Windsor Mayor's Arts Awards

Mayor Dilkens with recipients of the 2018 Windsor Mayor's Arts Awards

2020 Windsor Mayor's Arts Awards and WEAs awarded in virtual celebration

The City of Windsor and the Windsor Endowment for the Arts (WEA) celebrated thirteen local artists, arts organizations, or arts supporters in a virtual ceremony honouring the 2020 recipients of the Windsor Mayor’s Arts Awards and the WEAs awards and grants on Friday, May 22, 2020.

Mayor Drew Dilkens and WEA President Stephanie Barnhard co-hosted the ceremony using the Zoom platform and broadcasting live to the City’s Facebook page. All award recipients joined them, each taking the opportunity to discuss their careers, successes and the projects that brought them this recognition.

The ceremony was originally scheduled to take place at The Capitol Theatre. Mayor Dilkens used the broadcast as an opportunity to also celebrate the Capitol’s centennial anniversary, encouraging residents to visit their website to share photos, stories and memories of the Capitol Theatre over the last 100 years.

Drew Dilkens, Mayor, City of Windsor: “Art changes lives, and it does not exist without the artists, arts organizations, volunteers and teams of people working every day. The awards and grants presented today all provide an opportunity to recognize our local artists and arts supporters by showing how much we appreciate, value and respect them. Windsor has a proud history of investment in our arts, culture and heritage. I’m grateful to the teams at both WEA and the Capitol Theatre for their partnership. The arts are vital to our quality of life, our sense of identity, and our understanding of our stories and of the people and places that make our community come alive.”

Stephanie Barnhard, President, Windsor Endowment for the Arts: “We at WEA are honoured and grateful that the 2020 WEAs and Windsor Mayor’s Arts Awards were able to be presented - 'with adjustments'. The Windsor Endowment for the Arts was created for the sole purpose of safeguarding arts and culture in Windsor-Essex. In our 20-year history, financial support for our fellow artists and arts organizations has never been as crucial as it is right now. We hope all members of our community were inspired by what they heard from these talented creatives to support local artists and businesses when shops, galleries and theatres are able to re-open.”             

2020 Windsor Mayor's Arts Awards recipients  

Individual Artist ($1,000) - Christy Litster -

The award for individual artist is presented to an artist engaged in a broad spectrum of activities having to do with creating, practicing or demonstrating art in the City of Windsor. Christy Litster is no stranger to the local creative community. In 2008, she committed to building opportunities for emerging artists. She helped found the organization that became the Walkerville Artists’ Co-op; assisted in curating and promoting many shows at Sho Art, Spirit and Performance from 2013-15; and produced over 20 art shows, with 100% of the sales going to local artists. She has hosted sketch nights at the Arts Council Windsor & Region and created a mentorship series at the Windsor Youth Centre. After a 2016 diagnosis of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, she spent her treatment days working behind the scenes supporting the work of other artists. She went on to create the "Windsor Snapshots" mural for our City’s 125th Birthday and has received multiple Arts, Culture & Heritage Fund (ACHF) grants. Today, healthy and busy as ever, Christy has created a series of free colouring book downloads as part of the ACHF COVID-19 presentations.
Arts Organization ($1,000) – ACT – Arts Collective Theatre –
The award for arts organization is presented to a group that demonstrates a clear commitment to creating, practicing and demonstrating art within the community. ACT – Arts Collective Theatre is a well-respected local performing arts organization. The group is dedicated and committed to enhancing the well-being of Windsor-Essex artists through theatre education and mentorship, and by bringing awareness to social justice issues in Windsor and beyond. This group offers programs for local artists at all levels of their theatrical development. They provide training and performance opportunities for multi-ethnic artists of all ages, offering productions that highlight diversity. Their work has been supported by the City’s ACHF program many times over the years. They recently celebrated their 5th anniversary as a group that gives a voice and a platform to artists from all backgrounds, helping to bring us together by sharing stories and themes that unite us all.
Arts Volunteer ($500) – Rod Turton –
The award for arts volunteer is presented to an individual that supports the arts by providing their own time and services without receiving payment for their work or asking anything in return. Rod Turton is a key member of the performing arts community. Since 2015, he has volunteered as the Director of Youth Theatre at Windsor Light Music Theatre – one of Windsor’s most highly respected performing arts organizations. There, he has used his theatrical training and educational talents to build a series of youth theatre programs for local children – a first for this organization that is over 70 years old. Also an elementary teacher, he ensures that every child at Windsor Light feels valued and leaves feeling more confident in their abilities in acting, dance and voice. He tells the kids in his program that they are “family,” fostering individual relationships with each child, while mounting a high-quality rendition of a Broadway show. Between planning and running these programs, performing in musicals and serving on the board of directors, he has accumulated thousands of volunteer hours.

Windsor Mayor's Arts Award Categories 

Mayor's Arts Awards: Individual Artist - $1,000. Presented to an individual artist engaged in a broad spectrum of activities having to do with creating, practicing or demonstrating art. Art is broadly conceived to include all genres within the following disciplines: performance, visual, literary, media/new media, and design.

Mayor's Arts Awards: Arts Organization - $1,000. Presented to an arts organization that demonstrates a clear commitment to creating, practicing and demonstrating art within the community.

Mayor's Arts Awards: Volunteer - $500. Presented to an individual that supports the arts by providing their own time and services without receiving payment for their volunteer work.

Nomination Guidelines 

  • Nominees for the Mayor's Arts Awards must live, work, volunteer, attend school, display or perform within the City of Windsor
  • A nominee may be nominated for only one award per year
  • City of Windsor staff members are not eligible for an award
Nomination information must include:
  • One 5 x 7 digital photograph of the nominee. Please note, the image may be used in marketing materials to promote the Mayor's Arts Awards.

Please provide 3 copies of each of the following:

  • Signed and fully completed Nomination Form
  • A brief description (maximum 250 words) highlighting the contribution you believe the candidate (nominee) has made to the arts and the arts community in the City of Windsor 

Please provide 3 copies of Support documents, which could include:

  • A list of accomplishments, awards or recognition relevant to the nomination
  • A list of published works and/or performance appearances
  • A sample of the nominee's commitment of time and energy to an organization
  • A sample of the nominee's work (photocopies - please do not send originals)
  • Other relevant materials that would support the success of the application

* Please note that support documents should not be more than a maximum of 5 pages in total.

Choosing Award Recipients

Nominations for the Mayor's Arts Awards will be juried by a panel of three judges consisting of:

  • Community Development and Health Commissioner and Corporate Leader Social Development, Health, Recreation and Culture
  • A member from the Arts Community
  • A member of the University of Windsor and/or St. Clair College

Administrative support will be provided by the Cultural Affairs department. The recommendations made by the panel will be delivered to the Mayor for endorsement prior to the awards ceremony.

Submitting your Nomination Form

Forward the fully completed and signed Nomination Form, along with any support documents to:

The Corporation of the City of Windsor
c/o Recreation & Culture, Cultural Affairs Section
2450 McDougall St
Windsor, ON   N8X 3N6