Mayor's Arts Awards and Endowment for the Arts Celebrated


Celebration Marks 2024 Windsor Mayor’s Arts Awards and Windsor Endowment for the Arts (WEA) Awards & Grants - $31,000 in Funding and 9 Awards of Merit Bestowed

The City of Windsor and the Windsor Endowment for the Arts (WEA) celebrated over twenty artists, arts organizations and supporters with a special celebration honouring the 2024 recipients of the Windsor Mayor’s Arts Awards (WMAAs) and the WEA awards (WEAs) and grants last Friday.

Mayor Drew Dilkens and WEA President Stephanie Barnhard co-hosted the celebration at historic Mackenzie Hall in Sandwich Town. Inspired by a theme of “Building Bridges,” celebrating the transformative power of connection, and fostering understanding and collaboration among diverse communities, each award recipient, and all presenters, had an opportunity to discuss their careers, successes, and the projects that brought them this recognition, as well as to promote upcoming initiatives. The full list of 2024 recipients is included with this release. 

For the second time, the event included a special In Memoriam presentation honouring some of those members of the arts community who passed away over the last two years while acknowledging the role the arts play in helping us process grief. Cellist Karen McClellan performed “In Memory Of...” by Windsor composer Anh Nguyen to accompany the reading of the names. The full list of names is included with this release.

The evening also included a reading from Windsor’s Poet Laureate Peter Hrastovec, and a musical performance by Florine Ndimubandi. The following artists and arts organizations, and past WEA recipients attended as presenters: Rebecca Ng, Windsor Symphony Orchestra (WSO); Maryam Safarzadeh, Black Kids In Action; Russ Macklem, Ford City Potters; Nuha Elalem; Teajai Travis; Windsor Dance eXperience; Art Create Learn Magazine; Emmanuelle Richez; Amanda Gellman; Leamington Arts Centre; County Classic Chorale; and Windsor & Essex County Plein Air Artists.


“Congratulations to all of the recipients and nominees for the 2024 Windsor Mayor’s Arts Awards and the WEA Awards and Grants. It was great to spend an evening honouring and supporting the artists, arts organizations, volunteers, and teams of people working every day as part of the creative community across Windsor and Essex County. The arts make our community vibrant, and I was honoured to share the stage with WEA and to represent a city that proudly invests in the arts while understanding how vital they are to our quality of life, and to developing and strengthening our community.”  – Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens

“It was an honour for Windsor Endowment for the Arts to host an event at Mackenzie Hall that celebrated the transformative power of connection by bringing together artists and arts organizations across an array of arts sectors, Windsor neighborhoods, and Essex County municipalities. Our region is rich with homegrown talent, and it was inspiring to see our creative community embrace their role as bridges for positive change. We heartily congratulate each of this year’s award and grant recipients and hope the connections made at the celebration will encourage others to build bridges within our community."– Stephanie Barnhard, WEA President

2024 Windsor Mayor’s Arts Awards Recipients

  • Individual Artist – Marty Gervais. 
  • Arts Organization – Windsor Light Music Theatre (WLMT). 
  • Arts Volunteer – Capitol Theatre Volunteer Group.

2024 WEA Arts Leadership Awards Recipients (Awards of Merit)

  • Community Arts Leadership Award (Individual) – Bernadette Berthelotte.
  • Community Arts Leadership Award (Organization) – Shō Studios.
  • Literary Arts Leadership Award – Christopher Lawrence Menard.
  • Performing Arts Music Leadership Award – Hugh and Kathy Leal.
  • Performing Arts Theatre Leadership Award – Arts Collective Theatre (ACT).
  • Visual Arts Leadership Award – Arts Council Windsor & Region (ACWR).

2024 WEA Emerging Artist Grant Recipients ($3,000 each)

  • Emerging Artist in Film Arts ($3,000) – Elissa Weir.
  • Emerging Artist in Literary Arts ($3,000) – Erik Johnson.
  • Emerging Artist in Performing Arts ($3,000) – Alysia Therrien.
  • Lois Smedick Emerging Artist in Visual Arts ($3,000) – Tristan Olivier Balmokune.

2024 WEA Arts Infrastructure Grant Recipients ($3,000 each)

  • Community Arts Infrastructure ($3,000) – The Creative Community Experience.
  • Performing Arts Music Infrastructure ($3,000) – Abridged Opera.
  • Performing Arts Theatre Infrastructure ($3,000) – Revolution Youth Theatre.
  • Carolyne Rourke Visual Arts Infrastructure Grant ($3,000) – Christy Litster.

2024 Youth Grant in the Arts Recipients ($2,000 each)

  • Eric Jackman Youth Grant in the Arts ($2,000) – Jamal Sghaier.
  • Morris & Beverly Baker Foundation Youth Grant in the Arts ($2,000) – Sienna Pepper.

2024 Elizabeth Havelock Grant in the Arts Recipient ($3,000)

  • Elizabeth Havelock Grant in the Arts – Michael K. Potter

May 2022 to May 2024 In Memoriam

These beloved members of our arts community were remembered and honoured at the 2024 WEAs and Windsor Mayor’s Arts Awards ceremony:

  • Christine Burchnall – visual artist, grant writer, and former long-time executive director of Artcite Inc.
  • Dr. Brian Burke – jazz musician, band leader, performing arts patron, psychiatrist, and mental health advocate.
  • Bryan Calvert – spoken word poet with Windsor Poetry Slam.
  • Sharon Cassey – docent, guide, and tour outreach coordinator at the Art Gallery of Windsor (now Art Windsor-Essex [AWE]).
  • Nancy Corbett – member of the Windsor Classic Chorale.
  • John “Doctor John” Dickinson – champion of Windsor’s music scene and generous supporter of all musicians; professor of economics at University of Windsor. 
  • Ken Friesen – painter, potter, teacher, and board member of Leamington Arts Centre.
  • Robert (Bob) Godden – educator, musician, composer, performer, theatre director with Korda Artistic Productions, Windsor Light Opera (now Windsor Light Music Theatre), and Sun Parlour Players.
  • Jens Hanson – composer, founder, and director of an avant-garde music ensemble; professor at University of Windsor’s School of Music.
  • Dave Hunter – publisher of The Drive magazine, realtor, community champion, mentor, and event organizer. 
  • Audrian Hutchinson – actor, costume designer, and a lifetime member of the Sun Parlour Players.
  • John Jaciw – graphic designer, sculptor, and medallist.
  • Art Jahns – local historian, archivist at the Canadian Club Brand Centre, and board member for the Willistead Manor Inc. Board of Directors.
  • Bruce Jamieson – graphic artist, pianist, composer, and member of the Windsor Symphony Choir. 
  • Katherine Korach – visual artist, philanthropist, and organizer of art auction fundraisers.
  • Dylan MacDonald – actor and performing artist. 
  • Gordon Oglan – graphic design and advertising instructor at St. Clair College.
  • James Patten – former chief curator at Art Gallery of Windsor (now Art Windsor-Essex [AWE]), and adjunct professor at University of Windsor.
  • Elfrieda Reimer – member of Windsor Classic Chorale.
  • Rosemary Smith – potter, painter, sculptor, and one of the founding members of the Fort Malden Guild of Arts and Crafts.
  • Ruth Smith – poet.
  • Donald Waffle – visual artist, and supporter of the Leamington Arts Centre. 
  • Arthur Weingarden - patron of the arts, philanthropist, and volunteer who served in leadership roles on the board of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra and Windsor Endowment for the Arts among several other charities in Windsor.

Please visit and for the latest information on these biennial awards and grants; and other arts, culture and heritage programming and initiatives. 

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