Nominees announced for 2013 Arty Awards

The award ceremony will be held April 12 at the Matsqui Centennial Auditorium

The nominees for the 9th annual Arty Awards have been announced by the Abbotsford Arts Council.

The awards ceremony will be held Friday, April 12, at the Matsqui Centennial Auditorium. .

The awards honour individuals who have achieved excellence in their art as well as youth artists and arts advocates who have contributed significantly to the arts scene in the Abbotsford community.

The 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Judy Whyte, who retired as executive director of the Abbotsford Arts Council last spring after 15 years of service. A tribute will also be made to honour the memory of Christine Caldwell, a former president of the Abbotsford Arts Council, city councillor, and a strong advocate of the arts in Abbotsford, who passed away in February.

“The nominees not only exhibit excellence in their art form but also use their artistic talents and passion for the arts to benefit our local community,” said Gail Gromaski, executive director of the Abbotsford Arts Council.

In addition to the awards presentations, the evening will include a reception catered by Restaurant 62, cash bar, and a silent auction.  Attendees will also enjoy some great entertainment including a performance by Mayor Bruce Banman.

Tickets are available for purchase online at or at the Kariton Art Gallery, located at 2387 Ware Street in Abbotsford.


Performing Arts – Music

  • Jared Fowler, Singer/Songwriter
  • Kristal Barrett, Singer/Songwriter
  • Savannah Quinn, Singer/Songwriter

Performing Arts – Theatre

  • Eileen Deros, Theatre Rehearsal/Orchestral Pianist
  • Lynne Karey McKenna, Actress/Director

Performing Arts – Dance

  • Jason & Crystal Warner (Suburban Swing), Dance Instructors
  • Mary Boonstra, Dance Instructor/Choreographer

Visual Arts – 2-Dimensional

  • Betty Johnston, Photographer
  • Cristal Sawatzky, Photographer
  • Jason Brown, Photographer
  • Joy Roberts, Artist/Art Instructor, Multiple Mediums
  • Tyson Lessing, Photographer

Visual Arts – 3-Dimensional

  • Adrian Renkers, Stained Glass Artist
  • Jonas Melan, Woodcarver
  • Kaleigh Ross, (BC Teen Challenge Women’s Centre), Jewelry Artist
  • Leslie Easte, Jewelry Artist
  • Lonnie Jackson, Fused Glass Artist

Visual Arts – Video/Film

  • Paul Lowey (Gloo Studios), Executive Producer
  • Win Wachsmann, Director/Screenwriter/Producer

Literary Arts

  • Emily Isaacson, Poet
  • Heidi Turner, Freelance Writer
  • Jim Williams, English Teacher/Novelist
  • Paul Falardeau, Poet
  • Theresa Chevalier, Novelist

Arts Advocate

  • Deesh Sekhon, Owner, Deesh Photography
  • Grace Tsurumaru, Professor of Visual Arts, University of the Fraser Valley
  • Hannah Celinski, Dancer/Arts Educator
  • Kat Wahamaa, Artist/Activist
  • Milt Walker, Chair, The Reach Gallery Museum
  • Tamaka Fisher, Arts & Heritage Coordinator, City of Abbotsford

Outstanding Youth Artist – Elementary School, All Genres

  • Rachel Fristzke – Painter/Clay Sculptor

Outstanding Youth Artist – Secondary School, All Genres

  • Maddison Wilson, Photographer
  • Mila Djordjevic, 2-D Visual Artist, Multiple Mediums
  • Patrick Schweers, Actor
  • Tiera Murray, 2-D Visual Artist, Multiple Mediums

Outstanding Artist, Post-Secondary School, All Genres

  • Chrissy Courtney, Bachelor of Fine Arts Student, University of the Fraser Valley