Vernon artists pick up Okanagan Arts Awards
A few familiar faces were on hand to pick up 2013 Okanagan Arts Awards.
Vernon residents Michelle Loughery and Matthew Brown both won in their respective categories at the award ceremonies held in Kelowna on Saturday, March 2.
Loughery, best known for the historical murals that she has painted, with the help of disadvantaged and at-risk youth in both Vernon and Merritt, was presented with the Arts Educator award.
“It was very wonderful to win this award as arts educator because as a self-taught artist, to be given an award that recognizes your work, by your peers is extremely exciting and very rewarding,” said Loughery. “To be selected to stand alongside so many talented individuals was a huge honour. Recognizing that community arts is a part of art education is important, as the arts in communities are the threads that tie a community together. It can bring community to places society has deemed unfit, connect people across racial and social divides, and encourage individuals to participate in social imagery conversations.”
Loughery’s next project is the Sunflower Project, a series of murals that will reflect the internment of Ukrainian and other Eastern Europeans in Canada during the First World War. The project will start with a mural on the Sutton building in downtown Vernon, and will be extended to other locations across Canada.
Brown, owner of downtown Vernon’s one-year-old arts-creative centre, The Hub Arts Collective, was the recipient of this year’s theatre award.
A professional actor, Brown is also a volunteer director with Vernon’s Powerhouse Theatre. He took home the Best Director award as well as Best Production for his direction of Powerhouses’s The Woman in Black at the 2012 Mainstage Awards, featuring the best in community theatre from across B.C.
He also instructs drama and is involved with children’s theatre around the Okanagan.
In all, 45 nominees, their guests and local art supporters were treated to an elegant evening that included Summerhill Pyramid Winery’s Sparkling Wine paired with delicious appetizers created by chef Michael Lyon, including a most delectable lobster cappuccino.
Each of the Okanagan Arts Award winners was presented with an exquisitely designed glass award created by Lake Country glass artist Bruce Taiji.
The 2013 Okanagan Arts Award winners are:
Media Arts Award: David Mcilvride
Music Award: Craig Thomson
Literary Arts Award: Sterling Haynes
Dance Award: Vicki View
Visual Arts Award: Crystal Przybille
Design Award: Trevor Butler
Theatre Award: Matt Brown
Supporter of the Arts Award: Robert MacDonald
Arts Educator Award: Michelle Loughery
Central Okanagan Foundation Arts Association Award: Creator’s Art Centre
Lifetime Achievement Award: Robert Dow Reid.