The Orillia Regional Arts & Heritage (ORAH) Awards is a fairly new collaborative between the Orillia & District Arts Council, the Orillia Museum of Art & History, and the City of Orillia that recognizes the valuable contribution that creatives, educators, historians, event organizers and supporters make to the social and economic fabric of our communities. In this pandemic year, the awards received a record 20 nominations, proof that our arts and heritage sector is near and dear to our hearts. It also added an award unique to 2020 called the Pivot Award that recognizes the sectors resiliency in light of COVID-19.
2020 Orillia Regional Arts & Heritage Award Recipients Revealed
November 25, 2020
For Immediate Release (Orillia & Area) – The show must go on, and it did, despite a global pandemic.
Tonight, the audience tuned in to the 2020 Orillia Regional Arts & Heritage (ORAH) Awards from the comfort of their living room. Pre-recorded at the Stephen Leacock Museum National Historic Site under the direction of KnightVision Media, the presentation pivoted online for the health and safety of everyone involved.
The evening is a fairly new collaboration between the Orillia & District Arts Council and the Orillia Museum of Art & History. It was established to recognize the valuable contribution that creatives, educators, historians, event organizers and supporters make to the social and economic fabric of our communities. The Award ceremony has grown considerably over the years, and this year was no exception. A record 20 nominations were received and 135 households tuned in at 7pm to watch the presentation.
Below are this year’s nominees and award recipients; please be sure to congratulate them all for their creativity and dedication to promoting, preserving and cultivating the region’s culture and heritage.
Education in the Arts, Culture and Heritage Award recognizes an educator, not necessarily a teacher by profession, whose knowledge and teaching skills inspire others to pursue their interest in the arts and heritage. This year’s nominees are Stacey Schat and Doug Ironside; and the Otter Art Club run by Naomi Woodman and Travis Shilling.
And the award goes to the Otter Art Club.
The Emerging Artist Award recognizes an individual of any age who is in the early years (under five years) of launching a career in the arts. Nominees can be pursuing any genre of art including, but not limited to, visual arts, performance arts, literary arts and many more. This year’s nominees are Norman Robert Catchpole, Chief Lady Bird, Marta Solek, and MaryJo Pollak.
And this year’s award goes to Marta Solek.
The Heritage: Restoration, Renovation and Publication Award recognizes an individual or group who brought to life regional history through a physical restoration or creation of a permanent public record. This year’s nominees are Carolyn Leclair of Elite Printing; Sarah Pickard; Marcel Rousseau; Ron and Ann Harrison; and Dave Town.
And the award goes to Sarah Pickard and the Sawbones Society.
Event in the Arts, Culture and Heritage Award was established in recognition of an individual, organization, or corporation for their part in organizing a single or annual event that showcases the region’s creative talent or cultural heritage. This year’s nominees are Michael Martyn and The Essential Concert Series; Kevin Gangloff; and Dick Johnston and Take a Vet to Dinner.
And this year’s award goes to Kevin Gangloff for Roots North Revisited et al.
The Qennefer Browne Achievement Award recognizes an individual or group of individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the cultural life of their community. It was named in honour of Qennefer Browne, who gave much of herself to support both arts and heritage organizations within the region. This year’s nominees are Ross “Rusty” Draper, Molly Farquharson, Roy Menagh, Phil Jackman, Gaia Orion, and Will McGarvey.
And the award goes to Roy Menagh.
In addition to these five annual award categories, the Pivot Award was added this year in honour of the sector’s resiliency in light of COVID-19. Unique to 2020, the award recognizes an organization for their swift and decisive steps to reinvent themselves amidst the pandemic. While there were many examples of this across the sector, our public libraries were at the forefront of this effort, adapting their programming to virtual platforms to continue serving their community.
And the 2020 Pivot Award goes to the Orillia Public Library and the Ramara Public Library.
A virtual Awards presentation seemed a fitting tribute to the sector as many events and activities themselves pivoted online amidst the pandemic. For those who missed it, the presentation is available on the OMAH’s Youtube channel here: www.youtube.com/channel/UCMtOXan2nIkjWI9myVMJt-w.
The ORAH Awards are presented by the Orillia & District Arts Council, Orillia Museum of Art & History, and proudly supported by the City of Orillia and Accutrac Capital Solutions.