The Saskatchewan Arts Board has nominated a longtime Prince Albert Grand Council (PAGC) employee for one of its most prestigious awards.
© Submitted photo
Prince Albert Grand Council special education student records co-ordinator Shona Stapleton has been nominated in the Arts Volunteer category for the 2013 Lieutenant-Governor’s Arts Awards. Winners will be announced at a special ceremony in Regina on Wednesday, Sept. 25.
Special education student records co-ordinator Shona Stapleton has been named one of the nominees in the Arts Volunteer category for the 2013 Lieutenant-Governor’s Arts Awards.
“It’s obviously an honour to be nominated,” Stapleton said.
“To be nominated for something that you really enjoy doing is extra special,” she added. “So I’m really happy about it.”
Presented by the Arts Board, the annual awards honour the contributions and achievements of individuals, groups and organizations in the arts.
Stapleton’s supervisor at the PAGC, education director Edward Mirasty, originally nominated her for the award to recognize her years of volunteer work as co-ordinator of the PAGC Fine Arts Festival.
The nominee first began working with the PAGC in 1993, starting as a receptionist before ascending to higher ranks within the organization.
“I’ve been working with the Grand Council for about 21 years now,” Stapleton said.
“For the past 19 years, I’ve been in charge of organizing an annual event (the PAGC Fine Arts Festival) that has approximately (1,500) to 1,600 students and chaperones that come in from around the north to compete in the different varieties of art, whether it be performing arts or visual arts.”
By bringing together First Nations students from kindergarten to Grade 12 for a talent showcase that includes the visual arts, crafts, dance, song, poetry literature and mixed media, the festival addresses two of the main PAGC educational priorities -- closing the achievement gap and creating more innovative and engaging schools.
To be nominated for something that you really enjoy doing is extra special. Shona Stapleton
Stapleton helps organize the annual festival with a committee of 25 people.
“It’s something that I look forward to every year,” she said. “So I do enjoy doing it and to be recognized for doing something that you really love to do, I think, is outstanding.”
During her tenure as festival co-ordinator, the week-long event grew from 300 participants initially to 1,600 students, teachers, chaperones and other assistants.
Besides her role at the festival, Stapleton sat on the Prince Albert Arts Board from 1999 to 2012. Her festival work was previously recognized when she received an individual tourism award from the P.A. Tourism and Marketing Bureau.
Winners of the Lieutenant-Governor’s Arts Awards will be announced at a special awards gala on Wednesday, Sept. 25 at the Conexus Arts Centre in Regina.
Award recipients will take home a limited-edition bronze sculpture by Saskatchewan artist Joe Fafard and a cash prize.