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2019 Mayor’s Awards for the Arts Winners

The Mayor’s Awards for the Arts committee is pleased to announce the winners of this year’s awards, which were presented at the 12th Annual Mayor’s Gala for the Arts on Saturday, January 19.

Emerging Artist, which recognizes an emerging Kamloops artist working in the visual and/or performing arts for their current accomplishments and future potential, was jointly awarded to Robin Hodgson and JP Lancaster.

Robin Hodgson is a working artist, and C5/6 quadriplegic, who graduated with his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2013. He primarily works in oil paintings, with a history of doing mural works. His paintings often have playful themes with commentary on societal conditions, and he enjoys utilizing elements of surrealism. His most recent mural was completed in August on the west wall of the Kamloops Art Gallery. Robin is the former co-creator of Padlock Studios (2014-2017), and one of the current owners of REpublic Gallery. More recently he has focused on working with themes related to the struggles of mental health and how that physically reflects upon our society. For robin, being an artist means carrying the responsibility of speaking out and illuminating the less visible parts of our world.

JP Lancaster was born and raised in Kamloops and began immersing himself in the local music scene during the late 90s. After spending time playing music in Vancouver and Victoria, Lancaster returned to Kamloops in 2014. He looked to begin a new chapter of music but found the local scene to be devoid of opportunities for bands who pursue an original sound. When Lancaster’s current project, At Mission Dolores, was formed in 2016 he realized he needed to think in bigger terms than just a band in order to create a vibrant scene. This prompted him to form Factotum Cassettes & Oddities, a record label, artist development and promotion company focussed on building community around local music. Factotum has gone on to build a very robust music scene in Kamloops by supporting local bands and bringing in relevant out-of-town acts. This has included releasing albums and acting as bands’ publicist and manager. Factotum has also taken on the role of putting on shows in various venues around town. This has led to bigger contract work booking music for events such as BrewLoops, the Back Alley Block Party and Luminocity. At the core of all of Factotum’s work lies the ethos of music being a platform for genuine human interaction. Lancaster looks to attract more out-of-town bands to Kamloops, to continue helping local acts grow and to release At Mission Dolores’ debut album on vinyl.

Community Impact, which recognizes outstanding Kamloops individuals and/or small businesses that have made a significant contribution supporting local arts and culture through donations (cash or in-kind), sponsorships and/or volunteer services in support of a local arts organization and/or Kamloops artist, was awarded to Niki Remesz.

Niki Remesz is the founder and owner of Uniquely Inspired Marketing (2003), a full-service marketing and consulting firm providing quality, authentic strategies that are uniquely inspired to create tangible results. As the recipient of the City of Kamloops’ 2013 Distinguished Service Award, Niki is an avid supporter of arts, culture, and education. Community driven, Niki is serving as the President of the 2018 BC Winter Games, deemed the “best winter games ever” by BC Games Society President & CEO

Kelly Mann. Niki serves as Vice Chair of the Kamloops Arts Commission (since 2015), is a volunteer usher with Western Canada Theatre (since 2007) and is a CAAWS facilitator for leadership advancement of women and sport and physical activity. Niki sat as Chair of the Thompson Rivers University (TRU) Alumni & Friends Association (2009 – 2016), and mentors TRU students. Niki, her husband Steve and their teenage son enjoy an active lifestyle which involves Nordic and downhill skiing, golfing, running, swimming and curling. They have lived in Kamloops since 1995 when Niki first began volunteering with the BC Games for People with Disabilities (1995/96) and the 1996 Brier.

Corporate Champion, which recognizes outstanding Kamloops business leaders and/or medium to large businesses/corporations that have made a significant contribution supporting local arts and culture through donations (cash or in-kind), sponsorships and/or volunteer services in support of a local arts organization and/or Kamloops artist, was awarded to Kamloops This Week.

Kamloops This Week has proudly been publishing the news and stories that touch our community and lives for 30 years. They deliver to over 30,800 homes and businesses in Kamloops and the surrounding area through a network of 450 carriers and drivers. They have a seasoned, award-winning editorial staff, a dedicated team of advertising consultants, and first-rate production, administrative and management teams. Kamloops This Week has recently expanded their company under the digital umbrella. Acknowledging the growing number of consumers relying on online presence was a crucial step in giving their readers what they want. Currently owned by Aberdeen Publishing Group, Kamloops This Week publishes 2 days each week and produces dozens of special features throughout the year.

The Mayor's Gala for the Arts is a collaborative partnership that brings together the City of Kamloops, Kamloops Art Gallery, Kamloops Symphony, and Western Canada Theatre, to recognize and celebrate the arts and culture sector of Kamloops.

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