October 11, 2023

Canada’s Art and Business Sectors Unite for Annual Awards Celebration


TORONTO, October 11, 2023 – Philanthropy, leadership, and corporate investment in the arts will take centre stage at the 2023 Business / Arts Awards Celebration. This annual event, now in its 44th year, will return on Monday, October 16, 2023, at the ROM. At the heart of the celebration are the award recipients, individuals and organizations being honoured for their diverse contributions that are driving innovation and fostering artistic growth in Canada.

“The Business / Arts Awards Celebration is a vibrant tribute to the synergy between the business and arts sectors”, shares Aubrey Reeves, President and CEO of Business / Arts. “We are immensely proud to share the impactful stories of leadership and philanthropy embodied by this year’s award recipients, with the hope of sparking inspiration in others.”

Pierre Lassonde, O.C., G.O.Q., Chair Emeritus of Franco-Nevada, is being honoured with the prestigious Edmund C. Bovey Award in recognition of his transformative philanthropy, which has had profound impacts on the arts and education across Canada and the USA. Mr. Lassonde’s achievements include spearheading a $110 million fundraising campaign for the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, resulting in the creation of the award-winning Pierre Lassonde Pavilion. As Chair of the Canada Council for the Arts from 2015 to 2020, his leadership led to a profound renewal, doubling the organization’s budget to $360 million by 2021. Moreover, the recent $25 million donation from the Pierre Lassonde Family Foundation to Toronto’s waterfront, aimed at establishing a new public art trail, stands as the largest single arts-related contribution the City has ever received.

Dr. Stephen Borys, O.M., Director and CEO of the Winnipeg Art Gallery-Qaumajuq, is being presented with the esteemed Peter Herrndorf Arts Leadership Award for his visionary leadership in establishing Qaumajuq, Canada’s new Inuit art centre. As the driving force behind the building project, he led the $75 million capital and endowment campaign and oversaw the creation of the innovative new museum. Qaumajuq opened its doors in March 2021 and is home to the world’s largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art. Under Dr. Borys’ leadership, the WAG-Qaumajuq has significantly raised its national and international profile, with particular attention to Indigenous art and artmaking.

“Qaumajuq represents a commitment to both the history and future of Inuit vision and voices, inspired by the landscapes and people of the North”, says Dr. Stephen Borys, Director & CEO, WAG-Qaumajuq. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to bring greater attention to the work of Inuit artists and their stunning art currently residing at WAG-Qaumajuq through the 2023 Peter Herrndorf Arts Leadership Award. To be connected through this award with a visionary arts leader and advocate like Peter Herrndorf, someone I knew and admired greatly, is truly an honour.”

Owais Lightwala, an accomplished arts leader and creative producer, is being presented with the Arnold Edinborough Award for championing partnerships, innovation, and inclusion in the arts. As an Assistant Professor in Performance at the Creative School at Toronto Metropolitan University, Mr. Lightwala’s research and teaching focus on creative producing and entrepreneurship in the arts. Additionally, he provides strategic consultation to numerous arts organizations, offering guidance on enhancing operational efficiency, promoting diversity and inclusion, and optimizing financial management.

Power Corporation of Canada is being honoured with the Corporate Champion of the Arts Award in recognition of its sustained community investments and enduring partnerships with organizations nationwide. Power Corporation has been instrumental in strengthening the vibrancy of the Canadian arts and culture landscape. In 2022 alone, Power Corporation’s community investments benefited 122 organizations across the arts sector, including: Culture pour tous, National Theatre School, Orchestre Métropolitain, The National Arts Centre, Community Music Schools of Toronto, The Indigenous Curatorial Collective, The Arts Access Fund, and the Glenbow Museum in Calgary.

“Power Corporation believes the arts are a vital part of our social fabric, providing a valuable source of creativity, inspiration, and enrichment in people’s lives,” affirms Paul Genest, Senior Vice-President, Power Corporation of Canada. “We see it as our responsibility to invest in our communities, thus contributing to building a better, more inclusive society with improved opportunities for all Canadians.”

BC Museums Association and Forager Education are jointly receiving the Community Impact Award for their collaborative efforts in creating The VR Voyage Classroom. This groundbreaking platform brings immersive learning experiences to students throughout British Columbia, leveraging cutting-edge technology to make the arts more accessible and engaging.

“The VR Voyage Classroom is a made-in-Canada platform that partners museums with educators across the country to make culture more accessible in every classroom,” says Ryan Hunt, Executive Director of BC Museums Association.

Bryce Mathew Watts, Program Director of Forager Education, adds, “We are excited to grow this platform and partnership to support new sustainable revenue sources for cultural organizations across the country.”

The highly anticipated 2023 Business / Arts Awards Celebration is set to take place on Monday, October 16, 2023, at the Royal Ontario Museum. It promises to be an inspiring event, celebrating the remarkable contributions that have enriched the arts in Canada. The Business / Arts Awards are Presented by Burgundy Asset Management and supported by Awards Partners Franco-Nevada, Canada Life, Franklin Templeton and BMO. For more information about the event and the honourees, please visit businessandarts.org/awards.


About Business / Arts:
Celebrating 50 years in 2024, Business / Arts is a national charitable organization that champions business investment in the arts and looks to build strong, lasting partnerships between the arts, business, and government in Canada. Through targeted programming initiatives and a connected network of arts champions, Business / Arts is committed to ensuring the arts are recognized as playing a vital and necessary role socially, culturally, and economically across Canada.

Media Contact:
Erin Borch, Communications Director, Business / Arts
erin@businessforthearts.org | 613.255.7346

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