2017 Business for the Arts Award Winners

The Edmund C. Bovey Award

Gagliano headshot

Tony Gagliano, Executive Chairman & CEO at St. Joseph Communications

St. Joseph Communications was founded by his parents in the basement of their home shortly after emigrating from Italy. Under Tony’s leadership for the last 27 years, St. Joseph Communications has evolved from a small family business with a handful of associates to a national, fully integrated communications/media corporation with more than 1,400 associates from coast to coast. Today the company has 1,200 patriots, as Tony likes to call them, working with the organization. Tony is currently leading the company into becoming the top communications/media company in Canada transforming the way that brands engage with people.

Tony Gagliano is actively involved in a number of organizations. He is Chair of the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Salt + Light Media Foundation. In addition, he is a cabinet member of Ryerson University in Toronto, a council member of the Royal Conservatory of Music, and an honorary board member of Scouts Canada. Tony Gagliano is also co-founder and chair of Luminato, Toronto’s Festival of Arts & Creativity. Tony Gagliano has previously been a Board member of the St. Michael’s Hospital Board, Metrolinx, and the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games. Under Tony’s direction, St. Joseph also has a long-standing commitment to give back to the community. This includes the Arts Partner of Choice initiative – a program launched in 2006 to celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary. It included a multi-million dollar, multi-year commitment to support arts and cultural organizations in Canada by providing them with advertising space in magazines including Toronto Life and FASHION Magazine. The program continues today and Partners over the years have included the likes of AGO, TIFF, Luminato, and ROM.


Peter Herrndorf Arts Leadership Award

Handling headshot

Piers Handling, Director and Chief Executive Officer of Toronto International Film Festival

He has held this position since 1994, responsible for leading both the operational and artistic growth of the organization. TIFF has a $44 million annual operating budget and employs 200 full-time staff. For the last nine years, TIFF has been named one of Canada’s Top 100 employers.

Under Handling’s direction, the organization has grown to become an internationally renowned cultural institution. In 2010 TIFF opened its own permanent home which presents daily programming. TIFF Bell Lightbox, houses five cinemas, two exhibition galleries, and educational and learning studios. He led the $196 million fundraising campaign.

Handling has curated numerous film retrospectives and presented programmes of Canadian cinema at The Sundance Film Festival, the British Film Institute, the Havana Film Festival and sat on festival juries including Cannes, Tokyo, Rotterdam, San Sebastian, Torino, Istanbul, Trivandrum, Antalya and Los Cabos. In 2013, Handling co-curated a multi-platform celebration of iconic Canadian director David Cronenberg. The Cronenberg Project included a comprehensive film exhibition, a virtual museum, an art exhibition presented in partnership with the Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art, and two original publications celebrating the film and art exhibitions. The exhibition David Cronenberg: Evolution, the core component of The Cronenberg Project, is currently touring to cultural institutions worldwide.

Arnold Edinborough Award

Obam Dallaire Headshot


Diane Obam Dallaire, Founder of Fidès Partnerships

Diane is recognized for her exemplary leadership and volunteerism in the arts. She is an avid supporter of community-building initiatives and a passionate arts ambassador. She is a former co-Chair for Business for the Arts’ Ottawa-Gatineau artsScene chapter where she established a result-oriented outreach strategy that attracted business professionals and public servants to the artsScene board as well as to other cultural institutions in Ottawa. She currently sits on the board of the Rideau Club and is the Chair of the Southam Club, a group of dynamic young leaders in the Ottawa region who engage in the performing arts through a unique event at the National Arts Centre.

Corporate Champion of the Arts Award



Air Canada is recognized as a business that has strengthened arts and culture in Canada through its long-standing support of and commitment to the sector. Air Canada is a strong supporter of orchestras across Canada. Since 1997, they have been the official carrier of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, and over the past 20 years has become the official airline of eight other orchestras across Canada.

Community Impact Award

VIBE photo 5


PATTISON and VIBE Arts are recognized for an arts and business partnership that has enhanced the quality of life and enriched the cultural scene in their community through innovative programs, creative business partnerships, and neighborhood revitalization initiatives. This partnership is particularly significant to Business for the Arts as it was formed when VIBE Arts was a participant of Business for the Arts’ artsVest program and PATTISON Outdoor Advertising provided an in-kind contribution of advertising space in TTC subway stations to display murals created by Arts for Children and Youth’s Welcome 41 project. Over the years the partnership has grown, and through their multiple projects sponsored and supported by PATTISON Outdoor Advertising, VIBE Arts have been able to engage over 1800 marginalized youth, allowing them to connect and reimagine spaces and places in their communities by creating murals that are shared on public transit.