Nominations Now Open for the 8th Annual Barbara Laronde Emerging Artist Award

This award recognizes outstanding emerging Indigenous (Status and Non-Status First Nations, Métis, Inuit) artists from Northern Ontario who are women or otherwise gender marginalized (transfeminine, transmasculine, non-binary, Two Spirit, gender non-conforming). You can nominate yourself or another artist. The winner will receive a cash prize of $5,000 and up to 5 shortlisted artists will receive prizes of $1,500 each.


  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • Must be an Indigenous person living in Northern Ontario (Métis, Inuit, Status, and Non-Status First Nations peoples).
  • This award is for women and other gender-marginalized folks. NWIA respects trans women as women and uses the term “gender marginalized” to be inclusive of not only women but also trans men and other transmasculine, transfeminine, non-binary, Two Spirit, and genderqueer folks. Cis-gendered, heterosexual men are not eligible for this award.
  • Must be at the emerging stages of an artistic career. NWIA defines an emerging artist as:
    • In the early stages of their career, regardless of age
    • Has created a modest body of work
    • Has had some evidence of professional achievement but may not yet have a substantial record of accomplishments.
    • One who is not yet recognized as an established or mid-career artist by other artists, curators, producers, critics, community members, and arts administrators.
  • Open to all artistic disciplines including:
    • Traditional/Customary Arts (examples: Beading, Carving, Quillwork, Tufting, Weaving)
    • Visual Arts (examples: Painting, Drawing, Sculpture, Installation, and Performance Art)
    • Performing Arts (examples: Dance, Music, Theatre) 
    • Media Arts (examples: Film, Video, New Media)
    • Literary Arts (examples: Prose, Poetry, Creative-Nonfiction, Spoken-Word)
  • Live in one of these geographical regions in Northern Ontario:
    • Kenora District 
    • Algoma District 
    • Cochrane District 
    • Manitoulin District 
    • Nipissing District
    • Parry Sound District 
    • Sudbury District 
    • Timiskaming District 
    • Rainy River District 
    • Thunder Bay District
  • All eligible artists are encouraged to self-nominate.
  • Individuals can also nominate an eligible artist they feel deserves this award.
  • Individuals who have been shortlisted for the award previously are still eligible to win the award.
  • Previous winners of the Barbara Laronde Emerging Artist Award are ineligible to be shortlisted or win the award.

Please ensure your nomination includes all of the following items :

  • Artist Resume or CV
  • Short bio up to 250 words max
  • A maximum 1-page letter outlining why you, or the artist you are nominating, should receive this award.
  • Images, audio, written, or video support material of your artwork. Please do not send more than 10 individual files or any originals. 
  • Maximum 1-page letter of support from the nominator or in the case of a self-nomination, a letter from someone who is familiar with the nominee’s career in the arts. 

Nominations Open: October 7, 2022

Nomination Deadline: December 31, 2022

Value of Award: $5,000 for prize winner/ $1,500 for up to 5 shortlisted nominees

Award Jury: *NWIA Board of Directors

Please submit your nomination directly to Native Women in the Arts at You may also direct any inquiries regarding the award if you have any questions. 

Please share this call on Facebook, Twitter, and by email to family and friends!

*In the event of a direct conflict of interest between an NWIA board member and a nominee, said NWIA Board members will recuse themselves from the selection process. Examples of direct conflicts of interest include a nominee being a family member, partner, employee, or employer of a board member, A board member being from the same community/band as a nominee, or having worked in collaboration with or curated a nominee in the past would not be considered a direct conflict of interest. 

Our Vision for Award: To support and celebrate the achievement of Indigenous gender marginalized artists from Northern Ontario, and to provide financial support and career-enhancing opportunities to encourage their continued excellence.

The Impact: The Barbara Laronde Award is given in the spirit of fostering the careers of emerging artists from Indigenous (on and off-reserve) communities in Northern Ontario. NWIA recognizes the specific barriers that many Northern artists face, and we aim to support Indigenous artists by creating connections, professional development, and exhibition opportunities through our programming initiatives. Since 1994, NWIA has delivered theater, dance, music, and spoken word presentations, exhibited visual and media arts, and published three books of Indigenous visual art and writing. We also hold community-driven artist talks, workshops, commissions, and symposiums. Our programming is offered to diverse audiences in Toronto, Northern Ontario, and online.

History: The Barbara Laronde award was created to honour the legacy of NWIA founder Sandra Laronde, and her vision and commitment to Indigenous artists Sandra Laronde’s 19 years of leadership at NWIA paved the way for many Indigenous artists at various stages of their careers. The award is named after her mother, Barbara, who has been the backbone of her family and a leader in the Northern Ontario community, Temagami First Nation. Barbara inspired her children to be creative and entrepreneurial, and it is with this spirit that NWIA launched this award.

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