2016 Judges

Meet our Judges!

Best of Exhibition Award

Peter Kingstone, Visual/Media Arts Officer at the Toronto Arts Council

Peter Kingstone is a Toronto-based visual artist and curator, working primarily in video and photography. As an independent artist, Peter’s installation pieces have been shown across Canada and internationally, and he was awarded the Untitled Artist Award in 2005 for his installation The Strange Case of peter K. (1974-2004). Peter holds a degree in Philosophy/Cultural Studies from Trent University in Peterborough and a Masters of Fine Art focussing on video and new media from York University in Toronto. Peter has presented at many conferences on the ideas around storytelling and social engagement. Peter started in September 2012 as the Acting Visual/Media Arts Officer at Toronto Arts Council.


Founding Chairman's Award

Tiana Koffler Boyman, Chair of the Koffler Centre for the Arts

Tiana Koffler Boyman is Co-Chair of the Koffler Centre of the Arts, a prominent Toronto based Jewish contemporary cultural organization. The Koffler presents a cross-disciplinary arts program that promotes inter-cultural dialogue through a diverse range of programs in literature, theatre, visual arts and public engagement. Tiana has served the Koffler Centre in many capacities since 2001 including as a member of the Governance, Nominations, Fundraising, and Strategic Planning Committees as well as the Koffler Gallery Advisory Board.

Ms Koffler Boyman is involved in the philanthropic community for over 30 years providing her focus on health, science, and arts related organizations. She has sat on numerous boards of charitable organizations including the Canadian Friends of the Weizman Institute of Science in Israel, the Board of Sterling Hall School (creating with her husband, Marc Boyman, the Boyman Student Art Gallery), and the Marvelle Koffler Breast Centre at the Mount Sinai Hospital. Through her continued association with the Marvelle Koffler Breast Centre, Ms Koffler Boyman remains as an advisor and currently is Co-Chair of the Breast Cancer Philanthropic Advisory Board as well as the Donor Relations and Stewardship Committee at Mt Sinai Hospital.

Tiana Koffler Boyman is the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.


Founding Chairman's Award 

Flavio Belli, Curator

Flavio Belli possesses a wide range of experience in the Canadian arts community. He is an art consultant, curator and artist. As a self-directed and active participant in the cultural life of Toronto, he is passionate about community outreach and fostering awareness, understanding and enjoyment of public and personal art by senior and emerging artists.

He was Co-Curator of The Al Green Gallery in Toronto in 2013 and 2014. He served as a member of the sculpture selection committee for the McMurtry Gardens of Justice (2007-14) while also a Board member of the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair (2004-14). By appointment of the Governor in Council, he served two three-year terms as a member of the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board in Ottawa (2005-12).  

Flavio was Director and Curator of the Carrier Gallery in the Italian community’s Columbus Centre from 1990 to 2005.  During that time, he was an on-camera arts commentator for Toronto Living, for Rogers Television (1999-2004).

A visual artist in his own right, Flavio’s artworks have been shown in solo and group exhibitions since 1974 and his works form part of public and private collections.


Best of Student Award 

Rosie Prata, Managing Editor at Canadian Art

Rosie Prata is the managing editor of Canadian Art, Canada's most widely read visual-arts publication. She also works on a freelance basis for publications such as The WalrusMillionsMousse and the Art Book Review, and for institutions including the Power Plant, Musagetes, Art Toronto and the Art Galleries Association of Canada. Before becoming a writer and editor, she worked at commercial galleries Clint Roenisch and Bau-Xi Photo, as well as the Royal Ontario Museum and Ritchie's Auctioneers.

Mayor's Purchase Award 

Wayne Reeves, Chief Curator for the City of Toronto

Wayne Reeves has been Chief Curator for the City of Toronto since 2009. Trained as an historical geographer, he oversees the City's artifact, fine art and archaeological collections. He also helps coordinate major exhibitions at Toronto's 10 historic site museums, including the Market Gallery and Fort York National Historic Site.


