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2022 Richmond Arts Awards recipients unveiled

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 10:23 PDT, Tue May 10, 2022

Last Updated: 12:32 PDT, Wed May 18, 2022

The City of Richmond and the Richmond Arts Coalition are pleased to announce the six recipients of the 14th annual Richmond Arts Awards. Mayor Malcolm Brodie hosted the awards on May 4 at the Gateway Theatre, marking a return to an in-person ceremony after two years of online recipient recognitions. This ceremony also included in-person celebrations of the 2020 and 2021 recipients.

Earlier this year, 62 nominations were reviewed by a selection committee of community members to determine recipients in six categories that recognize well-established community members and organizations, as well as rising stars in Richmond’s arts scene.

The six 2022 Richmond Arts Award recipients are:

Artistic Innovation: Thomas Cannell       

Cannell is a Coast Salish (Musqueam) artist whose artistic style is greatly influenced by his mother, Susan A. Point. He also studied graphic design and photography at Langara College and graduated from Capilano University’s Tourism Management program in 2005. The recipient of a British Columbia Creative Achievement Award, his art is featured in galleries in Vancouver, Victoria, and Seattle and has been included in touring exhibitions throughout North America as well as in catalogue publications. His large-scale compositions can be seen in numerous public art works throughout southwestern B.C., including a BC Ferries vessel. In Richmond, Cannell’s work includes the recently unveiled Sea to Sky painted glass artwork on No. 3 Road, Fish Trap Way located near the Richmond Olympic Oval, and Ravens in Terra Nova Rural Park.

Arts Education: Harry Yu                                                             

Yu has taught traditional Chinese painting to students of all ages for the past half century, and for the last 30 years he has made numerous contributions to Richmond’s cultural community. Yu co-founded many clubs and associations in support of his chosen art form, the oldest of these being The Wednesday Arts Club (1998) and the most recent being the Chinese Arts Association Richmond (2018). Inspired by majestic mountains and nature, his beautiful works are skillfully drawn in the traditional Chinese style blended with his own innovative touches. Yu has held group and solo exhibitions across Canada and Asia (including the People’s Republic of China). The Government of Guangxi was so deeply impressed by this mastery of the ancient Chinese art form, that it has several of Yu’s paintings on permanent display at Liu Cheu Museum Art Gallery and Art Institute. 

Business and the Arts: Mark Glavina, Phoenix Art Workshop

Glavina has promoted the benefits of the arts through education and community engagement for more than 30 years. With training in graphic design and illustration, he has worked as a teacher and illustrator, and established a reputation as a muralist. In developing his own fine art, he explores environmental, cultural, and social issues, while working with figure and portraiture. His focus in recent years has been to develop a comprehensive teaching philosophy for the fundamentals of art and visual literacy. In 1997, Glavina opened Phoenix Art Workshop, which hosts art classes both locally and abroad including very successful and popular international art excursions through The Travelling Brush. By organizing community art events like Chalk the Boardwalk and Grand Prix of Art, Glavina has shared his intense passion for art making with other artists and the general public. Notably, he received the Business and the Arts Award in 2010, making him the first Richmond Arts Awards recipient to be honoured twice for his exceptional commitment to the arts.

Cultural Leadership: Mary Wilson, Richmond Black History Month                         

After years of travelling to other Metro Vancouver communities for Black History Month events, Wilson took it upon herself to coordinate events in Richmond resulting in the first annual Richmond Black History Month celebration in 2016. Before then, there were limited institutional opportunities for the city’s small but vibrant Black community to showcase their stories, talents, and achievements. By crafting and planning a diverse range of programming every year to educate, celebrate, and make community connections, Wilson has significantly contributed to the city’s cultural development. It is her deep reach within the community that makes the programming so successful. She is intentional about recognizing the diversity of Richmond residents of African descent, with roots all over the world, and she is always eager to widen the circle.

Volunteerism: Keiko Go                                        

Go has left an indelible mark in Richmond through her extensive list of volunteer activities. Every summer since 2008, she has been involved with the Obon Festival at the Steveston Buddhist temple, and she especially enjoys organizing cultural experiences. Examples include gathering local Japanese-Canadian artists to celebrate the temple’s 50th anniversary and organizing a group of Japanese dancers to participate in the annual Steveston Salmon Festival with the Jodo Shin Taiko players. Every spring, she organizes a concert to showcase the talents of Japanese musicians. More recently, to combat pandemic-related isolation, Go has written a short bi-weekly bulletin, Connect, for Japanese-Canadian seniors. She also spearheaded a project to make paper cranes in support of local healthcare workers and their seriously ill patients, which attracted the attention of media outlets across Canada.

Youth Arts: Megan Yung                                                  

Yung is an active contributor to Richmond’s arts community. In 2018, her poster design was chosen for Richmond School District No. 38’s Mission, Vision, and Values poster. The next year, her work was selected in the 2019 Richmond Street Banner Contest and she illustrated the Richmond Public Library’s 2019 Teen Summer Reading Challenge poster. Notably, in that same year, Yung also became the youngest artist to be commissioned by the City of Richmond for her 2019 Richmond Maritime Festival poster design. More recently, she was commissioned to design face masks for city staff, and was again selected as a winner in the 2021 Richmond Street Banner Contest. In addition to all these projects, Yung is a Marketing Director at Work in Progress magazine, a youth-led art magazine that promotes the coalescence of youth art and social justice in Metro Vancouver.

For more information on the Richmond Arts Awards, visit www.richmond.ca/artsawards.

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