2017-18 ARTS & LETTERS AWARD
R.H. Thomson is well known for his performances in the theatre, on television and in film, extending over many years. During his career, he has portrayed numerous Canadian historical figures, including former Club member Dr. Frederick Banting. Mr. Thomson was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2010, and in 2015 he received a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award. He was also the Club’s John Coulter Honorary Member for Stage in 2006–07.
The Club in particular recognizes his significant work in drawing attention to the terrible human cost of World War I through his leadership of “The World Remembers” project and his efforts to promote awareness and remembrance of the human dimensions of that catastrophic conflict.
THE E.J. PRATT HONORARY MEMBER FOR LITERATURE
Novelist and poet Molly Peacock is the Series Editor of The Best Canadian Poetry in English, an annual publication by Tightrope Books, and during her decade as editor she has delighted in an amazing renaissance in Canadian poetry. Next year, her tenth, will be her last as editor; the volume will comprise “the best of the best” and she is at work on an introductory essay, “What is a Canadian Poem,” as an editorial swan song. Her latest work, The Analyst: poems (2017), is a series of powerful linked poems that arise from the reversal in relationships that arose after her analyst of forty years suffered a stroke and turned to art as a channel for her energies. The book has been widely and enthusiastically reviewed.
THE ERIC ARTHUR HONORARY MEMBER FOR ARCHITECTURE
Stephen Otto was the founding head of Ontario’s heritage conservation programs in the late 1970s where, among other things, he inaugurated the architectural conservation provisions of the Ontario Heritage Act, persuaded Eric Horwood to make his splendid gift of 30,000+ drawings to Ontario Archives, corralled Spadina House into the joint public ownership of the City of Toronto and Ontario Heritage Foundation and ensured the preservation of the Middlesex Courthouse in downtown London, Ontario.The preservation and presentation of Fort York was a passion of Stephen’s. He was one of the founders of the Friends of Fort York and has edited their newsletter, The Fife & Drum, for many years. His commitment to Fort York was seminal in reclaiming large chunks of real estate around the Fort that allowed for its redevelopment. He was a long-serving member of the Toronto Historical Board and was recognized with a number of important awards.
He was the author responsible for the revision to Eric Arthur’s classic guide to Toronto’s 19th- century architecture, Toronto: No Mean City (1986). (Both editions are included in the Club’s library.) He is currently working on a book on the architectural legacy of Ontario prior to the First World War. The Architecture Committee is sad to note his death on April 22, 2018.
THE SIR ERNEST MACMILLAN HONORARY MEMBER FOR MUSIC
Oboist Lawrence Cherney CM is a long-time proponent of new music in Canada, and is the founder and artistic director of Soundstreams Canada. With roots back to 1982, Soundstreams began its annual series in 1993, and over this 25-year span it has been a showcase for contemporary music, presenting new chamber music, theatre and new opera by significant modern composers and performers, both Canadian and international. During his own performing career Cherney commissioned more than 30 new works for oboe. He is a charter member of the National Arts Centre Orchestra and a founding member of the York Winds.
THE J.E.H. MacDONALD MEMBER FOR PAINTING
Anita Kunz is an acclaimed visual artist with works in a number of prestigious collections, and her cover art appears in magazines such as Time, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, GQ and The New York Times. She is a member of the Order of Canada.
THE JOHN COULTER MEMBER FOR STAGE
Maria Popoff stage-managed Stratford’s Long Day’s Journey into Night, Hamlet and Comedy of Errors, and the CanStage production of Helen Lawrence in New York and Belgium, as well as David Suzuki’s Legacy lecture and the Royal Ontario Museum’s opening ceremonies for the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal. Maria is a stage-management coach and mentor with the National Theatre School of Canada. She has produced two award-winning short films, and recently was onset costume supervisor for the first season of the CBC and Netflix series Anne. Upcoming projects include a theatre production of Helen Lawrence in Los Angeles.