Nanaimo residents are being honoured for their contributions to local arts, culture and heritage.
On Feb. 1 the City of Nanaimo announced in a press release the recipients of the 2021 Culture and Heritage Awards.
Snuneymuxw fashion and design house Ay Lelum – The Good House of Design will receive this year’s Excellence in Culture Award. Ay Lelum has showcased its fashions across North American and in November made its debut at Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto.
Snuneymuxw artist Eliot White-Hill, Kwulasultun, is 2021’s Emerging Cultural Leader. A VIU grad, White-Hill has worked on projects for many local organizations, last fall painting murals at Beban Park pool.
This year the Honour in Culture Award will be shared between two longtime supporters of the arts in Nanaimo, Marianne Turley and Christine Whitelaw. Turley, who died last month, served on the City of Nanaimo’s culture committee and was described as a “donor, fundraiser, planner, board member, leader and advocate” for the Vancouver Island Symphony. Whitelaw has held similar roles with the Port Theatre, Vancouver Island Symphony and the Nanaimo Conservatory of Music.
“Those that we are honouring this year have demonstrated vision, passion, creativity and leadership in the ways that they’ve contributed to Nanaimo’s cultural life, and by extension, the well-being of our community and the unique character of this place,” said Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog in the release. “We look forward to highlighting and celebrating their outstanding achievements.”
The press release noted that due to the pandemic, this year’s award ceremony “will be adapted to align with COVID-19 safety protocols.”