Deadline Extended for the Barbara Laronde Emerging Artist Award

New Application Due Date Extended to December 1, 2020.

This award recognizes outstanding emerging Indigenous artists from Northern Ontario who are Women or other-wise gender marginalized*

Please note that you can nominate yourself or someone else. 


  • 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 transfeminine folks who do not identify as women as well as trans men, transmasculine folks, 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 (Beading, Carving, Quillwork, Tufting, Weaving)
    • Visual Arts (Painting, Drawing, Sculpture, Installation and Performance art)
    • Performing Arts (Dance, Music, Theatre) 
    • Media Arts (Film, Video, New Media)
    • Literary Arts (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 nominate.

  • Individuals can also nominate an eligible artist they feel deserves this award.

To nominate please submit the following:

  • Resume or CV
  • Short bio up to 250 words max
  • Max 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 original works of art. 
  • Max 1 page letter of support from someone who is familiar with the nominee’s career in the arts.

Nominations Deadline: December 1st, 2020

Value of Award: $3,500 Cash

Award Jury: **NWIA Board of Directors

Our Vision: To support and celebrate the achievement of Indigenous Women and 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 performance opportunities through our programming initiatives. For over 25 years, NWIA has delivered theatre, dance, music, and spoken word productions, 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 conferences. Our programming is offered to diverse audiences in Toronto and Northern Ontario.

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

Please submit your nomination to Native Women in the Arts: 

For more info visit: 

**In the event of a conflict of interest with an NWIA board member and a nominee, said NWIA Board member will recuse themselves from the selection process.

If you have any questions or need help with the application please feel free to reach out to Program Manager – Quach George at

2017 Barbara Laronde Award Recipient

Native Women in the Arts is thrilled to announce the winner of the third annual Barbara Laronde Award: Lucille Atlookan.

Lucille AtlookanLucille Atlookan 

Lucille Atlookan is an Anishnaabe emerging artist and university student from Eabametoong First Nation who resides in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Atlookan is a multi-disciplinary artist who creates work in a variety of media such as beadwork, sculpture, and illustration.

Atlookan is in her second year of the Honours Bachelor of Fine Arts (Visual Arts Major) Bachelor of Education, a double degree program, at Lakehead University. Her goals are to become a professional practicing artist and Indigenous language instructor and to continue her involvement in arts education for Indigenous youth.

Atlookan was selected from a number of applications from across Northern Ontario. Robyn Shepherd for the NWIA Board of Directors remarked: “Firstly we want to acknowledge that all the candidates were excellent. From Atlookan’s application we got the sense of a deep commitment to herself and to her art, that of which is excellent. She has strong motivation to succeed in her chosen field and she will set a tremendous example for others who will see a path to follow.”

NWIA is excited to support the continuing creative and professional achievements of Lucille Atlookan with a $1500 award, which will be presented with Barbara Laronde in Temagami on July 16th at 1pm, during the Deepwater Music Festival on the waterfront main stage.

For more information please visit:

For My LoveFor My Love, Lucille Atlookan

About the Barbara Laronde Award

The Barbara Laronde Award was created to honour the legacy of NWIA founder Sandra Laronde and her vision and commitment to Indigenous artists. It celebrates and acknowledges the career of one outstanding, emerging, Northern-Ontario based Indigenous female artist, recognizing the geographic and economic barriers that many northern artists face.

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 in 2015.

Trade ColonialismTrade Colonialism, Lucille Atlookan

About Deepwater Music Festival 

Hosted by the Temagami Artist Collective, the Deepwater Music Festival takes place this year July 15-16, 2017, at Temagami’s waterfront. This year’s lineup includes Wayne Potts, Duane Paul, John Shymko, Sam Depatie, Mimi O’Bonsawin Band, Esther Pennell, Eight Thunderbird Singers, David Laronde Band, and more. Festival wristbands include entry to the concurrent Temagami Canoe Festival.

For further information visit:

Self PortraitSelf Portrait, Lucille Atlookan

About Native Women in the Arts (NWIA)

Over 24 years, NWIA has delivered theatre, dance, music, and spoken word productions and published three books of Indigenous visual art and writing. We also produce a series of community-driven artist talks, leadership and cultural workshops, youth arts projects to audiences interested in arts, culture, and the advancement of Indigenous peoples.

For further information about NWIA visit or call 416-598-4078.