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Artist Peter Morin and Curator Tania Willard Win 2016 Hnatyshyn Foundation Visual Arts Awards

Press Release

Ottawa, September 19, 2016 – Gerda Hnatyshyn, C.C., President of The Hnatyshyn Foundation, announced today the recipients of the 2016 Visual Arts Awards. The $25,000 prize for outstanding achievement by a Canadian mid-career artist is awarded to Peter Morin of Brandon, Manitoba, while the winner of the $15,000 award for curatorial excellence in contemporary art is Tania Willard of Chase, British Columbia.

Since 2006, the Foundation has awarded a total of $425,000 in support of Canadian mid-career artists and curators. The Hnatyshyn Foundation offers its sincere congratulations to this year’s laureates.

Award for Outstanding Achievement as an Artist

Peter Morin is a Tahltan Nation artist, curator and writer. He recently relocated from British Columbia to Brandon Manitoba where he joined the Visual and Aboriginal Arts Faculty at Brandon University. In both his artistic practice and as his curatorial work Morin investigates the impact between indigenous cultural-based practices and western settler colonialism. This work, defined by Tahltan Nation epistemological production, often takes on the form of performance interventions. Morin has participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions including Team Diversity Bannock and the World’s Largest Bannock attempt (2005), A return to the place where God outstretched his hand (2007); 12 Making Objects AKA First Nations DADA (12 Indigenous Interventions) (2009); Peter Morin’s Museum (2011); Peter Morin’s Ceremony Experiments 1 through 8 Circle (2013). In addition to his art making and performance-based practice, Morin has curated exhibitions at the Museum of Anthropology, Western Front, Bill Reid Gallery, and Yukon Art Centre.

“Peter Morin interventions and projects take us outside our own experience and into a new space of humour and wisdom. HIs work as an artist, a teacher, and curator have defined him as a leader within a new generation of artists,” said juror Glenn Alteen.

Award for Curatorial Excellence in Contemporary Art

Tania Willard works within the shifting ideas of contemporary and traditional as it relates bodies of knowledge and skills that are conceptually linked to her interest in intersections between Aboriginal and other cultures. Willard’s recent curatorial work includes, Beat Nation: Art Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture, CUSTOM MADE, Unceded Territories: Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, Work to Rule: Krista Belle Stewart, Nanitch: Historical BC photography and BUSH gallery.

In the words of David Garneau, “Tania Willard is a curator of the extraordinary local, the Indigenous as fiercely contemporary, worldly, but also rooted in real places. She brings grounded Indigenous expression and experience to the white box art gallery and conceptual art to the Rez. Her Bush Gallery projects offer a glimpse into the future of Indigenous curation beyond the art world.”

The award winners were selected by a panel of five experts.

  • Glenn Alteen – Vancouver-based curator and writer, co-founder and Program Director at grunt Gallery
  • David Balzer – Author, Editor-in-Chief of Canadian Art Magazine
  • Marie-Ève Beaupré – Curator at Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal
  • David Garneau – Artist, Associate Professor of Visual Arts at the University of Regina
  • Linda Graif – Art consultant

The Hnatyshyn Foundation would like to thank the jurors of the 2016 awards for their generous assistance.


About The Hnatyshyn Foundation

The Hnatyshyn Foundation is a private charity established by the late Right Honourable Ramon John Hnatyshyn, Canada’s twenty-fourth Governor General, to assist emerging and established artists in all disciplines with their training and professional development, and promote to the Canadian public the importance of the arts in our society. Its programs are funded by donations from government, foundations, corporations and individuals. The Department of Canadian Heritage has provided $5 million in grants to assist the Foundation.

For more information:

Kim Lymburner, Executive Director
The Hnatyshyn Foundation
(613) 233-0108
[email protected]


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