New Deadline For Premier's Awards For Excellence In The Arts



    Celebrate Culture By Nominating An Artist Or Arts Organization This
    Holiday Season

    MANITOULIN, ON, Dec. 11 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government is giving people
ten more days to nominate their favourite artist or arts organization for the
recently expanded $120,000 Premier's Awards for Excellence in the Arts,
Minister of Culture Aileen Carroll announced today.
    "The Premier's Awards for Excellence in the Arts not only reward
Ontario's artists, they also raise their profile across the province," said
Carroll. "I am delighted that the awards have been expanded to recognize arts
organizations for their remarkable achievements."
    The deadline to submit nominations forms for the 2008 Premier's Award has
been extended to December 19. Nomination forms are available on the Ontario
Arts Council website at http://www.arts.on.ca.
    The winner of the individual Premier's Award for Excellence in the Arts
will receive $35,000. The recipient will then nominate a promising newcomer,
who will receive $15,000. Each finalist will receive $2,000. This year, a new
$50,000 award for arts organizations has been added to the program.
    Last year, one of the five finalists hailed from Manitoulin Island.
De-ba-jeh-mu-jig Theatre Group was honoured for presenting quality work that
allows Aboriginal youth to see their lives and their stories reflected on the
stage. The theatre group is the first and the only professional theatre
company located on an Indian reserve.
    De-ba-jeh-mu-jig itself means "storytellers" in Cree and Ojibway and
fittingly so. The group has performed more than 45 original Canadian plays,
delivered over 750 performances and performed for more than 250,000 people
throughout Ontario, and countless more nationwide, in the United States and
Europe.
    "It is so important for all artists that there be a real possibility for
recognition of artistic excellence, despite geographic location or
discipline," said Ron Berti, Artistic Producer, De-ba-jeh-mu-jig Theatre
Group. "The Premier's Award is empowering and validating for the artists, and
enlightening for the people of Ontario, as it brings visibility to great
things that may otherwise go unnoticed."
    "Ontario is home to so many outstanding artists and arts organizations
that choosing just two will be a difficult decision," said Carroll. "I
encourage people to nominate their favourite Ontario artists and arts
organizations and do it before the December 19 deadline - consider it part of
your festive celebrations."
    Members of the De-ba-jeh-mu-jig Theatre Group can be made available for
interviews.

    
    Disponible en français

                            www.culture.gov.on.ca
                             www.ontarioartist.ca
    





For further information:

For further information: Alicia Johnston, Minister's Office, (416)
325-1676; Mark Thompson, Communications Branch, (416) 326-6893

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Ontario Ministry of Culture

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