to and passion for being an educator has had immeasurable impacts on the lives of his students and on the wider artistic community as a whole. Khodi’s ability to help students process their lived experience through art, even when that experience is difficult, empowers a new generation of artists and activists to engage with and share their world in satisfying, creative, and healthy ways.

Khodi’s talent as a writer and spoken word poet has been recognized by both audiences and critics. In 2010 he was the Saskatoon Poetry Grand Slam Champion and the following year he was a finalist in the Canadian Individual Poetry Slam. His commitment to community building can also be seen in the collaborative nature of some of the projects he’s supported, including the development of the Write Out Loud organization in 2013, which provides mentorship and programming to Saskatoon writers. 

Photo by Carly Brown

Leadership -- Individual Award Recipient

Sponsored by Jarislowsky Fraser Partners Foundation

Marnie GladwellMarnie Gladwell, Regina 

Marnie Gladwell has served the Saskatchewan arts community for decades, both in her role as Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Arts Alliance, and as a volunteer, mentor and friend. Marnie is a tenacious and strategic thinker, able to devote months or even years to analyzing, planning, researching and pushing forward improvements that are crucial for sustaining the arts in Saskatchewan. Marnie speaks calmly, smiles often, and is absolutely fearless, all characteristics that allow her to create connections across demographics and political divides. Marnie’s diplomatic yet unwavering approach to negotiations with governments and other organizations has secured necessary funding and status for artists in the province.

Under Marnie’s leadership, the Saskatchewan Arts Alliance and the provincial arts ecosystem that it supports are regarded as one of the strongest voices for the arts in all of Canada. Marnie’s advocacy has also positively impacted the lives of the next generation of Saskatchewan artists. A dancer herself, Marnie was responsible for writing and initiating the process for implementing the dance strand of the K to 12 arts education curriculum, ensuring that new generations are being introduced to the full spectrum of the arts.

Throughout her long career, Marnie has remained committed to ensuring that public education and performance remain central to the arts ecology of Saskatchewan. In her role as an educator, Marnie instilled in her students a deeper understanding of dance as a vehicle for creativity and expression.

Photo by Gary Robins

Leadership -- Organization Award Short-Listed Nominees

Sponsored by SaskCulture

MJMAG logoMoose Jaw Museum & Art Gallery, Moose Jaw

Since the Moose Jaw Museum & Art Gallery (MJMAG) was first founded as a division of the City of Moose Jaw’s Parks, Recreation and Culture department in 1966 and then eventually incorporated as a non-profit. They have been an integral part of the artistic landscape in Saskatchewan and in Canada. They have an institutional commitment to diversity and inclusion that is evident in both practice and policy. In 2019, they committed to implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, including the creation of an Indigenous Advisory Committee. And their dedication to collaborating with the Multicultural Association of Saskatchewan and the Moose Jaw Newcomer Welcome Society to engage and empower newcomers has helped make Saskatchewan’s arts scene more complex and more vibrant. 

MJMAG’s influence extends beyond their own organization, and their collaborative efforts with other museums and art galleries have served to make Saskatchewan’s arts ecosystem stronger and better connected with communities across Canada. In 2001, they co-founded Small Cities Art Museums, a collective of galleries that shares in curation and offers a network for the sharing of exhibits. Their exhibits and commissioned installations are world class and have been shown as far away as Sydney, Australia and Tokyo, Japan. 

MJMAG’s commitment to supporting artists and making art accessible to the public extends to their annual events, like Park Art, a large-scale arts and crafts fair that provides the opportunity for artists to sell their works and for the public to engage with art in fun and interesting ways, fostering a love of the arts in people of all demographics.

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Photo Credit: 2019 Saskatchewan Arts Awards. Photo by David Stobbe.