For Immediate Release / September 7, 2023

Rejuvenating Recognition: Mayor's Celebration of the Arts Awards Refreshes Format

In its eleventh year of celebrating local talent, the St. Albert Mayor’s Celebration for the Arts is trying new ways of doing just that. 

That includes some changes to its process. Not to the recognition itself, of course: honouring exceptional artists of all stripes remains the celebration’s focus. In fact, nominations are now open for the 2024 edition, with artists able to be nominated (or self-nominate) in its six categories.  

But change is coming to its structure: the event moved from an annual to a biannual one last year, and, organizer Tamsin Brooks notes, they decided to see what other adjustments would better suit the artists themselves. 

“We had a chance to really look at the awards and the event and, and change it up based on feedback that we were getting from the patrons and the artists and people coming to the event,” she says.  

That means refocusing on the artists themselves, and making the recognition stretch beyond the one-night celebration: offering something to spotlight those award recipients throughout the entire year and beyond. 

“That was some of the feedback that we got from patrons,” Brooks continues, of the gala event. “They came, they saw [the artists’] pictures, what they were nominated for, but didn't really know anything else about them. We really wanted to try and highlight the artists a bit more.” 

To do so, the deadlines have been bumped up: award decisions will be made earlier, to give the team time to work with the winning artists to create videos about their careers and endeavors—videos the artists can then use far and wide. 

“It’s kind of two-fold,” Brooks says. “We're hoping that the artists can take away these videos, use it on their social media channels and for promotion. And then we're also going to use the promotion to highlight them on our social media channels.”  

As for the event itself, it’ll be a smaller, more focused affair: for the artists themselves to be recognized by their peers and the Mayor. Beyond that, Brooks notes there will also be more opportunities for those artists to perform at various city-connected events throughout the whole year. 

“We just want to broaden our reach in the community,” she says. 

Brooks is also hoping that renaming one category will have it receive a little more attention. What was formerly the “Established Artists” category is now the “Mid-career” award: focused on artists who have been professionally practicing for at least eight years, but aren’t quite ready to be considered in the Lifetime Achievement category. 

“We never really get a lot of established artist nominations—maybe one or two a year,” she says. “We're hoping that by changing the name, it'll appeal to more people, because I think there are a lot of mid-career artists in St. Albert. They just don’t know where they fit.” 

Ultimately, this sort of recognition is there to help artists build sustainable careers for themselves, Brooks notes, by helping them become more known to the community. 

“I just think it's another way to get their name out,” she says, of these awards. “It’s interesting to see the progression: we’ve had youth artists that won in that category. Then, they applied for emerging artists and  they won in that category. So it's nice to see the progression. 

“I know that they've used [these awards] to apply for other things,” she continues. “So that’s my hope: To help them promote. I think when you award something, it attaches a value in the community to it.” 

Article written by: Paul Blinov

Nominations for the 2024 Mayor’s Celebration For The Arts are open until October 5th. Full details available at 

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Last edited: August 30, 2023