2017 John Hobday Awards in Arts Management Winners Announcement

06 March 2017

Ottawa, February 21, 2017- The Canada Council for the Arts announced today the recipients of the 2017 John Hobday Awards in Arts Management. Paola Poletto from the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto will receive The Professional Development and Renewal Award, and Holly Bright, from the Crimson Coast Dance Society in Nanaimo, BC will receive The Mentorship Award. The $10,000 prizes will be presented at public events this year.

Paola Poletto

I am thrilled and honoured to receive the John Hobday Award in Arts Management. The International Leadership Program in Visual Arts Management is a program that I believe will help both further and bridge my combined interests and skills in local and international community development and entrepreneurship in the visual arts.

Paola Poletto, Art Gallery of Ontario

The John Hobday Award offers me an opportunity to build on my artistic and arts management relationship with First Nations and Indigenous artists by developing cultural competence in artistic management and practices through mentorships with creation/production company, Raven Spirit Dance, with Snuneymuxw First Nation elders in learning language and protocol and with Janis Jonasen’s Intercultural Leadership program.

Holly Bright, Crimson Coast Dance Society

Holly Bright

The Professional Development and Renewal Award - $10,000

Paola Poletto

  • With this award, Paola will be pursuing a certificate program with the International Leadership Program in Visual Arts Management jointly offered and accredited by New York University (The Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development ), Spain’s University of Deusto (Deusto Business School) and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.
  • The program will allow her to gain a global perspective on visual arts management, drawing uniquely from business management and leading creative museum practice.
  • Paola Poletto is a Manager of Studio and Group Learning at the Art Gallery of Ontario.
  • She has also held positions at the City of Mississauga’s Culture Division, the Design Exchange, and Toronto's Italian Cultural Institute/Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Italy.

The Mentorship Award - $10,000

Holly Bright

  • Guided by mentors, Starr Muranko (Artistic Associate) and Michelle Olson (Artistic Director) of Raven Spirit Dance, Holly will undertake a project to assist her in gaining knowledge of First Nations' cultural pathways and performance traditions with a goal of supporting traditional or contemporary presentations by First Nations artists and families where she lives on Snuneymuxw Traditional Territory.
  • This mentorship will aid in the development of culturally appropriate knowledge and techniques to support dialogue and engagement with, and enrichment and presentation of, First Nations arts and artists.
  • Holly Bright is the Founder, Creative Director, Producer and Dance Presenter of Crimson Coast Dance Society in Nanaimo, BC.
  • She also founded Crimson Coast Dance Society in 1998 to put a structure around her dance activities.

The John Hobday Awards in Arts Management

  • Granted to talented arts managers in Canadian professional arts organizations for professional development or mentoring purposes.
  • These prizes were established with a $1 million donation from The Samuel and Saidye Bronfman Family Foundation to the Canada Council for the Arts.
  • John Hobday, who was Executive Director of the Foundation and Director of the Canada Council for the Arts, has made an enormous contribution to improving the work quality and professionalism of Canadian arts managers.

The Canada Council for the Arts is Canada’s national public arts funder. We champion and invest in artistic excellence so that Canadians may enjoy and participate in a rich cultural life. In 2015-16 we allocated $157.4 million dollars towards artistic creation and innovation through our grants, prizes and payments. We also conduct research, convene activities and work with partners to advance the sector and help embed the arts more deeply in communities across the country. We are responsible for the Canadian Commission for UNESCO which promotes the values and programs of UNESCO to contribute to a more peaceful, equitable and sustainable future for Canadians. The Canada Council Art Bank operates art rental programs and helps further public engagement with contemporary arts.

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