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Joseph S. Stauffer Prizes

Joseph S. Stauffer Prizes Winners

Hoda Adra (top left), Thanya Iyer (bottom left) and Nico Williams (bottom right)

Photographer(s): Marie-Andrée Lemire (top left), Sophia Grouev (bottom left) and Cory Hunlin (bottom right)

Latest Winners

Hoda Adra (Literature)

Born in Lebanon, raised in Saudi Arabia and adopted by Montréal, Hoda Adra is a multidisciplinary artist who writes, draws and tells stories at the intersection of poetic tales and myths. Her solo work, L’Histoire de comment je me suis séparée en deux, explores themes like dissociation, gender apartheid and aborted oral history. It received support from LA SERRE – arts vivants, MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels), the Centre des auteurs dramatiques (CEAD) and the Théâtre Prospero (Montréal). As a translator, she won an English PEN Translates award for her work in translating Palestinian oral histories as part of Voices of the Nakba: A Living History of Palestine (Pluto Press, 2021).

Thanya Iyer (Music)

Thanya Iyer is an enigmatic songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, band leader and music therapist who crafts sparkling, genre-bending, experimental pop music. She grew up submerged in the art of South Indian Carnatic vocals, violin and dance. After her 2020 Polaris-longlisted, sophomore visual album “KIND,” her band released their new EP, “rest” in the summer of 2022 (Topshelf Records). Thanya’s passion for being in community and sharing her artistic practice led her to pursue music therapy. She’s worked in many different communities as an artist-producer and music therapist, creating healing-informed, person-centered and community-oriented musical experiences.

Nico Williams (Visual Arts)

Nico Williams lives and works in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal, Canada. He is a member of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation (Anishinaabe). He has a multidisciplinary, often collaborative practice that is centered around sculptural beadwork. In 2021, he was awarded the prestigious Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Fellowship in Contemporary Art. He has recently exhibited at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (2021) and the PHI Foundation (2023), was featured in Young Elder, an exhibition held at a James Fuentes gallery (2023) and was part of a recent group exhibition, Indian Theater: Native Performance, Art, and Self-Determination since 1969, at the Hessel Museum of Art (2023).

The prizes

The Joseph S. Stauffer Prizes are awarded to emerging and mid-career (less than 15 years of practice) artists from Canada who exhibit strong artistic potential in music, visual arts and literature.


To be eligible for this prize, artists must first have received a grant from the Canada Council. Visit the Grants page to learn more about granting programs. 


These prizes are awarded to honour the memory of Joseph S. Stauffer, whose bequest enabled the Canada Council to encourage young artists from Canada of outstanding promise or potential.

Additional information

Annual competition

Prize amount

Up to $5,000


Cumulative list of winners [122 KB]

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


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