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Meet the 2021 Business / Arts Award Recipients!

The annual Business / Arts Awards celebrate the power of partnership by profiling exceptional leaders and volunteers in the business and arts community. This year’s honourees have each demonstrated an exemplary commitment to Canada’s arts sector and we are thrilled to share their stories with you!

We are honouring recipients with the release of five visual profiles, highlighting each award recipient and their contributions to the arts. We invite you to stay connected with Business / Arts throughout the month of June as we celebrate lasting partnerships and exceptional service to the arts!


2021 Edmund C. Bovey Award Recipients

Donald Ross, O.C.
& Gretchen Ross

About Donald Ross, O.C.

Mr. Donald Ross was educated at Upper Canada College, Lakefield College, Trinity College, and holds a B.A from the University of Toronto. He began his professional career in the investment industry with HSBC – London and has more than 50 years in the Investment business in Toronto and Montreal. He is currently the Chairman of Leede Jones Gable Inc. He became Chairman in 2015 after a merger between Leede Financial Markets and Jones, and Gable & Company Limited – where he was Chairman and CEO.

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Previously, he sat on the boards of Fort Knox Gold Resources from 1984 -2002, Patricia Mining Corp from 1999-2001, and has been on the board of Macdonald Oil Exploration Ltd since 2000, as well as joining FNX Mining Company Inc. as Independent Director since 2002. His successful career in the financial business has inspired and facilitated numerous philanthropic contributions to organizations across many sectors and communities. Mr. Ross sits on the board of the Ontario Arts Foundation, Soulpepper Theatre Company, Lakefield College School Foundation and he continues to support a number of resources and other start-up companies.

In 2004 he was awarded Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s (PDAC) Distinguished Service Award for his long-time commitment to financing companies and the junior mining sector. In 2013, he received the Award of Merit recognizing his contributions to the community at the Toronto Rehab Foundation’s annual Rose Ball.

About Gretchen Ross

Mrs. Gretchen Ross attended the University of Western Ontario. She has been a major donor to, and heavily involved with, the National Ballet of Canada for many years. She has been a member of the Patron’s Council since 1994, and has sat on the Board of The National Ballet since 2003. She is Chair of the Major Gifts Committee, as well as Co-Chair of the Music Circle Program. Mrs. Ross has also been a Director at The Walrus Foundation since 2010, Fall for Dance North since 2016, Luminato Festival since 2018, and sits on the Advisory Board of Smile Theatre.


2021 Peter Herrndorf Arts Leadership Award Recipient

Mavis Staines, C.M., DhumL

About Mavis Staines, C.M., DhumL

Mavis Staines was born in Quebec’s Eastern Townships and received her ballet training at Canada’s National Ballet School.

Upon graduation from NBS in 1972 Staines became a First Soloist with The National Ballet of Canada and then danced with The Dutch National Ballet until an injury cut short her performance career. She subsequently returned to Canada and enrolled in NBS’ Teacher Training Program, joining NBS’ Artistic Faculty in 1982. She was appointed Artistic Director in 1989 and additionally, CEO in 2013.

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Staines is devoted to evolving ballet education by building on the best of traditional schooling while ensuring future professional dancers develop the self-awareness and creativity essential to leading dynamic and innovative careers and lives. She also is devoted to NBS’ commitment to bringing dance to all members of the community, from aspiring future professionals to those involved in the School’s myriad community programs, the broadest range of any ballet school in the world.

Mavis Staines pioneered the revolutionary ballet education festival Assemblée Internationale, first in 2009 for the School’s 50th anniversary and subsequently in 2013, 2017 and soon in 2020. This international gathering brings more than 20 of the world’s top ballet schools to Toronto for a week of intense and exciting collaboration. Like an Olympics of ballet, except that instead of competing, students collaborate, share processes and perform together in blended casts. This distinctive model was unprecedented in the global ballet sector. Now a model championed in many countries, such as France, Japan and Germany, the NBS event remains the largest and the original.

In addition to her accomplishments at NBS, Staines served as a juror for the Prix de Lausanne, widely regarded as the world’s premiere ballet competition, from 1993 to 1995, and headed the jury as President in 1998 and 1999. In February 2001, Staines accepted the volunteer position of Artistic President Designate for the Prix de Lausanne and in February 2002, assumed the full responsibilities of Artistic President which she held until February 2008.

