Get to know our recipients for the Honourary Award for the Arts, one of several Simcoe County Pride Awards.
Hunter Cascagnette is a Two Spirit, gender queer, trans person of mixed Métis/Anishinaabe, French and Scottish ancestry. They are an earthworker, hunter, aspiring trapper and musician doing food and sustenance sovereignty work in their father's Métis/Anishinaabek homelands near Beausoleil Island on Manidoo Gaming (Georgian Bay).
Hunter's solo music project is called Grumps. Grumps plays sad/angsty/beautiful anti-colonial songs on the banjo, fiddle and flute. For the last 3 years Hunter has been involved in organizing live outdoor shows in Tiny Township that feature Two Spirit, Trans and Queer musicians and bands.
Kent Monkman is a Canadian artist of Cree ancestry who is well known for his provocative reinterpretations of romantic North American landscapes. Themes of colonization, sexuality, loss, and resilience - the complexities of historic and contemporary Indigenous experience - are explored in a variety of mediums, including painting, film/video, performance, and installation.
His glamorous gender fluid alter-ego Miss Chief Eagle Testickle appears in much of his work as a time travelling, shape shifting and supernatural being, who reverses the colonial gaze, upending received notions of history and Indigenous people. With Miss Chief at centre stage, Monkman has created memorable site specific performances at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, The Royal Ontario Museum, The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, Compton Verney, and most recently at the Denver Art Museum. His award-winning short film and video works have been screened at various national and international festivals, including the 2007 and 2008 Berlinale, and the 2007 and 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. Many of his media works are made with his long-time collaborator, Gisèle Gordon. His second national touring solo exhibition, Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience will visit museums across Canada until 2020.
Monkman has been awarded the Egale Leadership Award (2012), the Indspire Award (2014), the Hnatyshyn Foundation Visual Arts Award (2014), the Bonham Centre Award (2017), an honorary doctorate degree from OCAD University (2017) and the Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts (2017).
His work has been exhibited internationally and is widely represented in the collections of major Museums in Canada and the USA.
He is represented by Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain in Montreal and Toronto and Trepanier Baer Gallery in Calgary.
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