Arts award honour ultimate compliment: hall of honour inductee

Tara Bradbury
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Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council awards held in Clarenville

Drama teacher, actor, director and Newfoundland Traveling Theatre Company founder Dudley Cox thought, until he got a phone call from the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council last week, that he had already received the ultimate Newfoundland compliment.

"Many years ago, Mrs. Power of Pouch Cove, seeing something nifty that I'd done in the house, declared, 'Mr. Cox, you could put the arse on a cat," Cox said Saturday night at the NLAC's annual Arts Awards gala.

Cox was addressing the audience, having just been inducted into the Fortis Properties Arts Hall of Honour alongside Noreen Golfman, founding chairwoman of the St. John's International Women's Film Festival and vice-chairwoman of the Newfoundland and Labrador Film Development Corp.

"This is a very humbling moment for me," Golfman said. "I came to Newfoundland 31-plus years ago … thinking that, well, I'll try it out for a while and see what happens. This arts community gave me, it seemed, a great big giant hug, and I felt like giving it a great big giant hug back. Everything I've done has been a labour of love, shared with a community that has really punched so much above its weight."

The NLAC gave out six awards at its gala event, held at the Clarenville Events Centre Theatre. In addition to the hall of honour inductions, the Memorial University Arts in Education Award went to Jason Ross Sellars of The Rooms; the Patron of the Arts award was given to Marlene Cahill, the Cox and Palmer Arts Achievement Award went to filmmaker Barbara Doran, and visual Artist Jordan Bennett was named the winner of the BMO Bank of Montreal Artist of the Year award. Bennett was not at the gala, since he's currently acting as the artist in residence at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia.

Filmmaker Stephen Dunn was presented with the CBC Emerging Artist of the Year award.

"I have a lot to be grateful for, but one of the best opportunities that I've ever had is growing up in Newfoundland," said Dunn, who has recently moved home from Toronto and will shoot his first feature-length film here this summer. "It really kind of required the perspective of moving, studying at university outside of the island to realize how fortunate I was to grow up in a community that truly understands and supports the arts."

Arts Awards winners, in addition to a cash prize for some of the awards, received a framed mezzotint by artist Scott Goudie.

See full story and more photos from the awards gala in Monday's Telegram.

Twitter: @tara_bradbury

Organizations: Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council, Fortis Properties Arts Hall, Newfoundland and Labrador Film Development Clarenville Events Centre Theatre Memorial University Arts BMO Bank of Montreal Artist of the Year RMIT University CBC Emerging Artist

Geographic location: Newfoundland, Clarenville, Pouch Cove St. John's Melbourne Australia Toronto

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