Over the years Staines also has served in various capacities with a number of dance-related organizations, including DANCE/USA, Philadelphia, 1994; Dance Advisory Committee, The Canada Council for the Arts; The Dance Community of Educators, Toronto; and Kala Nidhi Fine Arts of Canada, Toronto. In 1998 Staines won the Toronto Arts Award for the Performing Arts. In November 2006, she was named by the Women’s Executive Network as one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100, and in 2008 she was presented an Honourary Doctorate in Humanities from Mount Saint Vincent University.

In December 2010, Mavis became a Member of the Order of Canada, in recognition of her commitment to the education and well-being of individuals in the field of dance; and in 2013, she received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of her contributions to the dance community. In 2019 Mavis Staines was the recipient of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for lifetime achievement in dance.


2021 Arnold Edinborough Award Recipient

James Ingold

About James Ingold

Though engaged with arts activity throughout his youth, joining SaskCulture near the end of his university studies in 2009 was James’ first introduction to working on a board and taking leadership in furthering access to arts activity on a broader scale. The rapid education that ensued sparked a passion in him for good governance, leadership and – more fundamentally – a deeper appreciation for the rich arts and cultural landscape of Saskatchewan.

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Following this passion, James has since contributed to many local, provincial, and national organizations. During his tenure as Chair of SaskCulture, James contributed to lottery negotiations with the Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport, which secured significant continued funding for provincial arts and cultural organizations and programming. With the National Trust for Canada, James spearheaded a governance review to help the organization further its cause of heritage preservation. With Creative Kids Canada, James helped the young charity remove financial barriers to arts activities for children and youth. In his various roles on boards and committees, James has always sought to stimulate thought in others, foster collegiality, and build shared visions.

As a software development professional working for iQmetrix, James found a good fit in a company that seeks to create an environment where people can bring their whole selves to their work and contribute to their communities. With their support, James has facilitated community engagement through organizing sponsorships, fundraising, and volunteering. 

Saskatchewan’s long history of entrepreneurship, volunteerism, civic engagement and multiculturalism is an example that James seeks to honour and support. Though still early in his career, he has continued to grow in respect for how visionary thinking and strong strategic decisions can have a large positive impact on a community.


2021 Corporate Champion of the Arts Award Recipient

Equitable Bank

About Equitable Bank

Equitable Group Inc. serves over a quarter million Canadians through Equitable Bank, Canada’s Challenger Bank™. Equitable Bank has grown to become the country’s eighth-largest Schedule I bank measured by market capitalization, with a clear mandate to drive real change in Canadian banking to enrich people’s lives. Its digital banking platform EQ Bank was recently named the #1 Bank in Canada (Forbes) and is a recognized innovator in digital services.

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As a growing Canadian financial services business with more than 980 employees, Equitable’s values are the foundation of the business and reflect its underlying commitment to its people, business partners, customers, shareholders and the public. With a strategy to provide exceptional service and clear value, Equitable rethinks conventional approaches to banking, goes above and beyond traditional banks in serving its customers, and maintains focused efficient service delivery channels. Equitable is a customer-first bank that gives all Canadians a smarter way to bank.

As a leading digital bank, we understand the importance of fostering innovation and finding new ways to use technology to better our lives. The strong affinity we feel for all things digital is what led us to launch our own program for artists doing exemplary work in digital media.

Established in 2015, the Emerging Digital Artists Award (EDAA) provides funding to artists who are making screen-based work, which includes video, animation, websites, apps, and games. Through the EDAA, Equitable Bank has been able to contribute to the professional development of 30 early-career Canadian artists who share our desire to push the boundaries of virtual space. As of 2017, the EDAA has been presented in partnership with Trinity Square Video.

Equitable Bank has also been deepening its involvement and investment in the local arts community and in the Canadian art world more broadly. We are proud to support a number of important arts-based initiatives each year, including Trinity Square Video’s Themed Commission program, Art Starts’ Game Curious program, and Inter Access’ pay-what-you-can workshop series, among others. We continue to seek out opportunities to build resilient communities, promote arts education, and contribute to furthering emerging artistic practices across Canada.


2021 Community Impact Award Recipient

Netflix
for the partnership with
Hot Docs

About Netflix

Netflix is the world’s leading streaming entertainment service with over 167 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.

