Ontario Contact Recognizes Excellence in Touring & Presenting

Submitted by Mila on November 6, 2015
Announced in London Ontario during Ontario Contact 2015, four Awards of Excellence to individuals and an organization for their contributions to the performing arts touring and presenting sector in Ontario.
The Ontario Contact Awards are presented annually at the Ontario Contact conference. Nominations are accepted throughout the year and a nominating panel meets to discuss the nominees and determine which best represents the values of Ontario Contact and the touring sector. Each year an artist from within the hosting community is chosen to create the awards. This year, the awards are works of glass designed and produced by Marie Bohm Art Glass.  Marie’s fine art has been exhibited at Museum London, Michael Gibson Gallery, Thielsen Gallery, Western University and Mcintosh Gallery. Marie holds degrees in art and design from both the Ontario College of Art and Design and The University of Western Ontario. Exhibiting art since 1998, Marie has been working in glass since 2006.
Agent of the Year was presented to Cheryle Hansen of Kids Entertainment for her work strengthening the young audience performance sector. Cheryle has worked tirelessly to bring the best of international young audience performers to North America. She has been an excellent Canadian representative on the international scene and is one of the reasons our Iwanttoshowcase.ca application process is now used by most North American performing arts conferences. She cares deeply about her artists and the impact that they will have on audiences and the communities in which theyperform. 
Ontario Contact is pleased to be presenting Artist of the Year to one of Canada’s leading contemporary dance companies – Kaha:wi Dance. Under Artistic Director Santee Smith, the company has an abundance of innovative programming for presenters to consider. As a well-organized touring company it has made the life of the presenter easier. And while they stay  true to their core values and vision they keep the audience in mind as an integral part of the performance. 
We are blessed with many magnificent presenters in this province, concerned about supporting artists and engaging their communities. This year Ontario Contact is honouring one of those that may not be widely known but is someone who sees the big picture, thinks broadly about the sector and the arts and is keen to bring in new ideas. He is willing to mentor others, loves collaborative ideas and is passionate about his work. We are pleased to present Presenter of the Year award to Ronnie Brown of the Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts. 
The Award of Excellence is presented to someone working in the touring sector who has had a significant impact on the sector as a whole. Ontario Contact wishes to recognize those who raise the bar for the rest of us and tonight’s winner certainly fits that description. From taking risks in programming to working tirelessly to expand audiences for disciplines that are more difficult to sell. From quietly gathering an excellent team and celebrating their strengths and quietly guiding them to greater excellence, to mentoring and encouraging, we could not think of a better candidate than tonight’s winner. Brian McCurdy has recently retired from his position at the Burlington Centre for the Performing Arts but his mark remains there and his support continues beyond his physical presence. Brian truly is one of those who have changed the landscape in Ontario touring. 
Ontario Contact is a conference designed for bringing together members of the presenting and touring sector for networking, showcases and professional development. Produced by Ontario Presents, it is a major event that showcases top Canadian and international touring artists bringing together over 500 artists, presenters, agents and managers. 
Ontario Presents is a peer-to-peer, not-for-profit, network of presenters, artist managers, and artists who work collaboratively to bring the very best in live performing arts to communities across Ontario - from Windsor in the west to Cornwall in the east and Red Lake in the north and 150 communities in between!  The Ontario Presents network comprises of performing arts centres, municipal venue presenters, academic venue presenters, festivals, artistic companies, performing artists, artist managers, arts consultants and individuals who work collaboratively to improve arts presentation practice in the Province of Ontario.
For further information:
Cheryl Ewing
Event Manager 
Ontario Contact