The first awards were made in 2007, and historically were made in years when funds had been available from the growing endowments, or been donated for specific annual awards.
Annual awards are made possible because of the generosity of our endowment donors. We thank them for their vision, commitment and support of Saskatchewan Artists.
We acknowledge the current and past volunteer Board of Trustees for their efforts in supporting the work of the Foundation.
In 2023, the Foundation established a multidisciplinary Jury-panel to facilitate the adjudication of submissions. Awards of $5000 have been to ten award recipients.
These awards are supported in part by the Named Endowment Funds and the Operating Endowment Fund.
ELAINE MCARTHUR (Treaty 4) INDIGENOUS LITERARY AWARD – Dick & Jane Fund
ELAINE MCARTHUR is a Dakota/Nakota member of the Ocean Man First Nation on Treaty 4 territory. Elaine will use the award to develop a graphic novel about an Indigenous superhero who battles evil in the community.
Elaine currently lives and works in Regina, Sk. She has a degree in Indigenous Education from the First Nations University and has written a self published a children’s book which won the Indigenous Voices Literary Award in 2020. She has also received awards for poetry and short stories and is published in an anthology and a quarterly magazine. She continues to write in her spare time and strives to further her craft while practicing her traditional culture and actively passing on the knowledge to grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
“I am truly honoured and grateful to be chosen to be this year’s recipient. As a writer and artist, this will help me to spend more time completing this graphic novel. It has been in the works for 2 years, writing, editing and struggling to find the financial means to complete it.”
ANNIE BRASS (Kawacatoose Cree Nation) INDIGENOUS TRADITIONAL CRAFT AWARD – Dick & Jane Fund
Annie Brass is Anishinaabe/Neheyow and comes from the people of many roads, Kawacatoose Cree Nation of Saskatchewan. Annie will use the award to to document a family journey creating Men’s Fancy Dance Regalia.
Annie Brass is an Entrepreneur and artist of many talents: Stand Up Comedian, Storyteller, Indigenous Regalia creator & Pow-wow dancer. Annie began dancing Powwow, as a young child and has danced throughout North America and in 2019 was featured on the Pre-Olympic Stage. Annie learned regalia making by helping her mother as she sewed and created regalia. Having mastered the art of bead working, moccasin making and sewing ribbons and appliqué, Annie’s designs and artwork are unique and colourful with intricate designs.
“As an artist and entrepreneur, it is difficult to find enough money to acquire all the materials for this Regalia. The funding from this award will make a vast difference in how we can accomplish this goal. I want to thank the Saskatchewan Arts Foundation for their generous support and dedication to Artistic Excellence. This is the first and only grant I have ever received in the 40 years of being an artist! I am grateful to be selected as this year’s recipient of the Indigenous Traditional Crafts Award. I look forward to working with my son to create his Regalia and pass on my cultural knowledge and experience!”
GEANNA DUNBAR (Treaty 4) INDIGENOUS/ MULTIMEDIA LANGUAGE AWARD – Dick & Jane Fund
Geanna Dunbar is a Cree Metis spoken word visual artist and a member of the Métis Nation of Saskatchewan. Geanna will use the award to create a Métis written and illustrated children’s book about a wolf hybrid that doesn’t fit in with pure bred wolves or dogs. The book will be translated into English and Michif.
Geanna’s mediums consist of found objects, spray paint, taxidermy, digital and fabrics. They also work in body modifications, which consists of body piercing, skin branding, machine tattooing and Plains Cree Tattooing, a method that uses hand poked and skin stitch techniques. Her work often reflects real life issues, identity and showcasing emotions as art with special interest in sustainable art and interdisciplinary community collaboration.
Geanna often sets personal challenges that help her grow and deepen her relationship with her identity as a mixed Indigenous woman, overcoming generational boundaries and de-colonizing her community to deepen her relationship with her environment and with others.
“As an Indigenous artist, receiving this award gives me hope for the future of other artists like me, that come from similar backgrounds. It’s a gift to be able to put your work out there for others to experience, to share knowledge, art and stories from history, family and communities. I appreciate these platforms and the work that goes into selecting artist recipients. Thank you to all SFFA staff for your hard work and every funder that commits to uplifting the arts.”
S.E. GRUMMETT (Treaty 6) MULTIDISCIPLINARY 2SLGBTQ+ ARTIST/ART AWARD – Dick & Jane Fund
S.E. Grummett (they/them) is a queer, transgender theatre artist from Treaty 6 Territory. During acting school, Grumms became increasingly frustrated with the limited possibilities for trans folks within the rigid gender expectations of colonial performance practices. So, they began making and performing their own work. Over the past 5 years, Grumms has created a body of original queer work and toured it to festivals and stages around the world, including Canada, United States, Europe, United Kingdom, and Australia. They are the co-creator of “SCUM: a manifesto”, “Girl in the Box”, “Pack Animals” and “Creepy Boys”. Their solo-show, “Something in the Water”, won “Best Theatre” at the Adelaide Fringe and has toured around the world to queer audiences young and old.
