Sobey Art Foundation Announces New Investments in Canada’s Sobey Art Award

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Stellarton, NS – The Sobey Art Foundation is pleased to announce major enhancements to the annual prize structure of the Sobey Art Award, Canada’s pre-eminent award for contemporary art. An important gift by the Donald R. Sobey Foundation and re-investment from the Sobey Art Foundation will support targeted funds to directly benefit young Canadian artists through the Award.

Effective for 2018, changes to the Award:

  • The annual top prize amount will double from $50,000 to $100,000. 
  • The four short-listed artists’ prizes will increase from $10,000 to $25,000
  • The twenty long-listed artists’ prizes will double to $2,000 annually.

“On behalf of the Sobey Art Foundation, we are very pleased to accept this gift of the Donald R Sobey Foundation to the benefit of all of the artists supported by our annual programming. This support will help broaden a re-investment by our Art Foundation to put more money directly into the careers of Canadian artists. We hope to be able to create more significant and tangible international opportunities for our long-listed artists,” said Rob Sobey, Chair of the Sobey Art Foundation.

  • Three fully-funded international residencies for artists drawn from the annual jury’s long-list will be created. The Sobey Art Foundation is very pleased to announce Fogo Island Arts as the inaugural partner in this program, where one of the 25 artists long-listed for the Sobey Art Award will annually be awarded a residency on Fogo Island, Newfoundland, as part of Fogo Island Arts’ international residency program.

"The residency will offer some of the most brilliant Canadian contemporary artists opportunities to develop their thoughts and artistic practice within the unparalleled setting of Fogo Island" said Nicolaus Schafhausen , Strategic Director of Fogo Island Arts. He added: “The Sobey Art Foundation and Fogo Island Arts have a shared interest in expanding the opportunities available to young artists and by extension, to activate and invest in our communities.”

  • In addition to the Fogo Island residency, two additional international residencies will be added to the program being designed by the National Gallery of Canada with the mandate to expand international opportunities and exposure for Canadian artists.

“I firmly believe that a residency program provides wonderful opportunities for Canada’s established artists to develop their practices, exchange and engage with different artistic communities, providing them access to critical thinkers, colleagues, and various technical expertise and resources,” said Josée Drouin-Brisebois, Curator of Contemporary Art, NGC and Chair of the Sobey Art Award Jury.  “We look forward to releasing details on the additional residencies with the announcement of the 2018 short-list,” she added.

Nominations for the 2018 Sobey Art Award are open January 30, 2018.  More information can be found at: