Canadian Arts and Business Awards Categories

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Each year, Business for the Arts brings together more than 400 arts and business leaders from across Canada to celebrate the extraordinary contributions made by individual business and arts leaders and companies who have shown outstanding commitment to the arts through philanthropy, unique and innovative partnerships and programs, and volunteerism. Awards are handed out in the following categories:


Edmund C. Bovey Award

Named after the first chairman of Business for the Arts, this award honours a business professional who has demonstrated a lifetime of significant philanthropy or leadership in arts and culture in Canada. The winner receives an award sculpture as well as $20,000 to direct from the Bovey Award fund to the arts organization(s) of their choice. To learn more about Edmund C. Bovey, click here.

Eligibility Guidelines
Eligible candidates must:

  • be engaged in a successful career in business or the professions
  • have made a significant contribution to the arts as a volunteer
  • be a Canadian citizen

NOTE: Recipients are eligible to win the award only once.

Nominations can be made by:

  • any not-for-profit arts organizations in Canada
  • any company in Canada
  • self nomination

Endorsements (maximum 3 letters) may be made by:

  • executive staff and board members of other arts organizations
  • individual artists
  • executives of other companies

Selection Criteria
Nominators must complete an official nomination form based on the following criteria:
Candidates’ leadership may have affected a diversity of arts organizations in the community or be demonstrated by a longstanding commitment to one particular organization. Similarly, the candidate may be known nationally or only in the community in which the individual lives, with consideration given to depth and breadth of support in relation to the size of the community in which the support has been given.
Other criteria for assessment include:

  • time committed to voluntary work for the arts
  • expertise actively put to good use for the arts
  • money committed to the cause through personal donations and fundraising

Nominations for the 2016 Canadian Arts and Business Awards are now closed.


Arnold Edinborough Award

Named after the founding President of the Council for Business and the Arts in Canada (now Business for the Arts), this award recognizes a young business professional age 40 and under who has demonstrated exemplary leadership and volunteerism in the arts. The winner receives an original artwork and a cash prize of $5,000 to be directed to the arts organization(s) of their choice. To learn more about Arnold Edinborough, click here.

Eligibility Guidelines
Eligible candidates must:

  • be a young business professional 40 years of age or under at the time of nomination
  • have made a significant contribution as a volunteer to the not-for-profit arts in Canada
  • be a Canadian citizen

NOTE: This award is for business professionals only working in the for-profit sector. Individuals working in the non-for-profit sector are not eligible; recipients are eligible to win the award only once.

Nominations can be made by:

  • registered not-for-profit arts, cultural or heritage organization in Canada
  • the nominee’s employer or business associate
  • self nomination

Endorsements (maximum 3 letters) may be made by:

  • executive staff and board members of other arts organizations
  • individual artists
  • executives of other companies

Selection Criteria
Nominators must complete an official nomination form based on the following criteria:
The positive impact of candidate’s volunteerism may benefit a wide diversity of arts organizations in a community, or one particular organization or arts discipline. Similarly, the candidate may be known nationally or only in the community in which the individual lives, relative to the size of the community in which their contributions to the arts have taken place.

  • candidate has shown leadership in taking on key roles and responsibilities, recruiting other volunteers, providing a bridge between business and the arts community, and enhancing the visibility of the arts organization
  • candidate has committed substantial time to volunteer on a board or committee
  • candidate has actively volunteered business expertise and skills on behalf of the organization(s)
  • candidate has helped strengthen and achieve the goals of the organization through marketing, strategic planning, membership recruitment and fundraising

Nominations for the 2016 Canadian Arts and Business Awards are now closed.


Peter Herrndorf Arts Leadership Award

The Peter Herrndorf Arts Leadership Award has been established to recognize arts leaders who have spent a lifetime dedicated to fostering the arts in Canada by building partnerships with fellow arts executives, artists, media, business leaders and public sector officials to ensure a vibrant cultural sector for all Canadians. This award was presented to Peter Herrndorf as our inaugural honoree, and in subsequent years will be presented to those who live and work by this same ideal to see the arts thrive in Canada as their career mission. The winner receives an original artwork and a cash prize of $10,000 to be directed to the arts organization(s) of their choice.

