On June 19, 2014, Toronto’s cultural, political, and business leaders gathered at the Mayors’ Arts Lunch to celebrate the work of some of the city’s most potent artists and arts organizations. We are honoured to announce that CUE was selected as the winner of the Arts for Youth Award.
For a small, grassroots group like CUE to be recognized through this prestigious award is totally wild for us. But, more importantly, this award acknowledges all of the visionary artists in our city who live and work and on the margins—the cutting-edge creators who face stigmatizations, barriers, oppressions, alienation and adversity, and because of this, are so often excluded from our larger cultural narrative—but also, because of this, have a heightened capacity to capture real and raw truth and beauty from absolutely critical perspectives. So while we are honoured that our work is being celebrated, it is really all of the artists CUE supports who were recognized on this massive scale, and the entire $15,000 award will go directly to them.
In addition to CUE, other cash prize winners included rapper and actor Michie Mee; playwright and filmmaker Jordan Tannahill; and Phillip Akin, artistic director of Obsidian Theatre. All of these artists represent historically marginalized people and communities, and through their individual practices, ultimately work to subvert longstanding systemic malfunction, and create a more diverse, equitable, and vibrant society. It was an honour to share the podium with these powerful innovators.
Thank you to the Toronto Arts Foundation for making the event possible, and thanks to Martha Burns, Jim Fleck, Sandra and Jim Pitblado, and Diana Bennett and Spencer Lanthier for supporting the Arts for Youth Award.
We’d like to thank all of our funders, collaborators, and co-conspirators who have helped drive forward this beautiful creative momentum, and together, have made huge strides in reversing harmful power structures—thus creating a more whole and beautiful world for us all.
With love from the margins,
Jason Samilski and Zanette Singh,
Creative Directors, CUE
2014 Toronto Arts Foundation award winners