Skip to main content


Edmonton Arts Council gives 25 local artists $15,000 each to celebrate 25th anniversary of arts awards

November 20, 2023

On Monday, November 20th the Edmonton Arts Council, City of Edmonton, and Edmonton Community Foundation were joined by over 250 people to celebrate the announcement of the 2023 recipients of the Edmonton Artists’ Trust Fund awards. Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate Edmonton’s arts community!

The evening featured entertainment from New Standards, a DJ set from DJ Creeasian, a reading by Poet Laureate Shima Robinson, the screening of a video featuring past recipients by Old Saw Studio, a printmaking station with AGA staff, a gorgeous photo wall created by AJA Louden, and stunning lantern decorations created by Dylan Toymaker. 

In 2023, 25 artists have been awarded the Edmonton Artists’ Trust Fund award to celebrate the 25th year of the EATF. Each award is $15,000, for a total of $375,000.

Time and again, over the past 25 years, EATF recipients speak to the impact of the award on their artistic careers,” said Sanjay Shahani, Executive Director of the Edmonton Arts Council. The EAC in partnership with ECF is proud to celebrate the plurality of artists by recognizing their contribution to creating a thriving arts scene enjoyed by diverse audiences in our city.”

The Edmonton Artists’ Trust Fund (EATF) recognizes an artist’s work and contribution to the community. The $15,000 awards provide financial stability for artists to renew, develop, create or experiment. These awards are supported by the proceeds from the Edmonton Artists’ Trust Fund, held by the Edmonton Community Foundation. 

Congratulations to the 2023 EATF recipients! You can learn more about these 25 exceptional artists below:

Amena Shehab (she/​her) is an Arab-Canadian actress and playwright who has brought her captivating journey to Edmonton’s theatre scene. Through her work she explores womanhood, motherhood, and migration, empowering newcomer women and enriching Edmonton’s cultural landscape. 

Ariana Barr (she/​her) is a dancer who explores the interplay between the physical body and the art of storytelling. Through contemporary ballet she seeks to find what is both specific and universal about the human experience, cultivating moments defined by feelings of connection, recognition and oneness. 

Arlo Maverick (he/​him) is a Hip-Hop artist who aims to move listeners physically, mentally and emotionally. From volunteering at cultural events, collaborating with other creatives, engaging in community activism, to documentary filmmaking, Arlo creates music and film that manage to speak both to and for his community. 

Beppie (she/​her) creates children’s music that is modern, fun, and engaging. Her songs include a variety of genres, themes, and ideas that appeal to audiences young and old. 

Braxton Garneau (he/​him) is a visual artist whose practice is based in the collection and research of materials, culture and history. Combining visual influences from classical European portraiture and Afro-Caribbean culture with natural materials, his paintings, sculptures and installations are rooted in costuming, transformation, and material honesty. 

Cheyenne Rain LeGrande ᑭᒥᐘᐣ (she/​her) is a Nehiyaw Isko visual artist, originally from Bigstone Cree Nation. Her work often explores history, knowledge and traditional practices. Through the use of her body and language, she speaks to the past, present and future. 

Cikwes (she/​her) is a nehiyaw ᓀᐦᐃᔭᐤ soul singer and songwriter from Bigstone Cree Nation. Her music explores her Cree language, nêhiyawêwin ᓀᐦᐃᔭᐁᐧᐃᐧᐣ and nehiyaw ᓀᐦᐃᔭᐤ musical methods that include chanting cahkasinahikanak ᒐᐦᑲᓯᓇᐦᐃᑲᐣ also known as spirit markers or syllabics. 

Daniel Foreman (he/​him) is a Métis writer, director, producer and musician who creates independent film and video. He is also one of the founders of the Edmonton Short Film Festival which has screened over 250 Alberta films and helped many Edmonton filmmakers transition to the next level in their professional development. 

Darren W Jordan (he/​him) actively explores, highlights, and honours the dynamic African Canadian communities in Edmonton through his artistic work. As the founder of 5 Artists 1 Love, his art finds its home in both stages and galleries, serving as a platform for examining the intricacies of the African diaspora on the prairies. 

