New categories added to Okanagan Arts Awards

Nominations are now open for the ninth annual Okanagan Arts Awards.

Nominations are now open for the ninth annual Okanagan Arts Awards.

Hosted by the Arts Council of the Central Okanagan (ARTSCO), the awards recognize the highest levels of creative excellence in the Central Okanagan.

Under the leadership of ARTSCO’s new executive director Katie Brennan, big changes have been made to the overall structure and design of the event.

This year five new categories have been created:

– The Emerging Artist Award acknowledges, encourages and fosters artists and practitioners who are early in their careers and have achieved a high level of professional quality in their work and demonstrate great potential for future works.

– The Innovation in the Arts Award acknowledges and encourages the exploration and refinement of new, and/or innovative practices in the arts.

– The Art & Business Award recognizes excellence in the combination of artistic and entrepreneurial practices.

– The Business Supporter Award acknowledges and celebrates a business that excels in their support and stewardship of the arts.

– The Community Impact Award  acknowledges the work of community groups who have created an artistic endeavour, project or work of art that has impacted the Central Okanagan community as a whole.

ARTSCO is also accepting nominations for artistic excellence in seven disciplines including visual arts, music, dance, theatre, applied arts and time based media.

Other changes include relocating and revamping the entire ceremony, which will be designed by students of the Centre for Arts and Technology  (CATO) and overseen by director Neil Facey.

The physical awards, which in previous years were chosen from submissions made by local artists, will be created instead through a collaborative project with the Cool Arts Society and lead artist Lucie Parent.

The Okanagan Arts Awards were created by ARTSCO to celebrate artistic and creative excellence and achievement of artists, in all disciplines. By publicly acknowledging the work of individuals and organizations, ARTSCO places excellence in artistic practice, front and centre as an integral part of our vibrant community.

“The creative and artistic soul of the Central Okanagan is alive and well,” said Brennan. “The level of artistic excellence in the Central Okanagan is (on) par with anywhere else in the world and gets better and better every year. We wanted (to) change things up this year to have the Okanagan Arts Awards better reflect that.”

Nominations for the 2016 Okanagan Arts Awards are eligible to residents of the Central Okanagan: Peachland, West Kelowna, Westbank First Nation, Kelowna or Lake Country (ARTSCO recognizes that these communities are located within the unceded territories of the Syilx/Okanagan people).

Nominations can be submitted via artsco.ca until Feb. 14 at 9 p.m.