HAHN hands out 10th anniversary Cultural Awards - May 2, 2019
On Friday night, the Huron Arts and Heritage Network (HAHN) handed out its 10th annual Huron County Cultural Awards, with IceCulture of Hensall eventually taking the top spot.
This year’s awards were different than those of previous years. For HAHN’s 10th anniversary, members encouraged Huron County residents to vote for their favourite winner from the previous nine years and HAHN would then celebrate the top 10 vote-getters at the awards evening. Approximately 300 people voted for the awards.
The awards were handed out at the Goderich Legion on Friday night and many of them went to Blyth-based artists and groups.
Citizen founder and Blyth Festival co-founder Keith Roulston finished in 10th place.
In speaking with The Citizen, Roulston said he was surprised to be among the 10 contributors honoured Friday night thanks to his work with founding The Citizen.
Roulston said he took his time in addressing those in attendance to discuss the ever-changing model of community newspaper ownership. Years ago, he said, nearly all local newspapers were owned by locals. Now, he said, there is a lack of community ownership and, as a result, a lack of newspapers properly serving their communities.
“The Citizen’s unique ownership structure means it continues to be committed to publishing the best newspaper it can, even in a changing and often difficult environment,” Roulston said.
At number nine was Blyth-based theatre director Duncan McGregor, who specializes in children’s theatre, often performed at Blyth’s Memorial Hall.
McGregor was followed by the Huron Pioneer Thresher and Hobby Association, again, based in Blyth, and Bluevale’s Jacquie Bishop, the chair of the 2017 International Plowing Match in Walton in seventh place.
Next was FauxPop Media, a film company based in Goderich, which finished in sixth place.
The Blyth Festival, which plans to produce its 45th season this summer, came in at fifth place.
Artistic Director Gil Garratt said it was a tremendous honour to be on the list. It shows, he said, that the Festival is truly serving its local community first, while also being an important theatre in the province and in the country.
Nobel Prize-winning author Alice Munro was in fourth place, followed by the Kingsbridge Centre in third place, Goderich-based historian David Yates in second place and, finally, IceCulture in first place.
Each of the winners was presented with a framed photograph from either Bonnie Sitter or Devin Sturgeon, both local artists. The evening also included musical entertainment and a catered dinner by Bon Vivant.