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Faculty members recognized with Mayor's Arts Awards

Three Queen’s faculty members were among those recognized in the inaugural Mayor’s Arts Awards.

Professors Armand Garnet Ruffo (English; Languages, Literatures and Cultures) and Matt Rogalsky (Dan School of Drama and Music) received Creator Awards while the Limestone Arts Legacy Award recognized David Kemp, the former head of the Department of Drama at Queen’s, who passed away in April.

The Mayor’s Arts Awards, administered by the City of Kingston in collaboration with the Kingston Arts Council (KAC), celebrate artistic achievement and recognize extraordinary contributions in and to the arts, while at the same time enhancing the cultural vitality and civic identity of Kingston.

Creator Awards
The Creator Award recognizes living artists, artistic collectives, or arts organizations. The award honours artistic merit and/or innovation that advances the arts in the city, contributes to the development of the art form and expresses the cultural vitality of Kingston.

Armand Garnet RuffoArmand Garnet Ruffo
An Anishinaabe scholar, filmmaker, writer and poet, Mr. Ruffo is the Queen’s National Scholar in Indigenous Literature and teaches creative writing and Indigenous literature. He has received numerous awards for his writing and filmmaking. He has published five books, including the biography Norval Morrisseau: Man Changing into Thunderbird, on the innovative and controversial Ojibway painter, and a poetry collection, The Thunderbird Poems, inspired by Morrisseau’s work. Mr. Ruffo has also written three plays and has written, directed and produced a short film and a feature film.

“The recognition that Armand’s work has received and his ongoing support of other artists and the literary community, inspire other creators, particularly Indigenous artists,” reads the city’s release announcing the award winners.

Matt RogalskyMatt Rogalsky
Matt Rogalsky is an assistant professor in theory and composition at the Dan School of Drama and Music with areas of research including histories, reconstructions and new performances of late 20th century electronic and experimental music.

Mr. Rogalsky has composed, created and performed locally and across North America and Europe. A founding member of the band The Gertrudes, he is also involved with the Tone Deaf Festival of Experimental Sound and numerous smaller performance series such as Musical Chairs and is a key member of the board of Kingston’s Skeleton Park Arts Festival.

“Talented and widely respected, Matt provides his technical and artistic expertise and encouragement to an enormous range of art activities in Kingston, spanning visual and performance art, storytelling, classical to experimental music, film and theatre,” reads the city’s release.

Limestone Arts Legacy Award
The Limestone Arts Legacy Award recognizes individuals from the past whose sustained and substantial contributions have built the artistic vitality of the city, nurturing and enabling forms of creation, participation, presentation and enjoyment, whose leadership has inspired others, and whose influence has been felt in the region and beyond.

David KempDavid Kemp
David Kemp was a professor and the former head of the Department of Drama at Queen’s, and was cross-appointed to the Faculty of Education, where he served as associate dean. Mr. Kemp was an accomplished playwright, theatre artist and educator who advocated for theatre education for all ages. He was very active within the local arts community, serving as artistic director of the Frontenac Children’s Teachers Theatre Company, which performed children’s theatre at local schools, and co-founded the Artists in Community Education program (ACE).

“In co-founding the Artists in Community Education program (ACE), which provides practicing artists with the teaching tools they needed to pursue classroom, community outreach and arts leadership careers, he has inspired successive generations of youth while integrating artistic practices in all disciplines with community life, making Kingston a leading centre for arts education,” the city says in its release.

Visit the City of Kingston website for video profiles and more information about the 2017 Mayor’s Arts Awards.