November 14, 2013
MARKHAM, ONTARIO -- Hundreds were in attendance to celebrate art and culture in Markham last night, as Chris Bratty, President, Land Development and Investments, The Remington Group, kicked off the evening’s ceremony by welcoming the 19 finalists, their families and supporters, and the many art enthusiasts in the room to the inaugural Downtown Markham Art Awards
“This event is really exciting because this is an event established by the artists in this area,” said Mr. Bratty, “and we received more than 72,000 votes.”
Helen Argiro, Executive Director, Markham Arts Council and Board Member of the York Region Arts Council then took to the stage to congratulate the finalists and speak to the many opportunities that exist for artists in Markham and how Markham Arts Council is working with the city and developers like The Remington Group to bring arts and culture to the forefront.
Following Argiro’s keynote address, City of Markham Mayor, Frank Scarpitti shared a few words before announcing the third-, second- and first-place winners. In addition to congratulating the artists, the Mayor applauded The Remington Group’s foresight to begin creating community before the physical community was fully built.
The third-place winner, Susan Qu, with 14,202 votes and second-place winner, Sean Andre Thomas with 14,469 votes each received a special prize pack including a one-year membership to the Markham Arts Council, a Curry’s Art Store gift certificate and merchandise from The Remington Group.
The winner, Olga Pankova, with 15,668 votes, was awarded a $5,000 art commission for a future piece to be featured in Downtown Markham. In her application, Olga wrote:
"Being a new immigrant to Canada and a resident of Markham, I have been so fortunate to be accepted by Canada and Markham. My experiences to date have been just incredible. To live in a country with such cultural diversity, acceptance and respect, is a dream for many and a gift for me and my family."
“I think the Mayor hit the nail on the head; it takes effort to paint, but it takes a certain amount of vulnerability to put it out there to be judged, so I’d like to thank all of the artists who participated,” said Mr. Bratty. “The biggest winner of all is the City of Markham for having all of you be a part of it.”