The NorVA Centre is in the running for a major nationwide prize.
Flin Flon’s largest centre for visual arts has been nominated for the Lacey Prize, a biannual award meant to recognize artist-run spaces and galleries across Canada. Organized by the National Gallery of Canada, the prize is new for 2019. Funding for the award comes from the family of philanthropists Naomi and John Lacey.
“There are small centres like this across Canada,” said NorVA artist Karen Clark.
Up for grabs are three separate prizes - one cash prize of $50,000 and two prizes of $20,000 each for the runners-up. A curator from the National Gallery will also travel to the site of the winning project to visit the exhibits and studios and collaborate with the winners.
“That would make a huge difference in the centre’s operating budget,” joked Clark.
“The newly established Lacey Prize recognizes and celebrates the activities and impact of small arts organizations and artist-run spaces in Canada — in particular their contributions to emerging and experimental practices, and the role they play within their local communities,” reads the National Gallery website.
Flin Flon’s artist-run gallery and studio was submitted for prize nomination by Dorothy Dobbie, Jean Giguere and Janice Price, a trio of western Canadian art luminaries who visited Flin Flon earlier this year for the Inspiration Series on Knowledge and Development through the North Central Canada Centre for Arts and Environment (NCCCAE). All three left the community impressed with what they found in the north, relaying that through the nomination.
“It’s a huge boost to everyone that we’ve been nominated,” said Clark.
The winners of the prize will be announced Dec. 4.