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Canadian Women Artists' Award

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The Canadian Women Artists’ Award is open to emerging or early career artists in New York State.

The $5,000 award is designed to provide financial support to an emerging or early career artist working in any discipline, and can be used in any manner the recipient deems necessary to further their artistic goals. It is supported by funding granted to NYFA by the Canadian Women's Club (CWC) of New York as a way to continue its philanthropic work when it disbanded. In 2020, the CWC and NYFA will be awarding two $5,000 cash awards.


The Canadian Women Artists’ Award is open to artists identifying as women who meet the following requirements:

  • Must be a Canadian citizen, and able to provide proof of citizenship with legal documentation upon receipt of the award.
  • Must be between the ages of 21 and 35 before the application deadline.
  • Must be a current resident of New York State.
  • Must apply in only one of the eligible discipline categories.
  • Must be the originators of the work, i.e. choreographers or playwrights; not awarded to interpretative artists such as dancers or actors.
  • Must not be a previous recipient of the Canadian Women Artists’ Award.
  • Must not be a NYFA employee, member of the NYFA Board of Trustees or Artists' Advisory Committee, and/or an immediate family member of any of the previous.

Students in bachelor’s or master’s degree programs are eligible to apply.

Canadian Women Artists' Award Application Guidelines.

AWARD CYCLE 2020-2021

Applications Open: Tuesday, April 14, 2020
Applications Close: Wednesday, June 24, 2020 at 11:59 PM EDT
Applicants Notified: Late August 2020


Canadian Women Artists' Award Categories

  • Architecture/Environmental Structures/Design
  • Choreography
  • Crafts/Sculpture
  • Digital/Electronic Arts
  • Fiction
  • Folk/Traditional Arts
  • Interdisciplinary Work
  • Music/Sound
  • Nonfiction Literature
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Playwriting/Screenwriting
  • Poetry
  • Printmaking/Drawing/Book Arts
  • Video/Film

2019 Canadian Women Artists' Award Winner

Playwright and Screenwriter Celeste Yim was named the 2019 recipient of the Canadian Women Artists' Award. Yim, a Toronto, Ontario native, is currently on a scholarship to pursue a Master of Fine Arts degree from NYU Tisch School of the Arts, with an anticipated graduation date of 2020. In May 2019, Yim’s Not Only Is Everyone As Wonderful was produced by Theater Masters in the National MFA Playwrights Festival at Theater Row in New York City; it will be published by Samuel French in 2020.

Yim was a Bob Curry Fellow at The Second City Toronto, and was named one of “Canada’s Top 100 Notable Women” by Flare, a Canadian fashion magazine. Yim has written professionally in San Francisco, CA for Instagram and in Toronto for VICE and Sunday Night Live.

Previous Canadian Women Artists' Award Winners

Filmmaker Émilie Martel was named the 2018 recipient of the Canadian Women Artists' Award. Martel is a New York City-based filmmaker from Ottawa who has spent years producing, filming, and editing short web content for media organizations worldwide. Martel directed and produced the documentary film Uproot, and is founder of the production house Kannon Films.

Composer and musician Anna Webber was named the first-ever Canadian Women Artists' Award recipient in 2017. Webber, a British Columbia-born, Brooklyn-based composer, flutist, and saxophonist, studied music at McGill University and holds master’s degrees from Manhattan School of Music and the Jazz Institute Berlin. Recent albums include Clockwise (2019), Binary (2016) and SIMPLE (2014).

Image Credit: Naomi Harris (NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow in Photography '13); Self Portrait with Mum/Fantasy Land Hotel, West Edmonton Mall, Alberta, 2011, C-Print

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