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Culture & Heritage Awards

About the Culture & Heritage Awards

Each year, we recognize the best of Nanaimo’s culture and heritage with the Culture & Heritage Awards.   Recipients are honoured at a special ceremony at the Port Theatre.

Excellence in Culture Award

The Excellence in Culture Award is presented to an organization or individual that has achieved regional and/or national recognition in the field of arts and must be recognized as a “Nanaimo Artist,” demonstrated excellence in their field, and as being a significant inspiration to others.  Recipients are honoured at a special awards ceremony held at the Port Theatre, and their portraits are displayed in the Strongitharm Gallery.

Previous recipients include Brian Stovel, Diana Krall, Lynne Bowen, Jillian Vanstone, Pat Coleman (2014)Grant Leier & Nixie Barton (2015), and Susan Juby (2016).

Honour in Culture Award

The Honour in Culture Award is presented to an individual, group or corporation that is known for their dedication and support of the development of the cultural fabric of Nanaimo.  Recipients are honoured at a special awards ceremony held at the Port Theatre, and their portraits are displayed in the Strongitharm Gallery. 

Previous recipients include Thora Howell, The Nanaimo Theatre Group, Arts Alive Summer School of the Fine Arts, Sandra Thomson, Ian Niamath (2014)Arlene Blundell (2015) and Debbie Trueman (2016).

Emerging Cultural Leader Award

The Emerging Cultural Leader Award recognizes up-and-coming, Nanaimo-based cultural leaders.  The award targets individuals under 30 years of age who have contributed significantly to the cultural life in Nanaimo. They be recognized by their peers and the community as a whole, to have given distinguished service in arts and culture and / or have been recognized for excellence in an arts or cultural field.  Recipients are honoured at a special awards ceremony held at the Port Theatre, and their portraits are displayed in the Strongitharm Gallery.

Previous recipients include Shayd Johnson (2014), Amanda Scott (2015), and Alyssa Glassford (2016).

Lifetime Cultural Achievement Award

This award for Posthumous Recipients recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to the culture of our community over their lifetime.  John Roland Kenneth Gogo was the recipient of this rare honour in its inaugural year (2014).

John Thomson Heritage Memorial Awards

The John Thomson Heritage Memorial Award honours individuals who demonstrate outstanding heritage service and dedication to the community.  Recipients are honoured at a special awards ceremony held at the Port Theatre.

Previous recipients of the award include Catherine Gisborne (1994), Elizabeth Norcross (1996), Daphne Paterson (2001), Pamela Mar (2003), David Spearing (2004), Clarence Karr (2005), Gino Sedola (2007), Parker Williams (2009), John Cass (2011), Jill Stannard (2014), and John Hofman (2016).

Heritage Building Rehabilitation Awards

The Heritage Building Rehabilitation Awards are designed to formally recognize the efforts made by individual property owners to conserve and rehabilitate Nanaimo's heritage buildings. Recipients are staff-nominated based on work completed under the City's Heritage Grant Program and Heritage Facade Grant Program. There are three categories:  Residential, Commercial, Institutional.  Some past recipients of this award include the Harrison Residence (546 Prideaux Street), McCourt Residence (750 Franklyn Street), the Bastion (98 Front Street), and St. Paul's Anglican Church (100 Chapel Street).

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