Awards of Excellence

Celebrating the outstanding achievements of Canadian municipalities in cultural programming. The CCNC Awards of Excellence are presented at the Creative City Summit.

General Eligibility for all Awards:

Open to CCNC Class A voting (municipal) members in good standing at the time of the beginning of the awards process. This includes the following entities that have applied and been accepted for Class A voting membership in the Corporation:
  • Municipal governments and Band Councils;
  • Regional governments;
  • Officially designated local cultural planning and cultural policy bodies.

* Municipalities may self-nominate for all awards EXCEPT the Cultural Leadership Award.

With the exception of the IDEA Award, the Awards of Excellence are not open to Class B non-voting (organizational and individual) members. This includes: Provincial, territorial and federal governments in Canada; Governing authorities in other countries; Not-for-profits; Businesses; Educational institutions; and Individuals.

Selection Process:

The CCNC Awards Program promotes a principled and effective adjudication process. A volunteer peer jury conducts a review of all submissions and selects the successful candidates. The recipients are celebrated at the CCNC’s annual summit. The jury may decide to not bestow an award in any given year. The current standing CCNC Board of Directors, and by extension their municipalities, are not eligible to serve on the Awards Program Jury.

2022 Awards:

Read our Release outlining the award recipients in 2022 HERE.

2023 Awards:

Nominations are OPEN! Nominate your municipality by June 12, 2023.

Cultural Planning Award

The Cultural Planning Award recognizes a Canadian municipality* that has developed, adopted, and implemented an excellent Culture Plan with a process that demonstrates outstanding visionary leadership and best practices in cultural planning or a Canadian municipality that has reviewed, revitalized and implemented a previously adopted Culture Plan.

Past recipients:

2022 – Connections & Exchanges: A 10-Year Plan To Transform Arts and Heritage In Edmonton, Edmonton Arts Council

2019Walking Together – Growing Connections Through Culture, City of Maple Ridge, BC

2018 – Create Victoria: Arts and Culture Master Plan, City of Victoria, BC

2017 – 2016-2026 Culture Plan, City of Moncton, NB

2016 – Transforming Hamilton Through Culture, City of Hamilton, ON


Public Art Awards

The Public Art Awards recognize Canadian municipalities* that demonstrated visionary leadership by supporting an excellent program and process that led to a successful public art project or program.

Past recipients:

2022 Legacy Award – Alderville First Nation Commemoration Project: Manidoo Ogitigan (Spirit Garden) by Terence Radford, City of Kingston, ON

2022 Sustainability Award – Blissful Release, City of Mississauga, ON

2019ABᐄᓃᐤ(ÎNÎW) River Lot 11∞, Edmonton Arts Council

2018 – Into the Debris Field: The Halifax Explosion, Halifax Regional Municipality, NS

2017 – Tsa Tsa Ke K’e (Iron Foot Place), Edmonton Arts Council

2016 – Winnipeg Arts Council Public Art Program, City of Winnipeg, MB

Cultural Events Award

The Cultural Events Award recognizes a Canadian municipality* that demonstrated visionary leadership by initiating, creating, and producing an exceptional cultural event or by empowering and supporting a community initiative that led to an exceptional cultural event. Cultural events can include celebrations, festivals, exhibitions, performances, and programs.

Past recipients:

2022 – Shine Bright New West, City of New Westminster, AB

2019 – New Year’s Eve Celebration, City of Calgary, AB

2018 – Engage for Change: #YGK Reconciliation Journey, City of Kingston, ON

2017 – Canada Day 2016 Our City, Our Country, Our Celebration, City of Calgary, AB

2016 – The Northern International Children’s Festival of the Arts, City of St Albert, AB with Honourable Mention, Richmond Maritime Festival (City of Richmond, BC)

Cultural Leadership Award

The Cultural Leadership Award recognizes significant contributions by individuals working in the field of local cultural planning, programs, and services who have shown inspired leadership and exceptional dedication to supporting the work and the vision of the Creative City Network of Canada.

Past recipients:

2019 – Rebecca Cann, Janis A. Barlow and Associates

2018 – Elena Bird, City of Toronto, ON

2017 – Dr. Nancy Duxbury

2016 – Burke Taylor, Taylor-Harvey Inc., and Co-director, Centre for Cultural Planning and Development, UBC

I.D.E.A. Award

The I.D.E.A. Award recognizes significant contributions by an individual, organization, or municipality working in the cultural sector that exemplifies the principles of I.D.E.A. (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility) through cultural programs and initiatives including reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and communities.

2022 City of Ottawa – Anishinabe Algonquin Nation Civic Cultural Protocol and Implementation Plan (2022–2026), City of Ottawa, ON

Stand Up for Culture Award

The Stand Up for Culture Award recognizes a Canadian municipality that actively recognized the value of culture work in their community over the 2020–2022 time period by lifting up their local culturally focused departments, staff, and/or programs in order to energize their response to and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic on a local level.

2022 Micro-Grant Project with Pat the Dog, City of Waterloo, ON