Skip to main content

One of the oldest artist-run centres in Canada, Hamilton Artists Inc. (the Inc., as it’s known) is typical of these small non-profits in providing many artists with their first professional exhibitions.

Glenn Lowson/The Globe and Mail

A visual-arts centre in Hamilton is the first recipient of an unusual new award: The National Gallery of Canada announced Tuesday that Hamilton Artists Inc. is the inaugural winner of the Lacey Prize, established to recognize artist-run centres and small art organizations.

In awarding the $50,000 biennial prize, the jury cited Hamilton Artists Inc.'s role providing its 250-member group of artists with opportunities to explore, take risks and engage critically in the visual arts. Founded in 1975 and one of the oldest artist-run centres in Canada, the Inc. (as it’s known) is typical of these small non-profits in providing many artists with their first professional exhibitions.

The purpose of the prize, established with a $1.3-million gift from Dr. John Lacey and his late wife, Naomi Lacey, is to recognize the crucial legwork that the storefront operations do building the visual arts in Canada. It will also provide more dialogue between the National Gallery and the artistic community, NGC director Sasha Suda said in a statement.

Story continues below advertisement

Two runners up, Gallery Gachet of Vancouver and Calgary’s Untitled Art Society, received $20,000 each while the jury also cited the Struts Gallery in Sackville, N.B., this town is small in Charlottetown, Critical Distance in Toronto and Blinkers from Winnipeg.

“One of the challenges for an artist-run centre like ours is that our aspirations are sometimes larger than our budgets," said Julie Dring, executive director of Hamilton Artists Inc., in a statement. “The Inc. has been quite ambitious lately, and we are eager to continue growing. The Lacey Prize gives us some stability to keep listening and learning.”

Live your best. We have a daily Life & Arts newsletter, providing you with our latest stories on health, travel, food and culture. Sign up today.

Related topics

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter
To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies