BY ELIZABETH WITHEY, EDMONTON JOURNAL APRIL 30, 2013
EDMONTON – Corb Lund has added yet another feather to his cowboy hat.
Edmonton’s beloved country/roots musician won the inaugural ATB Financial Ambassador for the Arts Award at the Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts awards gala on Monday night. Just a day prior, Lund picked up three Edmonton Music Awards at the Royal Alberta Museum.
His latest release, Cabin Fever, debuted at No. 1 on the Canadian Billboard top 200 and was nominated for the 2013 Juno Award for roots album of the year.
The new award, recognizes an individual or organization that has succeeded, on a national or international level, in enlightening audiences and promoting the Edmonton, cultural, performance or visual art scene in an extraordinary way. Lund beat out a host of other worthy contenders: musicians Tommy Banks and Ben Sures, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Annie Dugan of Firefly Theatre, Jonathan Christenson of Catalyst Theatre, Rapid Fire Theatre and Wishbone Theatre’s Michael Peng and Chris Bullough.
Mayor Stephen Mandel handed out the annual arts awards at the Winspear Centre between performances by local artists.
Edmonton Journal arts writer Fish Griwkowsky won the John Poole Promotion of the Arts Award for his passionate and dogged support for Edmonton’s arts scene. Griwkowsky joined the Journal in 2011.
He writes and blogs about visual arts, music, movies and other cultural happenings. He has worked with Lund on music videos and album photography, as well as with local filmmaker Trevor Anderson on short films including The Man That Got Away and The High Level Bridge. Griwkowsky is also a photographer and does the Bill Benson comic strip for Vue Weekly magazine.
The Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize of $10,000 went to poet and rancher Nora Gould for her debut poetry collection I see my love more clearly from a distance (Brick Books).
Also nominated were Tim Bowling, for his latest novel The Tinsmith (Brindle & Glass) and Catherine Cole for Piece by Piece: The GWG Story (Goose Lane Editions).
John Mahon, who is stepping down from his role as Edmonton Arts Council’s executive director, won the Atco Gas Award for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement, while the Dialog Award for Excellence in Artistic Direction went to Northern Light Theatre’s Trevor Schmidt, who presides over a company that offers provocative repertoire.
Shawn Pinchbeck, an electroacoustic music composer, sound designer and media artist, picked up the Telus Courage to Innovate Award, while the Northlands Emerging Artist Award went to Omar Mouallem, the current writer-in-residence at the Edmonton Public Library.
Tom McFall, executive director of the Alberta Craft Council, won the Syncrude Award for Excellence in Arts Management, and Timothy Dowler-Coltman won the CN Youth Artist Award.
The Mayor’s Award for Sustained Support of the Arts went to Robert Rosen, CEO of City Lumber, and the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation won the Mayor’s Award for Innovative Support of the Arts by a Business.