Grumms is the recipient of the 2022 RBC Outstanding Award in recognition for their contribution to the queer and trans community in Saskatchewan.
Grumms also works as a performer, director, designer puppeteer & video artist. Recent credits include playing a singing, dancing snail in “wahkohtowin” (Sum Theatre), directing “The Velveteen Rabbit” (Persephone Theatre) and clowning around in “Creepy Boys” (Summerhall).
Grumms is currently touring with “Creepy Boys”, and is developing new creations: a new puppet musical for young audiences in collaboration with indie music icon Rae Spoon, “The Adventure of Young Turtle” premiering at Azimuth Theatre’s Expanse Festival in spring 2024; and “Homebuddies” an absurdist roving outdoor performance exploring the housing crisis using giant wearable-art puppets that recently toured to the Prague Quadrennial.
“Thank you for supporting Saskatchewan artists, particularly queer and trans voices. It’s a very scary time to be trans in this province. I hope that together, we can create meaningful change, to make our stages, rehearsal halls and cities a welcome place for queer voices, aesthetics and stories.”
GABRIELA GARCÍA-LUNA (Treaty 6) FEMALE ENTREPRENEUR AWARD – Dick & Jane Fund
Gabriela García-Luna is a photo-based multimedia artist born in Mexico City and based in Treaty Six Territory (Saskatoon). Her work is based on photography and incorporates digital work, printmaking, drawing and installation. She is interested in investigating the relationship and the points of contact of different realities and ways of making and seeing.
Gabriela’s work has been presented in solo and group exhibitions in Mexico, Canada, UK and India. She has has received grants and awards organizations such as FONCA (National Foundation for Culture and Art Fellowship) y la Galería Libertad in Mexico; Saskatchewan Arts Board, Le Conseil des Arts et Lettres du Québec, and The Canada Council of the Arts in Canada. Her work is part of public and private national and international collections Including the TD Bank, MacKenzie Art Gallery and Global Affairs Canada. She has been involved in teaching, mentoring and community projects in Mexico, Canada and India.
She holds an MFA in Studio Arts from the University of Saskatchewan and a BDes from the Autonomous Metropolitan University (UAM) in Mexico City. Her work is represented by Slate Fine Art Gallery in Regina, Saskatchewan
“I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to Saskatchewan Foundation For the Arts and its generous donors for their valuable initiatives and contribution in opening more opportunities for artists in our province. By investing in the arts, you are investing in the well-being and vitality of our society as a whole.”
KARLIE KING (Regina) PRAIRIE FOLK ART AWARD – Dick & Jane Fund
Karlie King completed a Bachelor of Arts Degree at the University of Regina (2003), a Master of Arts Degree (2006) and three years of a Doctoral Degree at Memorial University in St. John’s, NL. She has received a variety of grants and awards, including a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Grant, Saskatchewan Arts Board Indigenous Pathways Initiative Grant, and the SaskArts Independent Arts Grant.
Her artwork has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions across the country. Most recent solo exhibitions include “The King to the Ace” Estevan Art Gallery, Saskatchewan (September – November 2022) and “The Moving Heart” Saskatchewan Craft Council, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (November – January, 2021-2022).
For six summers, Karlie was the Artist-In-Residence at Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, SK. In January 2021, she was the first virtual Artist-In-Resident at Wanuskewin Heritage Park (Saskatoon SK).
Her artwork covers a broad range – from a functional line of pottery, to large-scale community projects, to street art. King’s artwork has been commissioned by the City of Regina and is also included in the SaskArts Permanent Art Collection. She currently teaches at Cathedral School of Art and is the SaskGalleries Coordinator.
“My sincere and whole-hearted thank you goes out to the Saskatchewan Foundation For the Arts and its donors. The more I evolve and mature as an artist, the more I realize how utterly altruistic it is of donors and foundations such as the SFFA to give the resources they do to artists for the overall development and evolution of arts in our community. It is very generous of all of you to give the way you do. Thank you so much!”
LANDON WALLISER (Regina) REGINA ARTIST AWARD – Harry Nick Kangles Fund
Landon Walliser is a queer and neurodiverse artist working as a director and producer. He has recently been working as the Artistic Directing Intern at Regina’s Globe Theatre, while also working as the co-founder and Creative Administrator of On Cue Performance Hub and as the Producer for The Women’s Company. He has directed and produced theatre independently, for local as well as provincial and nationally touring productions, including “Love, Loss, and What I Wore”; Terry Pratchett’s “Mort”; and “Annette is a Bimbo!”
