Leaders in the Arts and Culture Sector Recognized

Leaders in the Arts and Culture Sector Recognized at Awards Ceremony
Posted on 11/06/2023
The Charlottetown Arts and Culture Awards honoured five individuals for outstanding contributions to the arts community at a ceremony held at the Trailside Music Hall on Oct. 25, 2023.

The biannual awards, held this year on International Artist Day, were created by the Arts Advisory Board to honour Charlottetown’s artists, makers, creatives, and cultural workers who significantly contributed to the cultural sector in the Capital City. Each recipient received a one-of-a-kind award created by Charlottetown-based artist Lyndsey Paynter. Award recipients in all categories, with the exception of the Late Great Award, also received a cash prize.

“On behalf of City Council and the citizens of Charlottetown, I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to those who received an award, as well as the nominees,” said Charlottetown Mayor Philip Brown. “Charlottetown’s growing arts and culture scene contributes greatly to making our city a more diverse, beautiful, and interesting place to live and visit.”

Award winners were selected by an independent panel made up of members of the arts community and past winners of the Arts and Culture Awards. The panel was chaired by a (non-voting) member of the Arts Advisory Board.

The recipients of the 2023 Arts and Culture Awards are:

Chanel Briggs, AKA Softest Spot – Emerging Artist Award
They/Them. PEI-based, black, queer, multidisciplinary artist Chanel Briggs’ work is rooted in the preservation and cultivation of black narratives and aesthetics within PEI. Chanel’s creative expression has permitted them to blend their poetic advocacy into visual works that navigate identity, spirituality, and community— utilizing the exploration of texture and mixed media to showcase layers of their storytelling.

The East Pointers – Artistic Excellence Award
Prince Edward Island's The East Pointers continue to redefine the ever-evolving genre of "indie folk" with Billboard-worthy pop hooks, deep acoustic grooves, and trance-like trad breakdowns. Already internationally acknowledged as musical trailblazers, their latest EP, House Of Dreams, was nominated for a JUNO Award and won Contemporary Roots Recording of the Year, Group Recording of the Year, and Pop Recording of the Year at the 2023 East Coast Music Awards. Their debut album, Secret Victory, won the 2017 JUNO Award for Traditional Roots Recording of the Year.

City Cinema – Champion of the Arts Award
Celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year, City Cinema is PEI’s only independent cinema. Since its acquisition in 2019, it has been owned and operated by the Charlottetown Film Society. Through the support of the Board of Directors, led by President JoAnn Pineau, City Cinema and its manager, Vincent Qiu, have been working to share with audiences locally produced and directed films, promoting growth in the PEI film community through these diverse and significant films. It is also the venue from which the Society has screened its films for the past nine years during the Charlottetown Film Festival.

• Rob MacDonald – Lifetime Achievement Award
Rob MacDonald has been active in Charlottetown’s theatre and film scene since 1985. He has written, directed, produced, and performed in numerous original projects, including Island-centric satirical revues Annekentstein and Sketch-22, as well as ‘The Tall Hat Chronicles,’ ‘Meanwhile in Ward 16,’ Popalopalots Improv Comedy, the short film Florid and the pop-punk band Chimp. Rob was co-founder of Off-Stage Theatre in Charlottetown, served on Theatre PEI’s Board of Directors, and was recently Writer-In-Residence at The Guild. As a creator and champion of quality independent original content for 35+ years, Rob’s positive influence on the local arts community is undeniable.

• Lionel F. Stevenson – Late Great Award
Lionel Stevenson (born in 1939, New Glasgow PEI), photographer and master printer, started his career in photography in 1947. Stevenson was working in Toronto by the early 1960s, beginning with an exhibition at Hart House, University of Toronto (ON). He broadened the scope of his practice following a period he spent working under Berenice Abbott, the dean of American photography and one of the finest silver printmakers of the twentieth century. He was named “Canadian Professional Photographer of the Year” in 1967 by the Professional Photographers of Canada. His photographs are based on the accurate representation of reality and paradoxically present a surreal abstract vision. A major retrospective of his work was presented at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery in 2012.

A list of previous year’s winners is available at charlottetown.ca/artsawards.

from left to right:  Terry Dunton Stevenson (who accepted the Late Great Award on behalf of her late husband Lionel F. Stevenson), Rob MacDonald, Lieutenant Governor Antoinette Perry, Mayor Philip Brown, Tim Chaisson, Chanel Briggs, Jake Charron, Deputy Mayor Alanna Jankov, Vincent Qiu (City Cinema Manager).

From Left to Right:
Terry Dunton Stevenson (accepted the Late Great Award on behalf of her late husband Lionel F. Stevenson)
Rob MacDonald (Lifetime Achievement Award)
Lieutenant Governor Antoinette Perry
Mayor Philip Brown
Tim Chaisson (The East Pointers, Artistic Excellence Award)
Chanel Briggs (Emerging Artist Award)
Jake Charron (The East Pointers, Artistic Excellent Award)
Deputy Mayor Alanna Jankov
Vincent Qiu (City Cinema, Champion of the Arts Award)