Winner of the 6th Annual Barbara Laronde Emerging Artist Award & Short List Nominees

Native Women in the Arts is pleased to announce the shortlisted nominees and winner of the 6th Annual Barbara Laronde Emerging Artist Award

The Barbara Laronde Award is given in the spirit of fostering the careers of emerging Indigenous artists in Northern Ontario who are women and/or Two Spirit people and/or gender marginalized people*.

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.

Due to a record number of nominees this year, and the ongoing hardships of COVID-19, NWIA decided to do a shortlist of nominees as well as a winner. Each shortlisted nominee will be acknowledged with $1,500 and the winner will receive a prize of $3,500. The winner and their work will also be featured on our website.

The shortlisted nominees for the 6th Annual Barbara Laronde Award are:

Jana Rae Yerxa

Melody McKiver

Courtnee Osawabine

Sonya Belisle

Taryn Bobiwash

Leanna Marshall 

The Winner of the 6th Annual Barbara Laronde Emerging Artist Awards is:

Michel Dumont

Michel Dumont is a queer Métis Two Spirited disabled artist who currently resides in Thunder Bay. He enjoys breathing new life into discarded vintage tile by making mosaic pieces. He also works in wearable art, using packing tape, mylar, cellophane and LED lights. He’s shown at Queer Landscapes, Queer Intersections at the John B. Aird in Toronto, and the Queer and Peace Vernissage, Dawson College, Montreal.

Eye of Nanabijiou (Photo Courtesy of Artist)

Michel Dumont was selected from a number of nominees from across Northern Ontario. NWIA’s Artistic Director, Ariel Smith remarked: “ On behalf of the Board and staff of NWIA, we are pleased to present this award to Michel Dumont, in recognition of not only their talent, but  their commitment to the development of their craft and artistic practice and to their community. We look forward to seeing what the future has in store for this artist and wish them all the best in their endeavours. NWIA is excited to support the continuing creative and professional achievements of Michel Dumont with a $3,500 cash prize. On behalf of the Board and staff of NWIA we are also thrilled to acknowledge our shortlisted nominees Jana RaeYerxa, Melody McKiver, Courtnee Osawabine, Sonya Belisle, Taryn Bobiwash and Leanna Marshall with $1,500 each. A huge congratulations to all.”

Infinity Rose (Photo Courtesy of Artist)

*This award is for women and Two Spirit people, as well as other gender marginalized folks. NWIA respects trans women as women and uses the term gender marginalized to express inclusivity of transfeminine people who do not identify as women, as well as trans men and other other transmasculine people, non-binary and genderqueer people. Cisgendered heterosexual men are not eligible for this award.

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 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.

Michel Dumont in Performance (Photo by Elijah Nichols)

About Native Women in the Arts (NWIA)

Established in 1993, Native Women in the Arts (NWIA) is a not-for-profit organization for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Women and other Indigenous Gender Marginalized Folks from diverse artistic disciples who share a common interest in culture, art, community and the advancement of Indigenous Peoples.

NWIA Presents unique artistic programming while developing, supporting, and cultivating practices in the performing arts, literary arts and publishing, visual arts, customary arts, and community development projects. NWIA’s influence has been felt in communities across Canada. We nourish and transform our communities by pursuing the highest standards of artistic excellence, and by offering development opportunities to emerging artists.

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