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

York Wilson Endowment Award

A person wearing a dark blue robe and a headdress modelled after caribou, elk, and moose skulls, with a beaded portrait medallion placed at the centre.

Ancestor Dreamin’, 2022

Photographer(s): Tira Howard Photography

Current Winner

The MacKenzie Art Gallery, in Regina, Saskatchewan, received the 2023 York Wilson Endowment Award, which funded the acquisition of Ancestor Dreamin’ (2022), a collaboration between artists Catherine Blackburn and Emily Jan. Through the work, Blackburn and Jan explore their respective ties to their culture and family history, placing a specific emphasis on memories of their grandmothers.

Catherine Blackburn is a multidisciplinary artist and jeweller born in Patuanak, Saskatchewan, of Dene and European ancestry and is a member of the English River First Nation. Her work addresses Canada’s colonial past and its intersection with personal narratives.

Emily Jan is an Edmonton-based artist and writer. She creates intricately crafted, hyper-realistic installations of found objects inhabited by both handmade and found flora and fauna.

As a national leader in exhibiting and collecting contemporary Indigenous art, the MacKenzie Art Gallery is committed to acquiring works by Indigenous artists at critical points in their careers. The acquisition of Ancestor Dreamin’ is reflective of this effort.

To learn more about MacKenzie Art Gallery, visit its website.


Ancestor Dreamin’, 2022. Unsmoked caribou hide, vintage and antique micro glass seed beads, contemporary seed beads, gold-plated seed beads, caribou hair tufting, rhinestone chain, genuine pearls, dye-sublimated printed satin backing, Swarovski bicones, faceted crystal pendants, hand-dyed rooster feather fringe, gold-plated chain and findings, thermoplastic, resin, genuine leather, gold leaf. Dimensions: 66 x 40.6 x 111.8 cm


What is this prize?

The York Wilson Endowment Award enables non-profit art museums and public art galleries to purchase original works by living, contemporary artists from Canada working in painting or sculpture.

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.

Additional information


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


April 30, 2024

Annual competition

Prize amount

Up to


Updated guidelines will be posted 2 months prior to the deadline.

Submit your application to yorkwilson-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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