By Doreen Jung. The magic that the arts bring into our lives, whether it is through images, performance, or stories is made possible through a blend of creativity, talent, and hard work.
When a community is fortunate to have the wealth of artistic excellence that resides in Abbotsford, celebrations become traditions.
Thus the Abbotsford Arts Council presented the 9th Annual Arty Awards on April 12, 2013 to honour the outstanding artists of Abbotsford.
“It’s at events like this when you see the smiles on everyone’s faces that it is all worthwhile,” says Judy Whyte, recipient of the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Receiving a lifetime achievement award from the Abbotsford Arts Council is an honour beyond words.”With the glamour of a Hollywood extravaganza, the evening turned the spotlight on 12 categories of artistic achievement.
“We are honouring 37 local artists,” said Gail Gromaski, Executive Director of the Abbotsford Arts Council.
“These artists not only excel at their art; they use their art to benefit the Abbotsford community.”
It was a celebration filled with exuberance and exhilaration.
Before the ceremony, crooner Frank David Pirritano entertained guests with the jazz repertoire and music of Sinatra, Bennett, and Martin.
Examples of outstanding visual art were on display at the silent auction with paintings, photography, and works in glass, metal, wood, and fibre donated by local artists.
On stage performances showcased the talent of Abbotsford’s performing arts.
2013 Arty Award Recipients
Outstanding Artist in the Visual Arts – 2-Dimensional
Betty Johnston, Photographer
Outstanding Artist in the Visual Arts – 3-DimensionalKaleigh Ross, (BC Teen Challenge Women’s Centre), Jewelry Artist
Outstanding Artist in the Visual Arts – Video/Film
Paul Lowey (Gloo Studios), Executive Producer
Outstanding Artist in the Performing Arts – Music
Kristal Barrett, Singer/Songwriter
Outstanding Artist in the Performing Arts – Dance
Mary Boonstra, Dance Instructor/Choreographer
Outstanding Artist in the Performing Arts – Theatre
Eileen Deros, Theatre Rehearsal/Orchestral Pianist
Outstanding Artist in the Literary Arts
Heidi Turner, Freelance Writer
Christine Caldwell Outstanding Arts Advocate AwardKat Wahamaa, Artist/Activist
Outstanding Youth Artist – Elementary School, All Genres
Rachel Fritzke – Painter/Clay Sculptor
Outstanding Youth Artist – Secondary School, All Genres
Maddison Wilson, Photographer
Outstanding Artist, Post-Secondary School, All Genres
Chrissy Courtney, Bachelor of Fine Arts Student, University of the Fraser Valley
Lifetime Achievement Award
Judy Whyte, Past Executive Director of the Abbotsford Arts Council
Leading the way, Mayor Bruce Banman sang powerful renditions of “Unchained Melody” and “The Impossible Dream”, giving the audience a glimpse of the personal side of Abbotsford’s Mayor.
Tony Roper and Pauline Harskamp of Fraser Valley Stage sang songs from Gilbert and Sullivan as well as The Phantom of the Opera.
They were accompanied on piano by 2013 Arty Award Recipient, Eileen Deros.
Audiences were also entertained by 12 year old singer, Kiera Venter, winner of the 2011 Valley Voices competition.
“The arts connect individuals in a community,” said Abbotsford Arts Council President, Charles Wiebe.
“And tonight we celebrate the arts – our artists and our advocates.”
Learn more about the Abbotsford Arty Awards at Abbotsford Arts Council