The first of its kind in Canada, The Hnatyshyn Foundation Award for Curatorial Excellence in Contemporary Visual Art will recognize the work of a mid-career curator who has made a significant contribution to the advancement of the contemporary visual arts.

“Curators are an absolutely vital link between the artist and the public,” said Gerda Hnatyshyn, C.C, President and Chair of the Hnatyshyn Foundation Board. “Their work is very demanding and it often gets overlooked because the attention is, quite rightfully, on the artists. We want to recognize the important role curators play in fostering and promoting Canadian art and in introducing Canadians to the best contemporary art from abroad.”

Candidates for the award will be nominated by a jury of prominent arts professionals chosen by the Foundation for their knowledge of the visual arts across Canada. Independent curators, as well as those working within an institutional context, will be eligible for the award.

The new prize follows on the heels of the $25,000 Hnatyshyn Foundation Visual Arts Award, created last year to honour the work of an outstanding mid-career visual artist. The inaugural prize was presented to Vancouver artist Stan Douglas earlier this year. The recipients of both visual arts awards for 2007 will be announced in November.

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