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News in Brief: Toronto Arts Foundation’s Fundraising Success, Art Prizes Aplenty

The Toronto Arts Foundation broke records with their fundraiser, the Mayor’s Evening for the Arts, which raised $1.4 million on October 26, 2015. Proceeds from the evening will launch a new program, Arts in the Parks. The program, which is still in development, will bring art into Toronto’s public parks through programming initiatives.

Toronto-based, Tehran-born artist Abbas Akhavan won the $50,000 first-place prize at this year’s Sobey Art Award. Raymond Boisjoly (West Coast and Yukon), Sarah Anne Johnson (Prairies and the North), Jon Rafman (Quebec) and Lisa Lipton (Atlantic) were finalists for the award, which is given annually to a visual artist age 40 or under who has exhibited in a public or commercial art gallery within 18 months of being nominated.

Victoria artist Sandra Meigs was announced as the 2015 Gershon Iskowitz Prize recipient last night at the Art Gallery of Ontario, where past winner Liz Magor gave a talk. The win includes a $50,000 cash prize and a solo exhibition at the AGO (which will be held in 2017); it is presented annually to an artist for outstanding contribution to the visual arts in Canada. Meigs also won a 2015 Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts.

Winnipeg-based artist Corrie Peters has won the inaugural Salt Spring National Art Prize, taking home the Joan McConnell Award, which includes a $10,000 cash prize and an artist residency valued at $5,000 on Salt Spring Island. The biannual award is an initiative of the Salt Springs Arts Council, and it awarded $25,000 in total prize monies this year.

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