Six visual arts groups nominated for inaugural $75,000 Arts Achievement Award

    Recipient to be announced in May 2009

    MONTREAL, April 23 /CNW Telbec/ - The Imperial Tobacco Canada Foundation
today announced the six nominees for its inaugural Arts Achievement Award, an
honour established by the Foundation in November 2008 to recognize sustained
artistic excellence and innovative achievement. The winner of the award will
receive a $75,000 prize.
    "We are very impressed and extremely pleased with the high calibre of the
nominations for our first Arts Achievement Award, as they provide an
outstanding array of the vital organizations that play such an important role
in the artistic fabric of our country," said Benjamin Kemball, president and
CEO of Imperial Tobacco Canada and chair of the Foundation's Board of
Directors. "These associations have already contributed significantly both in
Canada and abroad, and are in the vanguard of the visual arts and media world.
We salute our nominators who did an exemplary job on our behalf."
    Three peer nominators selected six visual and media arts organizations.
The nominators are renowned in the field of visual and media arts and were
retained to provide their expert recommendations. A Selection Committee will
bring forward one recommendation for the recipient of the $75,000 Award to the
Foundation's Board of Directors, who will make the final decision.

    The 2009 nominated organizations in the areas of visual arts, new media
arts and architecture are:

    Le Mois de la Photo, Montreal

    An international biennale of contemporary photography mounted in multiple
public spaces, galleries and artist-run centres, this month long focus
includes educational and curatorial programming, keynote lectures,
exhibitions: it continues to garner local, national and international

    Centre for Aboriginal Media and imagineNATIVE Annual Film +Media Arts
    Festival, Toronto

    This international festival celebrates the latest works by aboriginal
peoples on the forefront of innovation in film, video, radio and new media.
The festival offers screenings, discussions and cultural events attracting
filmmakers, media artists, programmers, buyers, and industry professionals
from Canada and abroad.

    Images Festival, Toronto

    The Images Festival is North America's largest event exclusively
dedicated to independent and experimental moving image culture, including
film, video and interactive art. The ten day festival brings together many
sectors for a high impact experience of screenings, installations, panels,
talks, and performances.

    Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, Winnipeg

    Plug In's role as a centre for the study and analysis of contemporary
culture, exhibitions, publications, programming, and artist residencies has
marked it as a beacon for innovation and experimentation in architecture,
film, television, photography, sound and new media.

    Southern Alberta Art Gallery (SAAG), Lethbridge, Alberta

    SAAG has succeeded in fostering the work of contemporary art through a
rich, active and wide range of programs, including regular exhibitions with
significant attention paid to First Nations artists, co-operative ventures
with the Fine Arts Dept. of the University of Lethbridge and community based

    Vancouver Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver

    Located in Vancouver's downtown core, the VCAG is a non-profit gallery
dedicated to the knowledge and understanding of contemporary art via
education, documentation, publication and exhibitions projects. The pioneering
gallery has often shown the work of Vancouver and Canadian artists well before
their work has been taken up by larger institutions.

    Nominators retained to submit recommendations for the 2009 award were:

    - Jessica Bradley, teacher, consultant to numerous visual arts
      associations and collections, Jessica Bradley Art +Projects, Toronto
    - Robert Enright, Research Chair in Art Criticism and Theory, University
      of Guelph and Senior Contributing Editor, Border Crossings magazine
    - Monika Kin Gagnon, Associate Professor, Communications Studies,
      Concordia University, author and critic, Montreal

    The annual Arts Achievement Award will rotate its area of support, with
the 2010 Award designated to the Performing Arts.

    Details on the Arts Achievement Award, and the other donations stream,
New Creation in the Arts, are available on the website at

    Established in 2005, the Imperial Tobacco Canada Foundation is a private
charitable foundation funded solely by Imperial Tobacco Canada Limited and is
responsible for managing the Company's donations programs. Since its creation,
the Foundation has distributed almost $10 million in funding to arts
organizations across the country.

For further information:

For further information: Catherine Doyle, (514) 932-6161 x 2332, Fax: 
(514) 932-2695,

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