Monday, December 5, 2011

~ Barrie Arts Awards Handed Out ~

Stan Howe photo
BARRIE - It was a packed house at the Mady Centre for the Performing Arts Tuesday night for the annual Barrie Arts Awards.

Five local arts community members were honoured with awards statues, which were designed by local artist Don Stuart.

Among those honoured were Sarah Melody, who received the Emerging Artist Award, and Scott Elliott who was honoured with the first Business Award.

Abigail Johnson was shocked to hear her name called for the Most Promising Youth Award. “My heart started beating like crazy,” said the Grade 12 Bear Creek student. “It’s unbelievable.” Among her accomplishments, Johnson has completed her RC Grade 10 Piano examination with a First Class Honours mark of 88 per cent. She also completed her RCM Elementary Piano Pedagogy and RCM Grade 8 Flute and she was runner up in the 2011 Ontario Music Teachers Provincials in Grade 10 piano.

Blues legend Curley Bridges received the Excellence in the Arts Award.  Bridges got his start with blues band Motley Crew in the 1940s. He later formed the Rounders, played on Jackie Shane’s album Jackie Shane Live! and established his own band, Bridge Crossing. Bridges moved to Barrie in 1981, but he continues to play a number of shows in Toronto each year.

The final award of the night, Contribution to the Community, went to Carla Tucker.  Tucker has been teaching dance in Barrie for more than 30 years and is the owner and founder to Moving Art, a performance art and education centre. She has also worked with the Kempenfelt Community Players, Theatre by the Bay and choreographed a number of musicals, all while working as a teacher with the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board.

The evening also included live performances from magician Gerry Frenette, Kreative Urban Tribe Performing Arts Centre, musician Brittney Fulton, singer Leigh-Anne Martin accompanied by Johnson, pianist Tabitha Johnson and a poem by Barrie Poet Laureate Bruce Meyer.
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