“We increased the value of the Audain Prize award because we want our leading artists to become better known,” said Michael Audain in a release. “After all, British Columbia has some wonderful visual artists, and many are not as widely recognized as they should be. We have some of the world’s best contemporary artists, yet is the average man or woman in B.C. aware of international artists like Jeff Wall or Stan Douglas?”
This was also the first year that the Audain Prize was managed by the Audain Art Museum, located in Whistler. Up to this point, it had been managed by the Vancouver Art Gallery.
“The Audain Art Museum is delighted that this year we were responsible for managing this important art award as our museum specializes in art by British Columbia artists. In fact, our Whistler museum is unique in this respect,” said Audain Art Museum director and chief curator Curtis Collins in a release.
This is not the first prize of this magnitude that Stan Douglas has won. In 2016, he won the 110,000-euro Hasselblad Award. He was also awarded the Hnatyshyn Foundation Visual Art Award in 2007, the Bell Award in Video Art in 2008, the Infinity Award for Art form the International Center of Photography in 2012 and the Scotia Bank Photography Award in 2013.
In addition to the Audain Prize winner, the Audain Foundation last night announced the funding of five $7,500 travel awards for students in university-level visual arts programs in the province. These grants were awarded to Rachel Warwick (Simon Fraser University), Lindsay Kirker (University of British Columbia Okanagan), Rosamunde Bordo (University of British Columbia), Danielle Proteau (University of Victoria) and Malina Sintnicolaas (Emily Carr University of Art and Design).
The Audain Prize was established in 2004. Past Audain Prize recipients include Liz Magor, Robert Davidson, Gathie Falk, Paul Wong, Carole Itter and Susan Point.