Winners of the 2016 Kamloops Mayor’s Awards for the Arts were announced at a gala at the Coast Kamloops Hotel and Conference Centre on January 30.
The annual awards, which recognize artists and arts supporters in Kamloops and the Thompson Nicola Regional District, were presented at the Mayor's Gala for the Arts in three categories by Kamloops Mayor Peter Milobar.
The Emerging Artist award, recognizing an emerging Kamloops artist for their current accomplishments and future potential, was awarded to Kelsey Gilker. A recent Thompson Rivers University graduate, Gilker's work has been featured in the past two Western Canada Theatre (WCT) seasons. She recently received a Betty Mitchell Award nomination for Outstanding Performance in a drama for her performance in WCT's co-production of Liberation Days with Theatre Calgary. The award includes a $500 cash prize sponsored by the Kamloops Arts Council.
The Business in Support of the Arts award went to Accent Inns in recognition of its contributions supporting the Kamloops Festival of Performing Arts and the Kamloops Symphony.
The award recognizing contributions to the cultural life of Kamloops through outstanding achievement in Craft & Design went to two individuals this year: Amanda Eccleston and Vaughn Warren. Eccleston's pottery is featured at art markets, craft fairs, trade shows and galleries across BC and Alberta. she has been nominated for an Okanagan Arts Award and was shortlisted for Harbourfront Centre's Artist in Residence program in Toronto. Warren is a carver, painter, and graphic artist whose key works in Kamloops include the City's Tournament Capital logo, the Riverpole sculpture at the corner of Columbia and Summit, and the Kamloops logo carving in the foyer of the Tournament Capital Centre building.
Established in 2006, the Mayor's Gala for the Arts is a collaborative partnership between the Kamloops Art Gallery, Kamloops Symphony, Western Canada Theatre, and the City of Kamloops to acknowledge and celebrate the arts and culture sector in Kamloops.