1. Funding
  2. Prizes
  3. York Wilson Endowment Award

NOTE: Please note that we are currently processing all eligible applications for this prize despite the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic. However, due to these exceptional circumstances, the results will be revealed later than usual. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

York Wilson Endowment Award

Rajni Perera, Banner for New Empire 1, 2018. Canvas, wood, steel, acrylic and acryl-gouache paint.

Rajni Perera, Banner for New Empire 1, 2018. Canvas, wood, steel, acrylic and acryl-gouache paint.

Photo: Courtesy of the artist

Current Winner

The Robert McLaughlin Gallery (Oshawa, Ontario) has received the 2019 York Wilson Endowment Award, which funded the acquisition Banner for New Empire 1 (2018), a large-scale painting by emerging Sri Lankan-born artist Rajni Perera. As the Robert McLaughlin Gallery’s acquisition statement notes, Perera’s work “explores issues of hybridity, sacrilege, irreverence, the indexical sciences, ethnography, gender, sexuality, popular culture, deities, monsters, and dream worlds. Banner for New Empire 1 . . .  evokes ancient myths through combining traditional painting techniques with a feminist sci-fi aesthetic. As Perera states, [she is] ‘using the coloured body to subvert the seat of power’.”


Read more on Robert McLaughlin Gallery

What is this prize?

The York Wilson Endowment Award enables art museums and non-profit public art galleries to purchase original works by living, contemporary Canadian painters and sculptors.

Prize amount

Up to $30,000

How to qualify

Apply to the Council.

A peer assessment committee will select the recipient from among all applicants.

For eligibility criteria, the application form and further information on this prize, see the York Wilson Endowment Award Guidelines.



30 April

Who created this prize?

This award is provided thanks to investment proceeds from the York Wilson Endowment. The endowment was established at the Canada Council for the Arts in 1997 by a generous donation from the late Lela Wilson and the late Maxwell Henderson to honour the contribution of Canadian painter York Wilson (1907-1984) to the field of visual art by encouraging and promoting artworks created by Canadian painters or sculptors.

For further information

Jennifer Cherniack

Program Officer, Prizes


1-800-263-5588 (toll-free) or 613-566-4414, ext. 5265

Next Deadline

April 2020


Prize Amount

Up to

By Application

Cumulative list of winners

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