Local artists were celebrated Saturday evening at The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford with the presentation of the annual Arty Awards.
The awards, now in their 14th year, are administered by the Abbotsford Arts Council and honoured artists in nine categories, including Lifetime Achievement, which was presented to local potter Herman Venema.
A long-time resident of Abbotsford, Venema has worked and taught out of his Harris Road studio since 1970. The award was handed out by last year’s Lifetime Achievement recipient Norm Williams.
Other winners (from Abbotsford, unless otherwise noted) were:
* Christine Caldwell Arts Advocate – AnnaLisa Osterby-Batryn
* Emerging Artist – The Crescent Sky of Chilliwack
* Lifestyle – Memento Mori Studios Inc.
*Literary Artist – Philip Sherwood
* Media Arts – Francesca Moore
* Performing Arts – Cliff Prang of Chilliwack
* Visual Arts – Jay White
* Youth Achievement – Sarah McGuire
The gala event began with a blessing from Chris Silver of Sumas First Nation, a welcome from Abbotsford Arts Council executive director Jennifer Trithardt-Tufts, and remarks by Mayor Henry Braun.
Featured performers were The Crescent Sky, Brander Raven McDonald of Chilliwack, and last year’s Performing Arts winner Sunee Dhaliwal.
The evening – hosted by this year’s Arty Awards coordinator Harry Doupe – also included an In Memoriam for local poet Ted Goodrich, a nominee who passed away in September.