Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts Announce 2020 Awards



Toronto, April 21, 2020

Alice Adelkind, President of the Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts announced today the recipients of $70,000 in awards. This is good news in tough times.
“We are thrilled with the high caliber of skill and talent in our city. Our committees do their due diligence to research, analyze and award prizes based on merit. Since our founding twenty-one years ago, the TFVA is proud to have awarded $928,000 in prize money to the visual arts in our community”.

TFVA is an independent, non-profit organization which provides financial assistance to the visual arts and provides education programs for its 260 members.

Founders Achievement Award: $15,000 to Robert Houle. Originating from Sandy Bay First Nation in Manitoba, he is an artist, curator, writer, educator and critic. Houle is a graduate in art history from the University of Manitoba and in education from McGill. He leads a multi-faceted career exploring the nuances of history, identity, and conflict. A residential school survivor, Houle creates work that combines the preservation of Indigenous history with a thoughtful contemporary lens. He draws on Western art conventions to challenge the treatment of First Nations artists both in society and within our public and private gallery system. Houle has received many awards and citations, including two honorary doctorates and the 2015 Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts.

Artist Prize: $15,000 to Anique Jordan, a Toronto-based artist, writer and curator, working primarily in photography, sculpture and performance. Through extensive research and community engagement, her work combines history, myth and intuition to draw attention to existing struggles, challenge dominant narratives and offer new possibilities. Jordan has lectured in numerous institutions across the Americas, exhibited and curated widely and is the recipient of several prestigious awards including the Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Artist of the Year ( 2017).

Artist Prize Finalist: $5,000 to Vanessa Dion Fletcher, a Lenape and Potawatomi two-spirited indigenous artist. Her work is materially and socially driven, using porcupine quills, Wampum belts and menstrual blood to understand decolonization, disability and the physical/cultural body. Dion Fletcher has a MFA in performance from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago and her work is widely exhibited and collected across Canada and the US.

Artist Prize Finalist: $5,000 to Lisa Myers, a member of the Beausoleil First Nation. Lisa has a Master of Fine Arts in Criticism and Curatorial practice from OCAD University and is Assistant Professor of Environmental and Social Change at York University. She has a keen interest is inter-disciplinary collaboration, drawing from her experiences as an educator, curator, writer, musician and chef.

Project Support:

$20,000 to the Toronto Biennial of Art ( TBA ) in the 2020 inaugural year of its three month, artist-centred, city-wide, multi-disciplinary arts project. Its principal locales were along the Toronto shoreline, and its curatorial framework informed by Indigenous history as well as recent settler, immigrant and refugee histories.

$7,000 to The Don River Valley Art Program to support a reproduction of Sunrise, a work by noted Indigenous Artist Rita Letendre, to be installed at Evergreen. The original Sunrise exists at Ryerson University but is currently obscured.

$3,000 to YYZ Publishing to support the inclusion of high quality colour images in its book Strategies of Appropriation in Canadian Art, 1977 – 1990, an important academic publication for teaching and research.

For additional information see our web-site or contact Barbara Lemaire