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April 24, 2012

Arts Champion Awards Celebrate Leaders in BC Arts Community

Congratulations to the winners of this year's Arts Champion Awards!

ArtsBC and ArtStarts in Schools have announced the recipients of this year’s Arts Champion Awards, honouring individuals and organizations actively working to enhance arts and culture in their communities. Kathy Ramsey of Gabriola Island, Lynne Hossay of Vernon, and Trudy Van Dop of New Westminster received the Arts Champion in Community Award, and the Vancouver Biennale was given the Arts Champion in Education Award.

Arts Champion in Community Award

“The Arts Champion in Community Award is our opportunity to give back to individuals who dedicate themselves to involving and inspiring the members of their communities,” says Sheryl McGraw, Executive Director of ArtsBC. “Their love of the Arts is truly contagious.”

The three recipients of the Arts Champion in Community Award hail from across BC.

Kathy Ramsey has been on the Gabriola Arts Council board of directors for 15 years, currently sitting as GAC's president. Ramsey is also the chair of the Gabriola Theatre Festival, coordinator of the Isle of the Arts Festival, a sounding board for the Thanksgiving Tour, and the major force behind the Kitty J Heller Art Therapy program.

Lynne Hossay has been actively involved in developing creative opportunities for individuals and families in the Okanagan. Under her direction as Executive Director, the Arts Council of the North Okanagan provides art classes for youth and adults, drop-in programs, fundraising events, community collaborations and member exhibitions. Hossay is also actively involved in the Culture and Arts in Action committee and other community arts initiatives, and pursues a career as a mixed media artist.

Trudy Van Dop has been an advocate of the Arts for over 25 years. She developed and launched the first BC Cultural Crawl in 2002, which has since grown to become an annual, month-long province-wide celebration of the Arts in British Columbia. Her passion for local talent has also led Van Dop to publishing the Van Dop Arts & Cultural Guide to British Columbia and its companion website

Arts Champion in Education Award

“We are thrilled to publicly recognize the efforts of the Vancouver Biennale,” says Navida Nuraney, Executive Director of ArtStarts in Schools. “We worked with them in partnership to present ‘BIG IDEAS’, an exhibition of student art inspired by the Vancouver Biennale’s sculptures, and have witnessed first hand the care, attention and passion they put into their projects. They have a remarkable ability to connect and resonate with people of all ages.”

The Vancouver Biennale has a mandate to leave a legacy of education in host communities by using public art as a springboard to learning across curriculum areas including science, math, technology, social studies, language, creative arts and physical education.

About the Award

Arts Champion Awards are awarded each year in conjunction with BC Arts and Culture Week. They serve to recognize those individuals or organizations who have contributed to the development and promotion of the arts in their communities. BC Arts and Culture Week and the Arts Champion Awards program are made possible with the support of the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia Arts Council.

This year’s Arts Champion in Community Awards will be presented at ArtsBC’s AGM on Saturday, April 21, 2012. This year’s Arts Champion in Education Award will be presented at ArtStarts in Schools’ A&C Playground event on April 25, 2012.

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