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John Hobday Awards in Arts Management

Winners of the John Hobday Award Wafa Al Zaghal and Xavier Roy

Wafa Al Zaghal (top) & Xavier Roy (bottom)

Photo: Photo: Ali Lami (top) & Agence BIGJAW (bottom)

Current Winners

Wafa Al Zaghal
President and Founder of the Festival of Arabic Music & Arts

Professional Development Award

Born in Jerusalem, Wafa Al Zaghal grew up to the sounds of classical Arabic music played by his father who was passionate about it. He is a professional Qanun player, an Arabic string instrument he studied at the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music and later became a music instructor and the Academic Director of the Conservatory. He moved to Canada in 2013 and co-founded the Canadian Arabic Orchestra (CAO) and the Canadian Arabic Conservatory of Music with his wife Lamees Audeh. He is working on releasing his first album of original music compositions and is pursuing a Master’s degree. 

As the President and Founder of the Festival of Arabic Music and Arts, Wafa’s goals are to build a creative space for the Arab community in Canada, to help preserve classical and folk Arabic music and to build bridges of intercultural understanding though a Masters in Community Music (MA) from Wilfred Laurier University. 

Xavier Roy
Executive Director of the Festival de Lanaudière

Mentorship Award

Xavier Roy is the executive director of the Festival de Lanaudière, the largest classical music festival in Canada. After having performed hundreds of concerts with the group QW4RTZ, he specialized in business intelligence and marketing, namely at the Place des Arts and the Opéra de Montréal. Certain that the cultural sector is a tool for economic and social development, he sits on numerous boards of directors and government committees. Xavier Roy is a recent graduate of the Oxford University MBA program and the first Saïd Business School/HEC Montréal Fellow.

Xavier who is the Executive Director of the Festival de Lanaudière, will be mentored under Janice Price, President and CEO of the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. His project will address finding a balance between local and international priorities for large arts institutions in smaller urban or rural areas. 

What is this prize?

The John Hobday Awards in Arts Management are granted to talented arts managers in Canadian professional arts organizations for professional development or mentoring purposes.

  • The Professional Development and Renewal Award is granted to an outstanding arts manager wishing to take part in a short term recognized program, seminar or workshop.
  • The Mentorship Award goes to an arts manager who is seeking to acquire different knowledge, experience and skills under the supervision of a mentor.

Who created this prize?

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 made an enormous contribution to improving the work quality and professionalism of Canadian arts managers by promoting professional development and continuous training and focusing on the profession's importance for the growth and viability of the arts.

For more information

Sarah Brown

Program Officer, Prizes

Canada Council for the Arts

150 Elgin St. P.O. Box 1047

Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5V8

E-mail: johnhobday-prizes@canadacouncil.ca

1-800-263-5588 (toll-free) or 613-566-4414, ext. 6004

Toll free: 1-800-263-5588, ext. XXXX

Fax: (613) 566-4390


March 2022


Prize amount

Two prizes up to $10,000 each

By application

Note that the updated guidelines will be posted two months prior to the deadline. Submit an application by email to johnhobday-prizes@canadacouncil.ca.

Cumulative list of winners

We are committed to equity in all our activities, including the administration of our prizes and awards.


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