LSM Newswire

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Winners of the Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton awards announced

Ottawa, November 5, 2009 – Choreographer Tammy Forsythe; collaborative duo 2boys.tv, composed of Stephen Lawson and Aaron Pollard; filmmaker Jackson 2bears; saxophonist and composer Kirk MacDonald; playwright Drew Hayden Taylor; visual artist Adad Hannah; and author André Girard are the winners of the Canada Council for the Arts Victor Martyn Lynch‑Staunton Awards.

The annual awards, worth $15,000 each, recognize outstanding mid-career artists in the seven disciplines funded by the Canada Council: dance, integrated arts, media arts, music, theatre, visual arts and writing and publishing. The prizes were created using funds from a generous bequest made by the late Victor Martyn Lynch‑Staunton to the Canada Council. Through a nomination process, the peer assessment committees of the Grants to Professional Artists programs during the 2008‑2009 fiscal year selected the most outstanding professional mid-career artists among the successful applicants.

Tammy Forsythe – Dance
Choreographer Tammy Forsythe first rose to prominence in Montreal in the early nineties, creating highly physical theatrical ensemble and solo works. Ms. Forsythe founded her company Tusketdance in 1996. Seven group works followed and in 2003 her septet The Backtrack won the third Prix du public at the Festival international de nouvelle danse.

Ms. Forsythe's multidisciplinary practice culminated with the 2006 installation work The Deergirl Diaries: gestures of combat and passion, a ten-day movement installation at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in Toronto. Her complex lexicon mines her interests in pop and folk cultures, music and politics. She is currently working on a new group work, Golpe, a co‑production with Festival TransAmériques and L'Agora de la danse, which will be premiered in Montreal in May 2010. Visit www.tusketdance.com for more information.

2boys.tv – Integrated arts
In 2002, Stephen Lawson and Aaron Pollard founded 2boys.tv, a collaborative, transdiciplinary art duo. Together they have created and toured a wide repertoire of epic multimedia cabaret works, performances, videos and installations in clubs, galleries, theatres and festivals across Canada and internationally.

Stephen Lawson has been considered an artistic chameleon, repeatedly traversing the discipline defined boundaries of theatre, music, television/radio, print and video. Upon graduating from the acting program of the National Theatre School of Canada (1988) he became a co‑founder of the Winnipeg-based performance troupe PRIMUS (1989-1998) which created/toured numerous original productions. Mr. Lawson moved to Montreal in 2001.

A Montreal-based performance and video artist, Aaron Pollard has created and presented video and multimedia performance works to Canadian and international audiences since the early 1990s. He is a graduate of the Emily Carr University of Art + Design (Media Division) and he obtained an MFA in Studio Arts (Open Media) from Concordia University. He currently works as the Technical Director for OBORO New Media Lab and Exhibition Centre in Montreal.

Jackson 2bears – Media arts
Jackson 2bears is a Kanien'kehaka (Mohawk) multimedia artist and theorist currently based in Victoria B.C. His installation works have been presented in solo exhibitions nationally in artist-run centres, public galleries, and group exhibitions in numerous venues such as EM‑Media in Calgary, the Vancouver Art Gallery, SAW Gallery in Ottawa, the North American Indigenous Games in Cowichan and The New Gallery in Calgary. His work has also been presented internationally in festivals and group exhibitions such as Digital Art Weeks, Zurich, Switzerland.

Mr. 2bears has performed his multimedia works extensively and has released several recordings on CD and DVD in both solo and collaborative contexts. He scored several independent films, including the award winning short-feature Bloodriver by Kent Monkman and Urbannation. Jackson 2bears is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Victoria.

Kirk MacDonald – Music
Toronto saxophonist and composer Kirk MacDonald has received numerous awards and has worked and recorded with many leading Canadian and international musicians in a variety of musical genres. He has performed on over 40 CDs as both leader and sideman, and has participated in many national broadcast recordings. In addition to performing extensively throughout Canada, he has also performed in the U.S.A., Europe, Asia and Australia.

