5th Annual Arts & Culture Awards Presented

The Collingwood Arts & Culture Awards marked the fifth anniversary last Friday, with live performances and awards presented to recognize outstanding contributions to arts and culture in our community.


Mayor Sandra Cooper and MC Mariane McLeod from 97.7 The Beach presented the awards, which were established in 2011 to recognize and celebrate extraordinary contribution to arts & culture in our community. There are three award categories: youth, organization/group and adult.


The youth recipient is Brooke Girdwood, a student at Queen’s University student who has shared her passion and enthusiasm for music and theatre through lead roles in Collingwood Collegiate musicals, First Presbyterian Church productions and at local community events and fundraisers. Brooke’s mother Angela accepted the award on her behalf.


Theatre Collingwood won the organization / group award in recognition of their work in enriching the community by providing 31 years of live theatre experiences, from professional productions and presentations, to educational programs for youth and adults. Theatre Collingwood presents five productions each season, totaling 30 performances as well as a number of one-night only shows, including those for young children and families. This has included a range of Canadian plays and world premieres.


The adult category recipient is Kevin Hamlin, who was recently named Canada’s 2015 Outstanding Band Director by MusicFest Canada for his dedication to developing young musicians for almost 30 years and his leadership of the Collingwood Collegiate concert bands, jazz bands and marching band. The Collingwood Collegiate marching band is now the largest high school marching band in the country and the bands have regularly won gold at competitions at a national level.


Also nominated in the youth category was CCI student Khaleel Gandhi. The organization / group nominees included Collingwood Cinema Club, Gaslight Community Theatre Productions, and the Sound Investment Community Choir. The adult category nominees were Yvonne Gibson, Shirley Joost, Bruce Mackison, Joan Marsden, Austin McCarthy, Maureen Munden, and Hella Sandberg.


Recipients receive a bronze cast medallion commissioned for the Awards titled Artist Making Waves. Wendy Whaley used an artist’s pallet as the basis for her design. One side of the pallet is a dramatic ripple of waves and on the reverse it varies for each piece – a small footprint for the youth award, larger for the adult and many footprints for the group award, all causing the waves on the other side.