2014 TELUS Newcomer Artist Award Finalists

We are pleased to announce the Finalists for the second TELUS Newcomer Artist Award, one of the outstanding Vision Awards of Toronto Arts Foundation. Administered by the Foundation’s Neighbourhood Arts Network, this transformative $10,000 cash award celebrates a newcomer artist whose remarkable body of work makes an impact in the community. 

The Finalists for this year’s award are:

Naomi Abiola
Naomi is a mother, writer, teacher, and performer. She came to Canada in 2011 from Trinidad and Tobago. Abiola established rAiz'nSpeak, a monthly showcase of talents, as an initiative of bcurrent. Abiola was recently promoted to co-artistic director of bcurrents. She has written and performed in more than ten spoken-word pieces, and performed with a variety of organizations such as the Dyke March, Toronto Aids Candle Light Vigil, Bring Our Girls Back, African Women Acting and COBA. 

Bruno Capinan 
Bruno is a Brazilian singer and songwriter, is exploring his artistic vision in Toronto. He came to Canada in 2008. Bruno continues to develop his music career by working with Maracatu SoundSystem, a musical ensemble that fuses traditional Brazilian rhythms with an eclectic Torontonian approach. He is currently planning the release of his second album.  

Carlos Delgado 
Carlos is a Colombian painter and sneaker artist who has lived in Toronto for four years. Carlos has been awarded a certificate of recognition by Toronto Liberal MP of Multiculturalism for his commitment to promoting diversity. He is a multiple winner of the Art Battle National Live Painting Championships, winner of the Sneaker Design project and has exhibited his sneaker art at Bata Shoe Museum. 

Sunny Drake
Sunny, a permanent Canadian resident since 2011, is largely self-taught and has created his own unique style of multi-genre theatre.  Sunny has performed in a large variety of shows in Australia, USA, Puerto Rico, Canada and Europe. He won the Arts Professional Award in the SummerWorks Performance Festival (2013) as well as being named by NOW Magazine for “Outstanding Performance” and “Outstanding Design.”

Maziar Heidari
Maziar began his musical studies at the age of five. In the summer of 2011, he won the Tirgan Festival trophy for his conducting of the Pardis Orchestra for their Opening Ceremony at Harbourfront Center. He is one of the co-founders of the Iranian-Canadian Composers, where he works as musical director and conductor. He also works as an apprentice conductor and pianist for Orchestra Toronto, and as a freelance educator, pianist, composer and conductor.

Ghazal Partou 
Ghazal has resided in Toronto since 2012 and is a playwright, director, sculptor and performance artist. Her first solo sculpture exhibition in 2010 was in Tehran, and its success led to a first-place award for an Iranian contemporary art competition, as well as winning the National Sculpture Biennial. In 2012, she was awarded Best Acting Teacher at the School Theatre Festival in Tehran, as well as first place for playwriting and directing.

“I was pleased to discover the wide range of innovative and extremely well-accomplished newcomer artists in this city,” said Lua Shayenne, 2014 TELUS Newcomer Artist Award Jury Member and 2013 finalist. “This much-needed Award acknowledges the significant contribution newcomer artists bring to Toronto.”

Neighbourhood Arts Network and Toronto Arts Foundation  welcomes back TELUS as the naming sponsor for the TELUS Newcomer Artist Award. Now in the second year of this successful partnership, TELUS has helped expand the reach of the Newcomer Award throughout the city and will facilitate the creation of two Neighbourhood Arts Network Social Clubs, hosted at TELUS House, designed to provide newcomer artists with networking and professional development opportunities. The winner of the TELUS Newcomer Artist Award will be announced on Thursday, October 16th.