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  3. John Hobday Awards in Arts Management

John Hobday Awards in Arts Management

Left Emmy Lee Wall, and right Christie Watson, winners of the 2023 John Hobday Awards in Arts Management.

Emmy Lee Wall (left) and Christie Watson (right)

Photographer(s): Gloria Wong (left) and Matt Reznek (right)

Current Winners

Emmy Lee Wall

Mentorship Award

Emmy Lee Wall has a long-standing engagement with the art community, particularly in Vancouver where she is based. Wall has been executive director of Capture Photography Festival since 2019, where she oversees the strategic growth and artistic direction of the Festival, having previously served on Capture’s Board of Directors. Prior to her role with Capture, she was part of the curatorial team at the Vancouver Art Gallery, where she researched and coordinated the acquisition of more than 2,500 works of art to the gallery’s permanent collection. She served on Arts Umbrella’s Splash Art Auction Committee (2017–2019), the Board of the Canadian Art Foundation (2020–2021), the AIDS Committee of Toronto’s SNAP! fundraising art auction (2022) and is currently a trustee of the Board of the Audain Art Museum. Wall graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto, a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law, and a Master of Philosophy from Christie’s Education, University of Glasgow. 

Emmy is the executive director of Capture Photography Festival. She will be mentored under Darcy Killeen, the executive director of CONTACT Photography Festival. The project will enhance Emmy’s administrative and leadership skills.

Christie Watson

Mentorship Award

Christie has been making and supporting art since they graduated from theatre school in London, England, in 2001. After returning to Ottawa in 2003, Christie began producing DIY arts events. Christie moved to Vancouver in 2007, founded Holding Space Productions and became the director of an indie art space called Dharmalab (now What Lab). In 2018, Christie took on the role of managing director for Rumble Theatre, a performing arts organization based in Vancouver, and Board president for Progress Lab 1422. Christie lives on Secwépemc territory in Enderby, British Columbia, with their partner and two children and is the executive director for the Shuswap District Arts Council.

Christie will be mentoring with Cathy Stubington, the managing and artistic director of Runaway Moon Theatre. The mentoring project will focus on community-engaged art practice, with a particular priority on responding to community request and being grounded in the overarching belief that everyone is welcome.

The awards

The John Hobday Awards in Arts Management are granted to talented arts managers in professional arts organizations from Canada 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.


To be in the running for these awards, you must submit an application to the Canada Council for the Arts.


These awards 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 arts managers from Canada by promoting professional development and continuous training and focusing on the profession's importance for the growth and viability of the arts.

Additional information


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


March 1, 2024

Annual competition

Prize amount

Two awards of $10,000 each


Updated guidelines will be posted 2 months prior to the deadline. Submit your application to johnhobday-prizes@canadacouncil.ca.

Cumulative list of winners

The Canada Council is committed to equity in all its activities, including the administration of prizes and awards.


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