Over 65 performances of Mr. McDonald's compositions appear on CDs, both on his own recordings as well as on recordings by other artists. He recently released Family Suite (2008), an 11 part suite for jazz quartet on Romhog Records, and Songbook Vol. I (2009) – a collection of his compositions for jazz quartet, on ADDO Jazz Records, with Songbook Vol. II scheduled for release in 2010. He also leads the Kirk MacDonald Jazz Orchestra, a 19-piece all-star ensemble dedicated to performing his original compositions. He is a full-time faculty member at Humber College in Toronto where he teaches in both the Music Degree Program and at the Community Music School.

Drew Hayden Taylor – Theatre
Award-winning playwright, author, columnist, filmmaker and lecturer, Drew Hayden Taylor is an Ojibway from the Curve Lake First Nations in Ontario. He has worn many hats in his literary career, from performing stand-up comedy at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. to being Artistic Director of Canada's premiere Native theatre company, Native Earth Performing Arts. Most notably, he wrote and directed Redskins, Tricksters and Puppy Stew, a documentary on Native humour for the National Film Board of Canada.

Over the last 25 years, Mr. Hayden Taylor has traveled to sixteen countries around the world, promoting Native literature which addresses topics that reflect, celebrate, and interfere in the lives of Canada's First Nations. His new play, Dead White Director on the Floor, will open in January at Magnus Theatre in Thunder Bay. Currently, he is working on a new play titled Crees in the Carribean, and a collection of essays called Postcards from the Four Directions. Author of 20 books, his novel Motorcylces and Sweetgrass will be published in early 2010.

Adad Hannah – Visual Arts
Adad Hannah is an artist working at the intersection of video, photography and performance. His video‑recorded "tableaux vivants" restage the photographic moment and open a space for the contemplation of time and the human condition. His works have been produced in collaboration with such institutions as the Prado Museum in Madrid, the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Rodin Gallery in Seoul.

Mr. Hannah has exhibited at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (currently on view), the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, Zendai MoMA, Shanghai, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the National Gallery of Canada, Ikon Gallery in Birmingham, the 4th Seoul International Media Art Biennale, and at the Casa Encendida in Madrid. His works are in private, corporate, and institutional collections around the world. Born in New York in 1971, Mr. Adad lives and works in Montreal. He is represented by Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain of Montreal. For more information, visit www.adadhannah.com.

André Girard – Writing and Publishing
André Girard is a Quebecois novelist. In 2007, with his fifth novel, Port-Alfred Plaza, he began a hotel series at Québec Amérique — a fictional series in which readers follow two young Quebeckers who have decided to meet up once a year in a major capital city. The second book, Moscou Cosmos, will be released in the spring of 2010.

In 2008, Mr. Girard received the Canada–Japan Literary Award for Marcher le silence – carnets du Japon. A Japanese-style travel diary, this haibun, co-authored with André Duhaime, was written following an initial trip to Japan and published by Lémac. While staying in Tokyo for two months, Mr. Girard started writing the third book in his hotel series, Tokyo Imperial. After obtaining a master's degree in literary studies (UQAM, 1994), he went on to earn a PhD in the same subject under the direction of Neil Bissoondath (Université Laval, 2008). Winner of several literary awards, including the 1991 Prix Robert‑Cliche, he currently teaches French and Literature at the Cégep de Chicoutimi.

General information
In addition to its principal role of promoting and fostering the arts, the Canada Council for the Arts administers and awards many prizes and fellowships in the arts, humanities, social sciences, natural and health sciences, engineering, and arts management. These prizes and fellowships recognize the achievements of outstanding Canadian artists, scholars, and administrators. The Canada Council is committed to raising public awareness and celebrating these exceptional people and organizations on both a national and international level.

Please visit our website (www.canadacouncil.ca) for a complete listing of these awards.

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