Landon is a multi-award-winning artist, receiving two BroadwayWorld Awards for his work on “Love, Loss, and What I Wore” at the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival (Best Play & Best Touring Production), a Best of Venue Award from the Hamilton Fringe Festival, and a Young Man of the Year Award from Queen City Pride recognizing his contributions to the LGBTQ+ community in southern Saskatchewan in 2012. In 2022, he was selected as one of CBC Saskatchewan’s Future 40.
“I would like to thank The Harry Nick Kangles Fund for their generous financial support, and the Saskatchewan Foundation for the Arts for making these awards possible. While Saskatchewan may be known for the oldest public arts fund in North America, these endowments represent a lasting legacy of private individuals, businesses, and corporations supporting the development of the arts in their own communities. To be selected as a recipient of this award is to become another link in a long line of artists and patrons working together to enliven and enlighten the land of living skies. I am so proud that “Annette!”, both the production and the character, will forever be a part of Saskatchewan’s artistic tapestry, representing our province’s kindness, curiosity, endurance, humour, and hope.”
NÉGAR DEVINE-TAJGARDAN (Saskatoon) VISUAL AWARD FOR FEMALE ARTIST – Jane Turnbull Evans Fund
Négar Devine-Tajgardan is a Saskatoon-based visual artist with a special interest in sculpture, installation art, and photography. Négar’s research and creation processes jump back and forth from her personal or family memories to more extensive subjects. She has created works based on her memories of coming to Canada from Iran and broader concepts of immigration and displacement.
Négar’s research also probes into personal and familial ties she has to social and political issues. Her sculptural works have a craft quality that investigates the domestic aspect of life through her experiences growing up. She studied sculpture at the University of Tehran, Iran and completed her MFA degree at the University of Saskatchewan. Her works have been displayed at several art galleries nationally and internationally.
“I’m so honoured to be selected by the jury and I would like to say a big thank you to all the donors. Because of your generosity, the Saskatchewan Foundation For the Arts can support artists and writers in Saskatchewan.”
AUDIE MURRAY (Oskana kâ-asastêki) VISUAL AWARD – Shurniak Fund
Audie Murray is Cree-Métis from the Lebret and Meadow Lake communities located on Treaty 4 & 6 territories. She is currently based in Oskana kâ-asastêki (Regina, Saskatchewan).
Audie is a visual artist who works with a multitude of mediums such as sculpture, media, beadwork and drawing. Her practice is informed by the process of making and visiting themes of contemporary culture, embodied experiences and lived dualities. These modes of working assist with the recentering of our collective connection to bodies, ancestral knowledge systems, and relationality.
“I want to express my gratitude to the donors and Foundation for their generous support and for selecting me as a recipient of the Saskatchewan Foundation For the Arts Endowment Award. Your investment in the arts has already had a profound impact on my artistic journey, particularly in bringing to life my project exploring Indigenous perspectives through glass bead cake sculptures. Your belief in the transformative power of the arts has not only provided essential financial support but has also validated and amplified the artistic vision of many. I am deeply appreciative of the opportunity to further my creative exploration and contribute to meaningful conversations within the artistic community.”
IRYN TUSHABE (Regina) LITERARY AWARD – Colleen Bailey Memorial Fund
Iryn Tushabe is an Ugandan-Canadian writer and journalist. Her creative nonfiction has appeared in Adda, The Walrus, and in the trace press anthology, “river in an ocean: essays on translation”.
Her short fiction has been published in Grain Magazine, the Carter V. Cooper Short Fiction Anthology Series (Book seven), and has been included in The Journey Prize Stories: The best of Canada’s New Writers (volumes 30 and 33).
Iryn won the City of Regina writing award in 2020, was a finalist for the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2021, and won the Writers’ Trust McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize which, in 2023, recognized the year’s best short stories by ten emerging Black writers. Her debut novel, Everything is Fine Here, is forthcoming with House of Anansi Press in Winter 2025.
She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in film and video production from the University of Regina, a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Regina, and a postgraduate certificate in creative writing from Humber School for Writers. Iryn lives in Regina, Saskatchewan. Her agent is Carolyn Forde at Transatlantic Agency.
“I’m deeply honoured and grateful to be this year’s recipient of the Colleen Bailey Memorial Fund, which supports emerging Saskatchewan writers. An emerging writer is one still growing into their path, perhaps still uncertain about the title of Writer. Sometimes the vocation seems like a luxury we cannot afford. This award gives me the permission to say, “I’m writing a collection of stories,” and the confidence and legitimacy to go ahead and do exactly that. It is a privilege I will never take for granted.”