Enoch Attey (he/​him) is a musician, audio engineer, and producer whose work has been described as a marriage between soul and gospel, where reggae, RnB, blues, and folk are invited to dinner on a regular basis. His music delves into the complexities of the human experience, probing our individuality, our place in the collective, and our spiritual form and connection. 

Jane Ogilvie (she/​her) is a Flamenco dancer known for her rhythmic experimentation and precision and her in-depth understanding of flamenco song, rhythm, and musical structure. 

Jeremiah McDade (he/​him) is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist, producer, arranger and composer. He frequently performs at festivals and theatres throughout North America and Europe with his Juno Award winning group The McDades as well as performing solo and collaborating and recording with a wide variety of artists. 

Kathryn Gwun-Yeen 君妍 Lennon (she/​her) is a poet and editor. She is the co-creator of Hungry Zine, an award-winning, food-focused publication that centers voices missing in mainstream food media. As an artist, she is passionate about building more inclusive, beautiful, and connected communities, through storytelling and placemaking.

Kryple (he/​him) is a Western Canadian Music Awards nominated solo hip-hop artist. His melodic flows and self-defined production style have carved him a spot as one of Edmonton’s most notorious rappers.

Leo Gonzalez (he/​him) is a professional dancer, choreographer and instructor who is committed to preserving, promoting and bringing awareness to the richness of Cuban arts and culture, particularly in regards to their African roots.

Mallory Chipman (she/​her) is an esteemed songwriter, producer, music scholar and educator, and award-winning musician. Much of her work is rooted in an urge to express and understand her experiences with grief and loss; the ephemeral nature of beautiful life; climate anxiety; and relationships.

Matthew Cardinal (he/​him) is a nehiyaw First Nation self-trained musician, composer, sound designer as well as a lens-based artist that works primarily in the world of photographic film. His work with the band nehiyawak earned him a JUNO award nomination and a Polaris Prize shortlist.

Medgine (she/​her) is a multilingual spoken word poet, whose artistic practice is a celebration of linguistic diversity and cultural harmony. She fuses various languages (French, English, Haitian Creole), themes of healing, lessons of courage and intergenerational stories, to create a poetic symphony that transcends borders.

Mehdi Rezania (he/​him), born in Abadeh, Iran is a composer, santur player, and researcher. Drawing from the folk music of Iran and Western classical music, he endeavours to bridge the past and present and connect with audience across generations and cultures.

Nuela Charles (she/​her) is a three-time JUNO Award nominated alternative/​pop singer-songwriter with a soulful edge. Born in Kenya, raised in Switzerland, Canada and the Bahamas before settling back in Canada, Charles’ music is infused with her multicultural upbringing.

Omar Mouallem (he/​him) is a creative nonfiction storyteller who earned a 2022 Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Award for achievements in literary, journalistic, and screen arts. As a second generation Canadian born and raised in Northern Alberta’s Muslim Lebanese community, his primary interest is Western Muslim and Middle Eastern nonfiction narratives.

RIELL (she/​her) is a Top 40 charting dance pop artist, songwriter, and vocal producer. She shares her obsession with hardship, self-exploration, and the darker side of the mind through haunting vocals, catchy hooks, and insightful lyrics.

Shawn Tse (he/​him) is a multi-disciplinary artist, educator, and organizer that practices primarily in film/​video, theatre, and public art. Placekeeping in Chinatown is a prominent theme in his artistic practice and he is a co-founder of aiya哎呀 collective and Chinatown Greetings.

Tammy Salzl (she/​her) is an artist whose practice encompasses painting, sculpture, installation and film. These mediums are connected through a pursuit of storytelling that embodies broader concepts surrounding identity, the contemporary psyche, and ecological impacts.

Viktoria Grynenko (she/​her) is a Ukrainian-born multifaceted violinist, educator, and researcher. Her artistic motivation is to bring a new perspective to the world of classical music while still maintaining the high technical standards and performing rigor expected from classical concert musicians.

Learn more about the awards and the impact they have had on local artists Darrin Hagen, Josh Languedoc, Michelle Campos Castillo and Ainsley Hillyard in this video by @oldsawstudio.