Leaders in arts and culture recognized by City of Charlottetown
The Charlottetown Arts and Culture Awards honoured four individuals for outstanding contributions to the community at a ceremony held in the Art Gallery at the Haviland Club in June.
The awards were created to honour Charlottetown’s artistic and cultural who significantly contributed to the arts and culture sectors in the Capital City. Each recipient received a one-of-a-kind award created by Lenny Gallant, owner of Birdmouse and a cash prize.
Emerging Artist Award was presented to Emilee Sorrey recognizing an individual artist who has been pursuing their practice for fewer than five years and demonstrates the promise of future success. Emilee has been involved with the arts community presenting her own original music and working as the Vice President of the Music PEI Board of Directors. Her band, Sorrey, has achieved considerable success having played Halifax Pop Explosion, Sappyfest, M for Montreal, and Shivering Songs in the past. Her first EP, Thick as Thieves, was ECMA-nominated and also won the Pop/Urban Record of the Year award at the 2016 Music PEI Awards.
Artistic Excellence Award was presented to John Sylvester recognizing overall, exhibited artistic excellence. The recipient has made a significant contribution to their respective disciplines; their leadership, innovation, and creativity has a positive influence on the City of Charlottetown. John Sylvester is an award-winning photographer, specializing in Canadian landscape, nature, travel and editorial photography. His work appears in leading publications throughout the world. He is a four-time winner of the Canadian Tourism Commission’s Northern Lights Award for Excellence in Travel Journalism and eight-time winner of Travel Media Association of Canada (TMAC) photography awards. He is the author of nine books, including six titles featuring his images of PEI.
Champion of the Arts was presented to Louise Lalonde recognizing an individual, group, business, or event that has made an economic cultural contribution or substantially contributes to the arts and cultural development of our community. Louise Lalonde works as a screenwriter and digital media producer. She has written, directed, and produced several short films and documentaries through her company, Louise Lalonde Productions, as well as several audio books by Atlantic Canadian writers. She is a member of the board for Women in Film and Television — Atlantic (WIFT-AT) and Past President of the Charlottetown Film Society. Louise coordinates the PEI Screenwriters’ Bootcamp in partnership with Island Media Arts Coop and a writers retreat for women, The Writers’ Edge.
Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Ron Irving recognizing an individual who has made significant contributions over their lifetime to arts and culture in our community. Ron Irving is a well-known figure in Island Theatre. He is a director, teacher and sometimes actor, who has directed over 100 productions in his long career. He was Associate Professor of Theatre at Boston University before returning to PEI to establish the Confederation Theatre Company. He was founding Artistic Director of Theatre PEI and coordinated the Theatre Studies Program at UPEI. He created The Venerables, PEI’s seniors’ troupe that toured widely in Canada over 25 years. He scripted and directed the Black Island history play The Old Stock.
Spotlight Awards were created this year to recognize artists working to bring their art into the spotlight in the community and were presented to Sam MacDonald and Morgan Wagner. Sam MacDonald is a rising star who has become a staple of the Maritime comedy scene. Morgan Wagner is a graduate of UPEI’s Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Education programs and has a passion for the performing arts.