The Canadian Women Artists’ Award

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.


The Canadian Women Artists’ Award is open to women artists 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.

AWARD CYCLE 2020-2021

The 2020-2021 award cycle is now closed, please stay tuned for more details on the 2021-2022 cycle.

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


NYFA has announced interdisciplinary artists Destinie Adelakun and Sara Jimenez as its 2020 Canadian Women Artists’ Award recipients.

Destinie Adelakun is a Lagos, Nigeria-born, Nagpur, India-raised Canadian artist whose work extends from mixed-media, painting, and photography to film and sculpture, and explores topics ranging from African history, mythology, and spirituality. She utilizes individuals in her work as a personification of principles and ideas, and a way to re-illustrate African and Indian mythological tales. She lives and works in New York, NY.

Sara Jimenez explores the material embodiment of deep transcultural memories. As an interdisciplinary Filipinx-Canadian artist, she is interested in materializing existing global narratives around concepts of origins and home, loss and absence. She works in collage, sculpture, installation, and performance to create visual metaphors that allude to mythical environments and forgotten artifacts. Jimenez is based in Brooklyn, NY.


Playwright and Screenwriter Celeste Yim was named the 2019 recipient of the Canadian Women Artists’ Award. Yim, who was born in Toronto, Ontario, received a Master of Fine Arts degree from NYU Tisch School of the Arts in 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 is published by Samuel French.

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: Destinie Adelakun, ADE – Oshun and Oya’s crown, 2020