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$100,000 awarded to twelve local artists at the Edmonton Arts Prizes presentation

May 2, 2024

Councillor Sarah Hamilton (top right) with 2024 Edmonton Arts Prizes primary winners (l to r): Jennifer Bowering Delisle, Kyle Thomas (accepting Film Prize behalf of Cody Lightning), Kelsey Stephenson and HAIDEE. Photo by Christy Dean Photography

At the May 1 awards presentation for the 2024 Edmonton Arts Prizes, the four primary recipients were announced and honoured for their excellence in film, visual art, music and literature. Thank you to everyone who joined us at the Varscona Theatre to celebrate this year’s recipients! 

The presentation included the Edmonton Arts Prizes partner organizations and Councillor Sarah Hamilton, sipiwiyiniwak Ward. On behalf of City Council and our entire city, a big congratulations to this year’s Arts Prize winners.” Said Councillor Hamilton. Edmonton is proud to be the home of such diverse and skilled artists. Today’s twelve honorees exemplify the immense talent and innovation in our growing city and I simply cannot imagine Edmonton without the many amazing films, stories, music and visual arts that enrich our lives.”

Each of the twelve nominated artists received a prize, with $15,000 going to the primary prize recipient in each category, and two secondary prizes of $5,000 awarded to the runners-up. In total, $100,000 was awarded to the artists.

Congratulations to the 2024 Edmonton Arts Prizes recipients!

RECIPIENTS OF THE CITY OF EDMONTON MUSIC PRIZE (in partnership with Alberta Music)

Primary winner:
HAIDEE for This Shouldn’t Be Typical

Hailing from a small town in the Philippines, HAIDEE’s passion for music started in karaōke, singing contests, and Sunday worship services. At 16, she embarked on a life-changing journey to reunite with her mother in Edmonton, where music became her constant companion in an otherwise unfamiliar environment. Driven by a deep sense of representation as a woman of colour, HAIDEE strives to empower her listeners through her music, sparking meaningful conversations and making them feel seen.

HAIDEE’s debut album This Shouldn’t Be Typical is inspired by her experiences, as well as her family’s, as first-generation immigrants in Canada.​“I’ve watched my parents go from being prominent members of our community back home in the Philippines to moving to Edmonton, starting all over again with next to nothing. I appreciate all their sacrifices so I told myself I will not write songs just for me, but for the communities I belong to as well.”

Runners up:
Arlo Maverick for Blue Collar
Home Front for Games of Power

(in partnership with Alberta Media Production Industries Association)

Primary winner:
Cody Lightning for HEY VIKTOR!

Cody Lightning is a world-class, generation-defining actor, iconic for his performance as Little Viktor in 1998’s Smoke Signals. Hailing from Samson Cree Nation in Maskwacis, Alberta, Cody began acting at age five in the film Geronimo. Since, he has become one of Hollywood’s most active Indigenous actors. In 2023, Cody starred in Marvel’s Echo series. In recent years, Lightning has taken on greater creative responsibilities, including producing, directing, and writing.

About HEY VIKTOR!: Twenty years removed from childhood fame as Little Viktor in 1998’s Smoke Signals, Cody Lightning has been forced to move home to his reserve in northern Alberta. He still

believes himself to be famous— even though the only parts he gets these days are porn and fracking commercials. But when Cody learns his wife and kids are leaving him for a younger, more successful actor, he decides it’s time to quit fucking around and make his masterpiece— writing, directing, and starring in SMOKE SIGNALS 2: STILL SMOKING.

Runners up:
Adam Scorgie for Thunder: The Life and Death of Arturo Gatti
Omar Mouallem for The Lebanese Burger Mafia

(in partnership with the Eldon and Anne Foote Fund at the Edmonton Community Foundation & CARFAC Alberta)

Primary winner:
Kelsey Stephenson for Currents
(Nominated by Emily Baker, Art Gallery of St. Albert)

Kelsey Stephenson is a settler-descended Canadian artist based within Edmonton (Amiskwacîwâskahikan). Her recent work focuses on the changes imposed on landscape through human agency through use of installation and multimedia practices. Her work is often quite large in scale, immersing viewers within created visual, audio and tactile spaces and bringing those more remote locations within the gallery setting.

Currents focuses on the human impacts to water systems through a multifaceted, seamless exploration of the ice, snow, and moving water found at different geographical points along the North Saskatchewan River over a period of two years. Currents examines the link between the metro area of the city of Edmonton and the glacial headwaters of the North Saskatchewan River and the contrast between urban industrialized river spaces and the policy epicentre of the province and the glacial headwaters located within the protected National Park spaces which sustain Edmonton’s metro area.

Runners up:
Taiessa for variegata
(Nominated by Jacek Malec, Harcourt House Artist Run Centre)

Tiffany Shaw for my children, my mother, her mother and their mother, and their mother, and their mother, and their mother.…. nitawasimisak, nikawiy, okawiya ekwa okawiwawa, okawiyiwa, ekwa okawiyiwa ekwa okawiyiwa.….
(Nominated by The Works Art & Design Festival)

(in partnership with Audreys Books & Writers’ Guild of Alberta)

Primary winner:
Jennifer Bowering Delisle for Micrographia

Jennifer Bowering Delisle’s collection of lyric essays, Micrographia, was published by Gordon Hill Press in fall 2023. She is also the author of Deriving, a collection of poetry (2021) and The Bosun Chair, a lyric family memoir (2017). A new book of poetry, Stock, is forthcoming with Coach House Press in 2025. She is on the board of NeWest Press and lives in Treaty 6 territory in Edmonton. 

As Jennifer Bowering Delisle was on her path through infertility towards motherhood, she was simultaneously losing her own mother to a rare degenerative neurological disease and an approaching medically-assisted death. The lyric essays in Micrographia explore how losses can collide and reverberate both within our own lives and in our relationships with the rest of the world.

Runners up:
Anna Marie Sewell for Urbane
Richard Van Camp for The Spirit of Denendeh: As I Enfold You in Petals

About the Edmonton Arts Prizes

The Edmonton Arts Prizes celebrate artists from a range of art forms and practices, recognizing their work, and investing in their continued experimentation and creation.

With the shared aim to enhance Edmonton’s reputation as a hub for extraordinary creation in the arts, the prize program is coordinated by the Edmonton Arts Council, in partnership with the City of Edmonton and our community partners: Alberta Media Production Industries Association, Alberta Music, Audreys Books, CARFAC Alberta, Edmonton Community Foundation and Writers’ Guild of Alberta.

More information on the Edmonton Arts Prizes can be found here.