Eligibility Guidelines

Eligible candidates must:

  • be working in the arts sector for a not-for-profit arts organization as an artist, arts administrator and/or executive
  • have made a significant contribution to the arts by building relationships between the arts sector, business community and public sector
  • be a Canadian citizen

NOTE: Recipients are eligible to win the award only once.

Nominations can be made by:

  • any not-for-profit arts organization in Canada
  • another arts administrator or artist
  • a business professional
  • self-nomination

Endorsements (maximum 3 letters) may be made by:

  • executives and board members of arts organizations
  • artists
  • public sector professionals
  • business professionals

Selection Criteria

Nominators must complete an official nomination form based on the following criteria:

  • nominees have distinguished themselves as leaders in support of arts and culture either through a single endeavor or a consistent history of commitment
  • nominees have shown a visionary approach to championing the arts in Canada
  • nominees have successfully engaged the business community through meaningful and impactful relationships and partnerships
  • nominees have established strong partnerships with the public sector
  • nominees have had positive impact for Canadian communities through collaboration with other partners in the cultural sector
  • nominees have contributed significantly as a volunteer in the sector

Nominations for the 2016 Canadian Arts and Business Awards are now closed.


Corporate Champion of the Arts Award

Awarded to a business that has strengthened arts and culture in Canada through its long-standing support of and commitment to the sector.

Eligibility Guidelines
Eligible businesses must:

  • be a business operating in Canada
  • have made a significant contribution to the arts through long-term, strategic support
  • has had a meaningful impact by empowering and building the arts sector

NOTE: Recipients are eligible to win the award only once.

Nominations can be made by:

  • any not-for-profit arts organizations in Canada
  • any company in Canada
  • self nomination

Endorsements (maximum 3 letters) may be made by:

  • executive staff and board members of other arts organizations
  • consortium of arts organizations

Selection Criteria
Nominators must complete an official nomination form based on the following criteria:

  • nominees have distinguished themselves as leaders in support of the arts either through a single endeavor or a consistent history of commitment
  • scope of impact and support should extend beyond the company’s immediate business interests
  • nominees have shown a visionary and innovative approach to championing the arts
  • nominees history of support includes but not limited to cash or in-kind gifts, donated services, volunteerism and employee participation

Nominations for the 2016 Canadian Arts and Business Awards are now closed.


Community Impact Award

This award recognizes an arts and business partnership that has enhanced the quality of life and enriched the cultural scene in their community through innovative program(s), creative business partnerships or neighbourhood revitalization initiatives.

Eligibility Guidelines
Eligible partnerships must:

  • be a not-for-profit arts organization and their business partner
  • have made a significant contribution to the arts through a successful collaboration with business
  • have shown a commitment to empowering the community through the arts
  • be a Canadian organization

NOTE: Recipients are eligible to win the award only once.

Nominations can be made by:

  • any not-for-profit arts organization in Canada
  • any company in Canada
  • self nomination

Endorsements (maximum 3 letters) may be made by:

  • executive staff and board members of arts organizations
  • executives of other companies

Selection Criteria
Nominators must complete an official nomination form based on the following criteria:

  • scope, quality and originality of the nominee’s programming or involvement with arts and culture
  • impact on both arts and culture and the community
  • program innovation and/or outstanding business practices
  • has cultivated long-term and successful relationships and partnerships within the community
  • has created great awareness and significantly improved the community with measurable results
  • has a long-term vision for continued growth and impact

Nominations for the 2016 Canadian Arts and Business Awards are now closed.


Awards Jury Process
Nominees are assessed and a winner selected by a national jury panel comprised of prominent arts and business leaders. Jury members may not submit nominations in the year in which they serve on the jury. Winners will be notified by Business for the Arts by phone and official confirmation letter.

If you have any questions about the award categories or submission process, please contact events@businessforthearts.org