months with artists, multicultural
Edmonton Arts organizations, newcomer support
Council – 2008 City of agencies, other funders, City of
Edmonton staff, and a variety of
Edmonton Cultural experts in the field of immigration
and cultural diversity. A review of
Diversity in the Arts programs across Canada with
comparable goals was also
Program conducted. Research and learning
from the “Voices Less Heard” and
“Explorations” grant programs of the
Recommendation: 2007 Edmonton Cultural Capital
That Community Services Committee Program were utilized in the
recommend to City Council: development of the program.
That the 2008 City of Edmonton To mark World Day for Cultural
Cultural Diversity in the Arts Program Diversity, the Edmonton Arts Council
award recommendations as outlined in hosted a reception on May 21, 2008.
Attachment 1 of the October 21, 2008, The reception was attended by many
Edmonton Arts Council report artists from diverse ethnic
2008EAC020 be approved. backgrounds interested in learning
more about EAC resources and
Report Summary services. The reception also served
A total of $90,000 is recommended in as an opportunity for the EAC to
support of 2008 Cultural Diversity in gather additional information about
the Arts awards. the needs of artists new to
Report In August, the EAC announced the
At the budget meeting in December establishment of the City of
2007, City Council approved Edmonton Cultural Diversity in the
$100,000 to the 2008 Edmonton Arts Arts Program. Nomination forms
Council (EAC) budget to support a were made available and the
multi-cultural outreach initiative. program was advertised, and as of
On December 15, 2007, Edmonton the deadline of October 1, 2008, 41
City Council approved $100,000 to nominations were accepted at the
the EAC grant budget to support office of the EAC.
individual artists from diverse ethnic An assessment committee was
backgrounds and, in particular, those appointed by the Board of the
who have recently arrived in Edmonton Arts Council.
Edmonton and who are finding it Of the 41 nominations, 14 were
difficult to make connections in the considered ineligible. Nominees
arts community and to access grant were determined to be ineligible if
programs. they did not meet the criteria listed in
In order to develop an effective new Attachment 1 or had received a grant
program, consultations regarding or other support from the EAC or
guidelines and parameters of the were in general, already connected
program were held over several to the established arts community.
ROUTING – Community Services Committee, City Council | DELEGATION – J. Mahon
WRITTEN BY – L. Stalker | October 21, 2008 – Edmonton Arts Council 2008EAC020
Page 1 of 2
Edmonton Arts Council – 2008 City of Edmonton Cultural Diversity in the Arts
The Committee considered the
eligible nominations and made
recommendations to the Edmonton
Arts Council Board on funding.
The Edmonton Arts Council Board
approved the attached
recommendations at their September
10, 2008 meeting.
Justification of Recommendation
The recommendations are made in
accordance with Bylaw 14157
Community Investment Grant Bylaw and
Policy C211F Community Investment
Grants to Organizations and Individuals.
1. 2008 City of Edmonton Cultural
Diversity in the Arts Program:
Program Summary and Award
Page 2 of 2
2008 City of Edmonton Cultural Diversity in the Arts Program: Program Summary
and Award Recommendations
The Edmonton Arts Council believes that diversity is a source of strength and vitality in
the arts, and recognizes the need to support and reflect the contributions of artists from
varied cultural backgrounds. Our goal is to be inclusive of and responsive to
communities and artists that might not be currently connected with or have access to
the Edmonton Arts Council or the established arts community. Priority will be given to
artists who have never received funding through the EAC.
This program will provide up to 12 awards of $7,500 to encourage and support
Edmonton artists from ethnically diverse cultural backgrounds, and to engage those
artists in the broader Edmonton community. The Cultural Diversity in the Arts Program
is being initiated in 2008 as an annual program under which individual artists that meet
the eligibility criteria can be nominated for an award by any person in the general
community. Self-nominations are accepted. Organizations are not eligible.
A person is eligible to be considered for a City of Edmonton Cultural Diversity in the Arts
Award if she or he is:
an Edmonton resident since at least January 1, 2008
eligible to work in Canada
18 years of age or older
dedicated to devoting herself or himself to her/his artistic activity
working in any artistic medium including but not limited to dance, theatre, music,
literary arts, storytelling and other oral traditions, fine craft, media arts or visual arts.
The program will provide awards to artists:
who are, or aspire to be, excellent artists. “Excellence” may be verified by a
favorable assessment of the artist’s work by peers, by past awards, by academic
qualifications, or by community and public recognition.
from ethnically diverse cultural backgrounds who are not yet familiar with
Edmonton’s established arts institutions and/or artist support programs
who are dedicated to pursuing their artistic endeavors while living in Edmonton
Page 1 of 2 Report: 2008EAC020 Attachment 1
The Committee makes award recommendations based on its assessment and evaluation
of each nomination. In the opinion of the Committee, the applications below rated highly
on the evaluation criteria and the Committee chose to allocate awards in the following
1. Achol dau Bilieu is a song writer and singer from Sudan. Achol came to
Edmonton as a refugee in 2003.
2. Babatope Omotoso is a painter who arrived in Edmonton from Nigeria in 2007.
3. Elsa Robinson is a self-taught visual artist. She was raised in Jamaica and has
been in Edmonton for 23 years.
4. Erika Vela Namsechi was born in Peru, and is a graduate of the National School
of Fine Arts in Lima.
5. Jacob Amon is a young painter and musician, who arrived in Edmonton 5 years
ago as a refugee from Sudan.
6. Katalin Szünyi emigrated from Hungary to Canada in 1996. She is a
7. Ljubomir Ilic, a sculptor, arrived in Edmonton 7 years ago from the former Yugoslavia.
8. Mengzhun Hao is a Chinese visual artist and writer who has lived in Edmonton for 17
9. Pedro Rodriguez de los Santos, a visual artist from Uruguay, has been an Edmontonian
for 4 years.
10. Reckie Lloyd is a former refugee from Liberia. This young visual artist and musician has
been in Edmonton for about 12 years.
11. Wing Leung Chan, a musician and composer, was born in Hong Kong and came to
Edmonton in 1996.
12. Ziller Rahman is a mime and pantomime artist from Bangladesh. He has lived in
Edmonton since 2005.
Recipients of the Cultural Diversity in the Arts Award will each receive an award of
$7,500 and will be expected to work with the Edmonton Arts Council in order to develop
a plan to engage with the Edmonton community through his/her artistic practice within
12 months of receipt of the award. This could include EAC support (non-financial) for
exhibition or presentation of the artist’s work or introduction to artistic peers, for
Page 2 of 2 Report: 2008EAC020 Attachment 1