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Thunder Bay Arts & Heritage Awards

Congratulations to the winners of the 2013 thunder Bay Arts & Heritage Awards - proudly presented by the Walleye

The awards ceremony was held on Thursday, February 20 at the Prince Arthur Waterfront Hotel & Suites. The evening was hosted by local CBC Radio personality Lisa Laco, and featured a comic tribute to "The Debaters" by Chris Holland and Ron Kanutski and a large scale creative installation by The North Light Media Collective on the historic Lyceum Theatre across the street.

Thank you to the generous sponsors of this event: The Walleye, CBC Radio One 88.3, Prince Arthur Waterfront Hotel & Suites, Weiler Maloney Nelson, Shout Media, Brook McIlroy, Heritage Advisory Committee, A1 Sewage Services Ltd., Cheadles Law Firm, and the Foundry.

For more information: (807) 625-2357


Shayne EhmanPerforming & Media Arts

Shayne Ehman
Shayne Ehman has been a practicing artist for over 15 years in mediums such as animation, poetry, drawing, zines and film sound, and has shown internationally as a visual artist and media artist. Shayne’s film, “Asphalt Watches”, co-produced with fellow film maker, Seth Scriver, won Best First Canadian Feature Film at the Toronto International Film Festival and is included in TIFF Canada’s Top 10 films. Shayne has participated in community events such as WinterFest and the Bay Street Film Festival. From his basement in Thunder Bay, Shayne produces artwork that is internationally acclaimed.
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Visual ArtsJean Marshall

Jean Marshall
Jean Marshall is an Ojibwe artist, curator, scholar and supporter of the arts in Northwestern Ontario. Jean has been practicing as a professional artist for the past 10 years. She is known for her work with natural materials such as birch bark, porcupine quills and pine needles. As an artist, she has exhibited locally, regionally and nationally. In 2012 Jean received the prestigious K M Hunter Award. Jean has been on the roster for the Learning Through the Arts program and has instructed the Native Arts and Crafts course at Lakehead University. She is also one third of the Anemki Art Collective. In 2014 Jean was part of an exhibition at Definitely Superior Art Gallery and attended a thematic artist in residence program at the Banff Centre in Alberta.
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built heritage

Liana and Rob Frenette

Liana and Rob Frenette
Liana and Rob Frenette share a passion for restoration and preservation of historic buildings and local heritage within Thunder Bay. In addition to their family home Windrose, a restored Queen Anne Revival style home dated 1910-1912, and their family business at the Paterson Property TBT Engineering Ltd, a refurbished property dating from 1908, the Frenette’s have begun restoration of another character home at 411 Catherine Street. The Frenette’s are very welcoming to the public and host visits of their properties for special occasions and also for nationwide heritage events such as Doors Open. Throughout both of their restoration projects the Frenette’s have made exceptional efforts to employ local contractors, carpenters and traditional craftsmen and to purchase materials from local suppliers. They continue to consider, cultural and community significance in any initiative they undertake.
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Cultural Heritage

Robert Neff

Robert Neff

Robert Neff has been a tireless supporter of heritage in Thunder Bay and a member of the Thunder Bay Historical Society since the mid 1970’s. He served as its President from 1986-1989, when he played an active role on the Society’s New Museum Committee, then engaged in planning for the creation of a new museum building for Thunder Bay. Rob is perhaps best known for being the creator of the “Flashback” series in 1976, a weekly local history column in the Lakehead Living newspaper. In 2013 Rob capped published the book Flashback: Reflections of our Gloried Past, containing 64 examples of past articles representing a selection of the more than 1000 newspaper columns that were published in over 30 years.
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Cultural OrganizationCAHEP

Community Arts & Heritage Education Project (CAHEP)

The Community Arts and Heritage Education Project (CAHEP), is an active organization which operates to increase cultural and artistic opportunities to youth through the city. CAHEP provides volunteers for after-school and weekend programming, and participates in initiatives and committees such as the Thunder Bay Youth Strategy, Community Coalition Unified for the Protection of Children and Youth, and the Youth Centre Advisory Committee. Their ten years of contributions to the community have been a dedication of their passion and commitment for creating cultural and artistic opportunities for youth in the community.
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Outstanding Youth Contributor to the Arts

Carly Irrgang

Carly Irrgang

Carly Irrgang is a very talented young woman who received the Principal’s Choice Award upon completion of grade 8 as well as awards in social science, math, technologies and visual arts at the High School level. She has been a co-op student at the Painted Turtle Art Shop where she proved to be invaluable. From that co-op “Yes Employment” was approached to provide further funding for a summer position for Carly at the new Baggage Building Arts Centre. Carly enjoys assisting with programming and planning for special events, helping with tasks such as prop building and preparing artistic materials for kids’ activities. Carly has given her time beyond her paid hours to ensure the success of any activity she assists with.
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Cultural EducatorClaudia Otto

Claudia Otto
For over 30 years Claudia Otto has been working as a gifted Choreographer, Educator and Artistic Director. She received her Royal Conservatory Level III Artist/ Mentor Certificate and has accumulated extensive dance training in modern, classical and creative movement while studying in Toronto and in Berkeley, New York. Claudia has been an Artist Educator with the “Learning Through the Arts” program for eleven years providing alternative forms of learning. She works with vulnerable populations and collaborates with other artists in the community to engage participants in multidisciplinary forms. Using creative movement Claudia engages participants to reclaim their sense of self-esteem, confidence and hope. Much of Claudia’s work is done on a volunteer basis.
**********************************************************************************************************************Michael Sobota***************

Cultural Supporter

Michael Sobota

Michael Sobota is an active theatre director, community activist and community builder. He often conscientiously writes reviews and articles about the arts in Thunder Bay. Michael has directed, TAPE, from New Noise Productions which played out in real time.

*************************************************************************************************************************************Hannah Johnson

Cultural Business

Gallery 33 - Hannah Johnson

Gallery 33 is an excellent example of a local cultural sector business that has demonstrated creative originality and innovation, community involvement and dedication to the development of the cultural sector in Thunder Bay.  
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Small BusinessPhilpot & Delgaty

Philpot & Delgaty Insurance ServicesPhilpot & Delgaty Insurance Services has gone above and beyond to provide support for local artists, organizations and events. In 2014 they continued to support the arts in their 19th year as sponsors of the Lakehead University Major Studio and Annual Juried Exhibition. This longstanding commitment to the Gallery and to Lakehead University’s visual arts graduates is admirable and deeply appreciated.
*************************************************************************************************************************************The Chronicle-Journal

Large Business

The Chronicle Journal
The Chronicle Journal has been supportive of the Thunder Bay Art Gallery for many years, and has been a seasoned sponsor since 2007. They have provided invaluable in-kind advertising support for the gallery. This essential partnership has enabled the Thunder Bay Art Gallery the ability to maximize a limited marketing budget and keep the community well informed about all of the Gallery’s exhibitions, programs, and special events.


Previous award winners

  • 2012 Award Winners
  • 2011 Award Winners 
  • 2010 Award Winners
  • 2008 Award Winners
  • 2006 Award Winners
  • 2005 Award Winners
  • 2004 Award Winners
  • 2003 Award Winners