The Metcalf Foundation has announced the 15 finalists for the 2021 Johanna Metcalf Performing Arts Prizes/Les Prix Johanna-Metcalf des Arts de la scène (Johannas). The five winners and their protégés will be announced on May 19, 2022 at a ceremony at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. Each winner will receive a prize of $25,000 and will name a protégé as a way of celebrating early career artists who are showing formidable promise. Protégés will be awarded $10,000 each, a $5,000 increase from the inaugural prize year, bringing the total value of the prizes to $175,000.
The two Hamilton-based finalists are:
- iskwē — a Cree Métis Juno-award winning artist, and a creator of music and movement, pictures, poetry and prose,
- and Marilo Nuñez — a Chilean Canadian playwright, director, dramaturge, and scholar. She is the 2022-23 Playwright-in-Residence at Carousel Players and has been a member of playwright units at Factory Theatre, Tarragon Theatre, Cahoots Theatre, Alameda Theatre Company, and Nightwood Theatre. She was Aluna Theatre’s Playwright-in-Residence in 2015 and 2021, and McMaster University’s first Playwright-in-Residence in 2018
This performing arts prize is named in honour of the late Johanna Metcalf, who was at the heart of the Metcalf Foundation’s work for over 40 years. Her late husband George Metcalf was for many years a key executive in the Loblaws-Weston food empire. The prize was created to carry on Johanna’s legacy as a passionate supporter of the arts and artists. The Johannas celebrate artists in Ontario who have made a recognized impact on the field and the public, and show great promise in the ongoing pursuit of their ambitious and visionary practices.
Fifteen finalists have been selected from across Ontario in the disciplines of dance, theatre, and music/opera, including artists who are working in the spaces between and across these disciplines.
The Johannas is delivered on a biennial basis in partnership with the Ontario Arts Council (OAC). The nominees are selected through several juried OAC competitions in dance, music/opera, and theatre, including creators from Francophone, Indigenous, and Northern communities. Artists who have been producing and showing work over a period of at least 10 years are eligible.
Established in 1960, the Metcalf Foundation has three principal areas of focus: the performing arts, the environment, and poverty reduction. Through all of its work, the Foundation cultivates, supports, and celebrates those working on the frontlines of social change in order to improve the health and vibrancy of our communities, our culture, and the environment.
The Foundation invests approximately $2.2 million each year in the performing arts.