MAYOR'S NEW YEAR'S HONOUR LIST
When first awarded in 1976, the annual Honour List recognized only contributions to the arts. Several additional categories were added in 1989, and the Honour List now recognizes Londoners' professional and philanthropic work in nine diverse fields.
Each year, the London Arts Council invites nominations for the honouree in the Arts category. Eligible nominees are professional artists and active volunteers whose artistic excellence or outstanding contribution of service deserves recognition.
These endowments are awarded at the discretion of the London Arts Council to support the work of professional artists and arts activities in London, Ontario.
Chris Doty (1966 - 2006) was a man of wit and dedication. As a filmmaker, he restored the only known print of Canada’s first feature-length colour movie, Here I Will Nest, and produced a series of historical minute videos for The New PL TV station (now the “A”), Rogers Television, the City of London, Museum London, and Banting House Museum. In 2003, Doty was instrumental in convincing the City to name a south-central park in honour of London-born black actor, Richard B. Harrison (1864 - 1935), and to erect an interpretive historical plaque on the site.
Doty was also involved in local theatre as a playwright and a producer, including a dramatized recreation of The Donnelly Trial (funded in part by the London Arts Council). In 2002, Doty co-founded the Brickenden Awards to recognize excellence in theatre in London. In 2005, he played a key role in scripting the Lost Soul Stroll, a downtown street performance whose theme was London's ghosts and hauntings. He also co-wrote and produced Citizen Marc, a play about the political-marijuana activist Marc Emery.
Doty's passing in February, 2006, left a void within the London arts community, but his legacy has continued to inspire, educate, and entertain. The Chris Doty Endowment Fund supports local artists whose works are inspired by London’s own stories.
PUBLIC ART FUND
Greg Curnoe (1936 - 1992) was a Canadian artist, community organizer, and musician. A London resident and graduate of H. B. Beal Secondary School and the Ontario College of Art, Curnoe is known for his role in establishing and promoting London Regionalism. This Canadian art movement was developed in the late 1950s and 1960s by London artists who recognized their home as the centre and subject of their creative activities.
Curnoe was a co-founder of Region Magazine (1961 - 1990), Region Gallery (1962 - 1963), the Forest City Gallery (1973 - present), and the Nihilist Spasm Band (1965 onward), composed of artists creating music with homemade instruments. Curnoe was also one of the first members of CARFAC, Canada's advocacy group for artists’ rights. His artwork was exhibited internationally, and he represented Canada at the Venice Biennale in 1976.
In 1992, Curnoe was tragically killed in a cycling accident. The Greg Curnoe Endowment Fund honours his life and work by supporting the development of public art in London, Ontario.
Karen Ohland (1947 - 2002), was a talented artist, puppet builder, and teacher from Toronto. Ohland was involved in puppetry for many years, working as a builder on "Fraggle Rock," "The Jim Henson Hour," many other Muppet projects in the 1980s, and numerous other television projects and commercials in Canada and the US in more recent years.