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

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

    TORONTO, 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
    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's winner of the individual artist award was Peggy Baker, a
renowned performer, choreographer, teacher, and mentor. Baker began her career
in Toronto in the 1970s and went on to perform with the world's leading
dancers, including Mikhail Baryshnikov. She teaches ballet and modern dance
throughout Canada and the United States at institutions that include The
Julliard School, York University and the Toronto Dance Theatre.
    "An award of this magnitude allows artists to make a leap of imagination
in their personal lives," said Baker about how the unconditional nature of the
cash award can help artists. "It's an amazing gift."
    Baker selected Singapore-born Yvonne Ng to receive the Promising Newcomer
award. Ng came to Canada in 1983, studied dance at York University and has
become an accomplished dancer, producer, choreographer, teacher and artistic
    "It's a great honour to have received this wonderful and generous award,"
said Ng. "These awards are so valuable giving the people of Ontario an
opportunity to appreciate and applaud their own home grown talents."
    "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."
    Photos and a video of Baker are available on request from the
Communications Branch of the Ministry of Culture. Ms. Ng and Ms. Baker are
available for interviews.

    Disponible en français


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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