Best of 3D Media 

Melanie Egan, Head of Craft & Design at the Harbourfront Centre

Melanie Egan has over 30 years of experience in the field of craft and design, with extensive experience in creative facilitation, curation and management. She is Director of Craft & Design at Harbourfront Centre and runs Canada’s foremost artist-in-residence programme [ceramics, glass, textiles, jewellery and design .

She edited Crafting New Traditions: Canadian Innovators and Influences - published by the Canadian History Museum and curated STUFF: Ingenuity and Critique – Contemporary Danish craft as part of Harbourfront Centre’s memorable SUPERDANISH Festival. She received the George Brown College inaugural–Alumni Hall of Fame, Award and the Craft Ontario John Mather Award for life-time achievement.

She sits on the Editorial Advisory and Citizens of Craft Steering Committee at Craft Ontario; is a former Trustee for the board at the Textile Museum of Canada and was a founding board member of SKETCH – Working Arts for Homeless and Street-involved Youth.

She is Co-Director and Founder of the Toronto International Jewellery Festival and part of the curatorial partnership, McClure & Egan.


Best of Ceramics Award 

Aaron Milrad, Counsel, Dentons Canada LLP

Aaron M. Milrad is counsel to Dentons Canada LLP, a global law firm, headquartered in Toronto. At Dentons he provides specialized legal and business advice to clients nationally and internationally who are involved in the arts, media and copyright industries.  Mr. Milrad has written and lectured widely on copyright law, art law, publishing and media law.

He was Chair of the Board of the Museum Trustee Association of North America until 2010, a continuing member of the Board of Trustees of The International Foundation for Art Research in New York, the International Board of the Tel Aviv Museum, a member of the Canadian Friends of the Israel Museum, former Chair and Vice Chair of the Board of The George R. Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art and its American Foundation and a founding director of the Tate Canadian Foundation, former trustee of the Art Gallery of Ontario, Chair of the Acquisition Committee and was a member of the Photography Committee of the Art Gallery of Ontario (“AGO”) former chair of the Koffler Centre for the Arts in Toronto, former VP of the Board of the McMurtry  Gardens of Justice Inc.  in Toronto and a board member of AXA Art Americas Insurance Corporation for the past many years.  


Best of Sculpture Award 

Melanie Chikofsky, Director at The Al Green Sculpture Studio

Melanie Chikofsky has had a varied career as an artist/educator. She began in ceramics, moved onto a specialized art program in secondary school, followed by Sheridan College School of Design, all contributing to a wide-ranging passion for art that also informed her zeal for teaching.

After graduation, Chikofsky found herself designing high fashion hats that were seen in the pages of Harper’s Bazaar, runways of Tokyo, and the Inner Circle at Ascot. She also produced jewellery and accessories for the body and the home.

In her mid thirties Melanie had an accident and four subsequent surgeries, during this difficult decade, she taught art to elementary school students in the Toronto inner city, where a lack of funding sparked an inventive and resourceful approach to both her teaching and her art.

The vicissitudes of life have continued to shape Chikofsky as an artist. Since 2000, she has been the Managing Director and Lead Instructor at the Al Green Sculpture Studio School. This has propelled the acquisition of new technical skills that have had a profound impact on her current art practice.

Chikofsky has been exhibiting since 1983. In 2008, she won the "Best in Show Award" for "Threadbare" at an Ontario Society of Artists exhibition ”Surfaces.”


Best of 2D Media Award & Best of Paper Award 

Pari Nadimi, Director at Pari Nadimi Gallery

Pari Nadimi co-founded Pari Nadimi Gallery (Toronto, Canada) in 1998, the gallery has established a national and international reputation for its commitment to exhibiting significant artists whose work is ambitious, challenging, intellectually motivated. Pari Nadimi Gallery represents some of the most distinguished Canadian and international artists who work in diverse practices and mediums, such as sculpture, installation, new media, video, performance, photography and painting.  Artists represented by the gallery have exhibited in major national and international museums and Biennales, some of these exhibitions have been coordinated by Pari Nadimi Gallery on behalf of the artists, and the gallery has also placed the artists’ works in some of these art museums’ permanent collections.

