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Winifred Shantz Award for Ceramics

Submissions for the 2021 Winifred Shantz Award for Ceramics have now closed.

This prestigious national award allows practicing emerging ceramic artists to undertake a period of independent research, or other activities that advance their artistic and professional practice. The winner of the Award will receive $10,000. The selection is made by a jury comprised of respected contemporary ceramic artists and other arts professionals.

The winner and up to five finalists will have their work featured in a group exhibition at the Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery from September 2021 to January 2022. The exhibiting finalists will receive an artist fee commensurate with the current CARFAC Fee Schedule. The Award will be presented at the opening reception, held at the Gallery in Waterloo on Sunday, September 26that 2:00pm. Transportation and accommodation will be provided to the winner, as required. In order to be eligible for the Award, applicants must be available to attend the reception on September 26th and be prepared to make a brief artist talk. All details related to the exhibition and reception are subject to change according to relevant COVID-19 restrictions including dates, attendance, location, and possible online formats. The winner and finalists will be notified in early June.

To apply to the Winifred Shantz Award for Ceramics, you must be a Canadian citizen or have Permanent Resident status, as defined by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. You must also meet our definition of an emerging professional artist, which is an artist who:

  • has maintained a professional practice for five to ten years as of the application deadline date. Professional practice typically begins upon completion of a college or bachelor’s degree in ceramics. If alternate circumstances apply, demonstrate how you identify as an emerging artist in the cover letter portion of the application;
  • has developed skills through training and/or practice in the field;
  • operates or has consistent access to a ceramic studio;
  • has a body of work that incorporates a public presence and peer recognition; and
  • seeks payment for their work and has an active and engaged practice

Nurielle Stern, winner of the 2019 Winifred Shantz Award for ceramics, was invited by Tony Marsh, Director of the Center for Contemporary Ceramics at California State University, Long Beach, to be a visiting artist at the Center in 2020. Of her experience, Nurielle stated:

The Winifred Shantz Award combined with a Canada Council Arts Abroad Grant afforded me the opportunity to travel for this residency in order to produce large-scale ceramic sculptural pieces. During this residency, I was able to access the school’s amazing facilities to create ambitious work beyond what would be possible in my Toronto studio. It was a unique opportunity to learn from and receive feedback from peers and to make international connections with other visiting artists and become familiar with some of the galleries and museums in L.A. The CSULB Center for Contemporary Ceramics is a high profile residency, and I’m incredibly honoured to have been chosen for this opportunity. My fellow artists in residence in winter 2020 included Simone Leigh, Heidi Lau, and Sharif Farrag, among others. Many thanks to Tony Marsh, the Shantz Family and The Keith and Winifred Shantz Fund for the Arts, the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery, and the Canada Council for the Arts.

About the Winifred Shantz Award for Ceramics

The Winifred Shantz Award for Ceramics is supported by The Keith and Winifred Shantz Fund for the Arts, held at Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation. This prestigious $10,000 award allows practising early career ceramic artists to undertake a period of independent research, or other activities that advance their artistic and professional practice. The winner and up to five finalists are also included in a group exhibition at the Gallery.

Past recipients of the award truly represent the best of the emerging ceramic artists in Canada. Joon Hee Kim of Oakville, Ontario was the winner of the 2020 Winifred Shantz Award for Ceramics. Click here to learn more about winners of the award in past years.

About Winifred Shantz: 

The late Winifred Shantz was a driving force for the arts in Waterloo Region for more than 40 years. A successful ceramist, entrepreneur and visionary philanthropist, she was committed to finding ways to enable artists to reach their full potential.

About Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation:

Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation (KWCF) is focused on Granting, Impact Investing and Convening to make measurable and sustainable impacts in Waterloo Region. We collaborate with partners to develop forward-thinking innovative solutions and seize opportunities to meet current and future needs of our community. We enable people, companies and organizations to do more good by making it easy for Fundholders and Donors to give and invest, and for charities to receive money. Gifts are directed to KWCF’s endowed funds that drive positive change in two ways: through grants and impact investments that deliver both financial returns as well as positive social and environmental outcomes. We work with our Fundholders to distribute the income generated through grants to support a wide range of charitable causes within our community. As a leading community-building organization we also work to amplify voices and issues of importance by convening conversations and sharing information, while approaching our work with an equity mindset.


For additional information, contact Peter Flannery, Curator: 519.746.1882 x235 or