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In 2017, Netflix received government approval to create “Netflix Canada” – its first permanent production presence outside of the United States. Netflix Canada was established for a simple reason: “Canada has a world-class creative and production community and we really like working with it.”

To demonstrate its commitment to Canada, Netflix promised to spend a minimum of half a billion dollars on original production in Canada over five years. This investment — the most significant to date from any internet streaming video service — means money spent with Canadian producers, directors, writers, actors and film crews. Netflix also committed another $25 million dollars to local cultural organizations and events to support new and diverse Canadian talent, including women, francophones and indigenous creators.

Netflix Canada’s production investment includes current and soon-to-be-released titles such as Altered Carbon, Riverdale, Lost In Space, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, How It Ends, Another Life, The Umbrella Academy, the SCTV Reunion, and Always Be My Maybe. Netflix is also featuring top Canadian comedians in an international stand-up series filmed at Montreal’s Just for Laughs/Juste Pour Rire Comedy Festival. The company is also bringing critically acclaimed Canadian content like Anne with an E, Northern Rescue, Frontier, Les Affamés, Travelers and Kim’s Convenience to its over 167 million members around the world.

In recent years, Netflix has also been building deeper ties with Canada’s cultural community by partnering with industry and creative organizations to promote emerging and diverse talent. Netflix is proud to support the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, Banff Diversity of Voices Initiative, the Canadian Film Centre, Hot Docs Canadian Storytellers Project, L’institut national de l’image et du son, L’ecole nationale de l’humour, the Pacific Screenwriters Program (a joint initiative with Creative BC, Canadian Media Producers Association, Writers Guild of Canada) and Quebec Cinema. We are inspired by the passion of these organizations to help grow and diversify the next generation of Canadian creators and are honoured to support their efforts.

As part of our early efforts, in May 2018 Netflix organized its first “pitch” session between Netflix content executives and Canadian francophone producers and creators in Montréal. The company hosted and participated in production networking and recruiting events and production conferences to further strengthen relationships with Canada’s English and French production sectors.

It has been a busy launch for Netflix Canada, and we are committed to continuing working with Canada’s top-notch talent and creative institutions on content projects and partnerships, and look forward to sharing more on those soon.

About Hot Docs

Hot Docs’ mission is to present and celebrate the art of documentary and to facilitate production, financing, and distribution opportunities for documentary makers. Founded in 1993 by a professional association of independent filmmakers, Hot Docs’ unwavering commitment to showcasing the best in Canadian and international storytelling has led the organization to become one of the world’s preeminent leaders for documentary film.

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Hot Docs is a year-round operation with the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema as its home base. This century-old theatre is Canada’s largest single-screen cinema, located in Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood and is one of the only documentary-focused cinemas in the world. Approximately 300 films are shown to 255,000 audience members annually, and the cinema continues to expand its programming to include special initiatives such as the Curious Minds Speaker Festival, Hot Docs Podcast Festival for audio storytellers, and Doc Soup; offering audiences new and interesting ways to engage with and learn from crafted non-fiction content.

The Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, now North America’s second-largest film festival, is a must-attend event for audiences, film artists, buyers, distributors, and broadcasters from across Canada and around the world. 2020’s festival ran from April 30th to May 10th, 2020, presenting an outstanding selection of 230+ documentaries from 55 countries, to an audience of 228,000+ attendees. Hot Docs is the only film festival in North America recognized as a qualifying festival for the Academy Awards® in both the Documentary Feature and Documentary Short Subject categories.

Hot Docs Industry Programs host a full roster of conference sessions, market events, and services that support the work of 2,600+ documentary artists, including the Hot Docs Forum, Distribution Rendezvous, and Deal Maker at the Festival each year. Hot Docs Industry Programs have helped facilitate more than $100 Million of project financing over the past ten years between documentary creators and financiers in attendance. Year-round, Hot Docs Industry Programs administer a portfolio of over $10M in film funds through grants and equity investment which has directly funded over 250 films. Hot Docs Industry has built corresponding filmmaker labs, workshops and sessions to support our fund fellows often focusing on historically underrepresented voices in our documentary community.


Presenting Partner

Awards Partners

Media Partners

Thanks to St. Joseph Communications