Nadimi has graduated from the university of Rome “La Sapienza” (Italy) in art history, she taught at the same university for four years while developing her curatorial career in contemporary art.  After working in several art museums as assistant curator and curator she pursued her career as an independent curator and art consultant.  

Nadimi’s knowledge of six languages, her broad experience, extensive understanding of Canadian and international art scene and artistic practices, has placed her in an exceptional and unparalleled position.      

Nadimi has served in several contemporary art committees including Casey House, Art With Heart, Canadian Council of Christian and Jews, Canadian Art Foundation and RBC Canadian Painting Competition.


Best of Paper Award 

Katie Bruce, Curator at the Japanese Paper Place

Katie Bruce is an artist, educator, sometime-curator and representative from the Japanese Paper Place. She holds an MFA in Print Media from York University and a BFA (Distinction) in Visual Arts from the University of Lethbridge. Her recent projects and research consider the intersection of touch, empathy, embroidery and print, and she has worked previously in bronze, paper, and artist books. This past year, Katie has shown at Art Mur (Montreal, Quebec); Southern Alberta Art Gallery (Lethbridge, Alberta); YTB (Toronto); and Latcham Gallery (Stouffville)


Best of Painting Award 

Marianne Katzman, Director at Katzman Contemporary

Marianne Katzman is the owner and director of Katzman Contemporary. Since 2001, she has served as a Corporate Art Consultant and as a Commercial Gallery Curator and Manager. Marianne represents a roster of more than 15 nationally and internationally recognized artists. She also maintains currency with the latest developments in the art world, both nationally and internationally, as well as recognizing the hottest up-and-coming artists. Her mandate is to promote brave ideas from Canadian artists, encourage the sale of experimental art and foster a new generation of collectors.


Best of Photography & Digital Media 

Jeannie Baxter, Managing Director at Toronto Image Works

Jeannie Baxter cofounded Toronto Image Works in 1985 with Edward Burtynsky. In addition to being Managing Director of TIW, Jeannie is very involved in the arts, particularly Photo based art. Jeannie is both a collector and supporter of wide variety of photography groups and festivals; Gallery 44 advisory board, sponsor and past juror of SNAP, sponsor of Photographers Without Borders, SKETCH, Boreal Collective, Scotiabank CONTACT Portfolio Review Award, Ryerson, Sheridan, York and OCAD arts awards, Function Magazine, and Artscape supporter.


Best of Wearable Art 

Vanja Vasic, Founder & Director at Fashion Art Toronto

Vanja Vasic is the curator and founder of Fashion Art Toronto, established in 2005 as the first festival of its kind in Canada. She studied Fashion Design at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada and Visual Arts and Design at Westminster University in London, England. She obtained a Bachelor Degree in Fashion Design from Ryerson University in 2007.

As the Director of Fashion Art Toronto, a non-profit organization dedicated to building greater interest in inventive, pioneering and contemporary Canadian design and artistic practices, Vasic has became one of the leading forces in fostering young talent in the art and fashion industries. During the last 11 years, as the head of the festival, Vasic has curated, promoted and presented more than 1000 designers and artists from Canada and abroad.

Through Fashion Art Toronto, Vasic has been a leader in connecting fashion with art and working with organizations to build public interest in interdisciplinary design and art practices. She has lead and been involved with a number of projects with institutions, galleries and non-profit arts organizations such as Royal Ontario Museum, OCAD, Goethe-Institut, Fashion Takes Action, Ryerson University and Seneca College to engage the broader public and build greater interest in fashion design and art