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News / June 28, 2012

Michael Vass wins 2012 Canadian Art Foundation Writing Prize

Toronto filmmaker and writer receives $3,000 and a feature-story commission; runners-up are Heather White and Maggie Thistle, also of Toronto

The Canadian Art Foundation is delighted to announce the latest winner of the Canadian Art Foundation Writing Prize, an annual juried award designed to encourage new writers on contemporary art.

The 2012 winner of this national competition is Michael Vass, a filmmaker and writer based in Toronto. His award-winning films have screened at many festivals and galleries, and they have been broadcast internationally. His writings have appeared in Cineaction and the Philadelphia-based zine MACHETE. Michael received his BFA from Simon Fraser University and his MFA from York University. He is also an alumnus of the Canadian Film Centre.

The runners-up for this year are Heather White, a freelance writer and independent curator who currently holds the post of creative director at Toronto’s ArtSync, and Maggie Thistle, a recent University of Toronto graduate with a double major in English and art history.

Vass will be commissioned to write a feature story for Canadian Art and will receive a $3,000 award, while Thistle and White will each receive recognition in the magazine and a $1,000 award.

The 2012 prize jury consisted of University of Toronto associate professor Elizabeth Legge, Contemporary Art Gallery executive director Nigel Prince and Canadian Art editor Richard Rhodes. All three judges were very impressed by the outstanding quality of the winning and runner-up submissions. Detailed commentary from these judges will be included in Canadian Art‘s Fall 2012 issue.

The Canadian Art Foundation congratulates Vass, White and Thistle on their achievements. For more information about this prize and its application guidelines, visit