Call goes out for nominations for beefed-up Sobey Art Award

The winner of this year’s Sobey Art Award will cash in a cheque for $100,000 after the Sobey Art Foundation doubled the the amount for the top prize and raised the amounts for the other prizewinners.

The announcement came as the call for nominations was issued for the annual award that is presented to a Canadian artist age 40 or under who has exhibited in a public or commercial art gallery within 18 months of being nominated. The deadline for nominations is March 2.

Other changes include: the four short-listed artists’ prizes will increase from $10,000 to $25,000; and the 20 long-listed artists’ prizes will double to $2,000.

“This support will help broaden a re-investment by our Art Foundation to put more money directly into the careers of Canadian artists. We hope to be able to create more significant and tangible international opportunities for our long-listed artists,” said Rob Sobey, chair of the Sobey Art Foundation, in a media release.

As well, three international residencies for artists drawn from the long-list will be created. The first partner for this program is Fogo Island Arts. One of the 25 long-listed artists will take up a residency on Fogo Island, Newfoundland.

The two other residencies will be added to a program being designed by the National Gallery of Canada to expand international opportunities and exposure for Canadian artists, the release said.

The 2018 long list will be announced April 17 and the shortlist will be released May 29. An exhibition of works by the five shortlisted artists will be presented at the National Gallery of Canada from Oct. 3 to Feb. 10, 2019. The winner of the 2018 Sobey Art Award will be announced on Nov. 14 at the National Gallery.

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Peter Robb began his connection with the arts community in Ottawa in the mid-1980s when he was the administrator and public relations director of the Great Canadian Theatre Company. After a long career in journalism with the Ottawa Citizen where he served in a number of different posts he returned to the arts when he became the Citizen's arts editor.