By Fiona Campbell/Quinte Arts Council
Author H. Jackson Brown Jr. wrote in his Life’s Little Instruction Book, “Don’t work for recognition but do work worthy of recognition.” This notion of how to be in the world perfectly captures the work ethic and spirit of the recipients of the Quinte Arts Council’s Arts Recognition Awards.
Last year the QAC celebrated 25 years of hosting their Luncheon for the Arts to recognize those who have made a difference in our community and who make Quinte a destination for those craving a vibrant arts and culture scene. The recipients from last year included Catherine Taylor, Holly Dewar, Dave Bush, Andrea Kerr, and Mayor Mitch Panciuk.
Dozens of other notable locals have received recognition for their contributions to the arts over the years: Ross McDougall, Jack and Bernice Parrott, Mariyln and Maurice Rollins, Mark Rashotte, Eugene Lang, Leona Riggs, Susan Richardson, and Sam Brady to name just a few.
While our plans to celebrate in person have been forced to change due to COVID-19 and the uncertainty around when we will be allowed to meet in groups again, our conviction in the importance of such an event is even more resolute.
Creative work has been traditionally undervalued (and underpaid) in a society that often lauds hard skills or academic degrees (not to say that artists lack either). Business people, lawyers or medical professionals are the conventional “definition” of success, while art is often seen as a hobby or a distraction; that is, not “real” work.
But then COVID-19 hit, and it didn’t just change how we go about our daily lives; it changed our fundamental perception of the importance of artists to a vibrant, productive and cohesive community.
“Over the past three months art and artists have proven to be an essential, even a vital, service during this time of social distancing and isolation,” says Janet Jarrell, executive director of the Quinte Arts Council. “Art has created connections around the world for people to process their fears, share their realities, and cultivate a sense of hope. Art is everywhere.”
Art and culture play an important role in defining who we are as a community, and contribute to a healthy local economy and lifestyle for those who live and work in the area. To honour those who have made a significant and ongoing impact on our community through the arts, we are accepting nominations for the 2020 Arts Recognition Awards until June 30.
A complete list of past award recipients and how to submit a nomination is available here.
Artists have given us so much during this uncertain time. Now we encourage the community to consider giving something back.