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2012 ACE Awards Finalists

By | Media & Awards | No Comments

Screen Shot 2012-04-23 at 5.41.12 AMClaire Hopkinson, Executive Director of the Toronto Arts Foundation, is pleased to announce the finalists of the Artists for Community Engagement (ACE) Awards, a brand new set of awards in the Toronto Arts Foundation Awards Portfolio. This year’s finalists were selected by an outstanding multi-disciplinary jury, featuring representatives from arts and community organizations including Shahina Sayani, Lekan Olawoye, Honor Ford-Smith, Nasrin Khatam, Saniya Ansari, Nadia Alam, Emily Pohl-Weary, Melanie Smith and Tai Ning Zhang.

2012 TD ACE Opportunity Award Finalists
Derek ‘Drex’ Jancar, Domanique Grant, and Joshua Barndt

2012 ICC ACE Impact Award Finalists
Friendly Spike Theatre Band, Kapisanan Philippine Centre for Arts and Culture and The People Project

Congratulations to all of our 2012 Ace Awards Finalists, and THANK YOU for all the incredible work you do on behalf of the arts in our city!

The ACE Awards are the result of a partnership between Toronto Arts Foundation’s Neighbourhood Arts Network and the 2010 DiverseCity Fellows (a joint initiative of CivicAction and the Maytree Foundation). Each award comes with a cash prize of $2,000.


 TD ACE ‘Opportunities’ Award for Individual Artists

A $2000 cash prize sponsored by TD Bank Group. This award celebrates an individual who has made a significant contribution by working collaboratively with culturally   diverse communities in Toronto to create opportunities for youth to access and contribute to arts and culture.

ICC ACE ‘Impact’ Award for Arts Organizations

A $2000 cash prize sponsored by the Institute for Canadian Citizenship. This award celebrates an arts organization that has made a significant contribution/achieved a key   milestone by working in partnership with Toronto’s culturally diverse communities or developing a project that reflects a culturally diverse perspective, in its form or content.


A project of the Toronto Arts Foundation, the Neighbourhood Arts Network is the place where arts and community engagement meet in Toronto. We catalyze new discussions and relationships. We collect research and share information. We help artists and community organizations do what they do best: enrich Toronto and transform it into a more vibrant, beautiful, liveable city. To learn more, please visit

Launched in January 2009, DiverseCity Fellows is part of DiverseCity: The Greater Toronto Leadership Project (DiverseCity) and is one of eight initiatives designed to diversify the Toronto region’s leadership landscape. DiverseCity is a joint initiative of two organizations, the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance (formerly the Toronto City Summit Alliance) and Maytree Foundation. DiverseCity is funded in part by the Government of Ontario. To learn more, please visit

These awards would not be possible without the generous support of the Toronto Arts Foundation, TD Bank Group, and the Institute for Canadian Citizenship.

Questions? Please contact or call 416.392.6802 ext 212



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Cultural Champions

By | Awards, Media & Awards | No Comments

The Celebrate 27 Arts Fest Community Cultural Champions project recognizes the significant contribution that cultural champions make in our communities. There are many people in Toronto’s diverse neighbourhoods and in the community arts sector who have given of themselves to enrich their communities through the arts. Twelve local cultural champions were honoured at the launch of the Celebrate 27 Arts Fest on March 31, 2011 at Brookfield Place. Through our partnership with the Toronto-based company Joy Apparel, the images of the community cultural champions were artistically rendered on t-shirts and scarves, in recognition of their efforts. A run of these limited edition t-shirts/scarves will be available by donation in April. Revenue from these donations will go back to the organization that selected the local champion to be used for community arts programming.



Kim hails from Trinidad & Tobago, but is made of the fabric and texture of the many places she has moved through the world. With a joint honors in African, Caribbean and Latin American History and Cultural Anthropology with a minor in Philosophy from McGill University she has developed a strong voice as an artist, global citizen and social change advocate. A published creative writer, spoken word artist, performer, play write, media artist, journalist, yoga instructor and public speaker Kim has built a proud reputation as a passionate youth leader and community organizer. She has graced stages, festivals, panel discussions and conferences across North America. Kim is also an innovative arts program developer and popular educator infusing exploration and criticality while as an ICA trained facilitator she fosters inclusion, equity and anti-oppression into everything that she does. Kim is co-director of The People Project, an organization producing innovative arts and leadership opportunities for queer and marginalized youth in Toronto.


Natalyn Tremblay carries the conviction and strength of their Métis French Farmer roots, and the experiences as a queer identical twin and rambler to imbue criticality and creativity into everything they engage with. Natalyn holds a BA in Integrated Media from the Ontario College of Art and Design with a special focus on the theory and practice of making art for social change. They have been creating mixed media and performative works as an independent artist and community collaborator for over 10 years showing internationally from soap boxes & back alleys to contemporary stages & galleries. Their work explores and explodes the fissures and intersections between human peripheries, identities and stories. Natalyn is also the co-founder and Executive Director of The People Project, an organization producing and leveraging arts and leadership opportunities for Spectrum (LGBTTQQ2SIA) youth while offering a breadth of equity based consultation and facilitation for youth service providers at all socio-political levels.