OAF News

OAF launches search for Executive Director

Toronto, January 26, 2021 - After eleven years of excellent leadership of the Ontario Arts Foundation Alan Walker has decided to retire in June 2021. As part of the planning for this transition, the Board of Directors has formed a Search Committee chaired by Board of Directors Chair Anthony Graham.  The Search Committee has engaged Searchlight Partners to conduct a search for Alan’s replacement as Executive Director.

View the job posting here >> 

Artist Mike Gough awarded the Laura Ciruls Painting Award

Toronto, December 23, 2020 - Ottawa-based artist, Mike Gough is this year’s recipient of the Laura Ciruls Painting Award. The $5,000 award is given annually to recognize an Ontario based mid-career painter.

About Mike Gough
Born in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, Gough has exhibited both nationally and internationally in over 40 exhibitions. His work appears in private, corporate and public collections in England and Canada including The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery, Humber College, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, The City of St. John’s, and Global Affairs Canada among others.

Gough was the winner of the Excellence in Visual Arts (EVA) People’s Choice Award in 2015 and was shortlisted for the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council Emerging Artist of the Year in 2013. He has been the recipient of numerous Arts and Letters Awards and was selected for both the Elbow Room Residency Program (2013) at the Rooms Provincial Art Gallery and the Artist in Residence (2016) at 2 Rooms Contemporary Art Projects in Duntara, NL.

Gough received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, Corner Brook, NL in 2007 and in 2010 graduated from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London, England, with a Masters of Fine Arts.

Photo: Tobias Romaniuk 

About the Award
The Laura Ciruls Painting Award was established by Laura Ciruls, a professional graphic and web designer, as well as an acrylic and watercolour painter. Through a bequest, Laura set up the Laura Ciruls Painting Award, to recognize artists like herself, who were contributing to the development of painting in Ontario.

The Ontario Arts Foundation manages the endowment that funds the award. The Ontario Arts Council is responsible for the selection process. The award recipient is selected through the Ontario Arts Council’s peer assessment process from the applicants to one of the two annual Ontario Arts Council Visual Arts Creation Projects (Mid-career category) program deadlines.

Previous award winners include Alex Bierk (2019), Daniel Hutchinson (2018) and Dorian FitzGerald (2017). See the full list of previous recipients.

"Days to Come Stand in Front of Us| acrylic on panel | 30" x 30" | 2020


 For more information, please contact:

Alan Walker
Executive Director, Ontario Arts Foundation
Tel: (416) 969-7413

 Established in 1991, the Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) is passionately committed to building long-term support for the arts in Ontario. In 2019-2020, the OAF paid over $4.25 million in endowment income and $270,000 in awards and scholarships.

For more than 55 years, the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) has played a vital role in promoting and assisting the development of the arts for the enjoyment and benefit of Ontarians. In 2019-2020 the Ontario Arts Council invested $51.9 million in 197 communities across Ontario through 1,965 grants to individual artists and 1,152 grants to organizations. 

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Nate Friedman Awarded the Tim Sims Encouragement Award

Toronto, December 21, 2020 – Windsor-born Nate Friedman is the 2020 recipient of the $2,500 Tim Sims Encouragement Award. The Tim Sims Encouragement Award honours a promising Canadian comedic performer who is in the early stages of their career. Nate Friedman was selected for the award by the faculty of Humber College’s Comedy Writing and Performance program.

About Nate Friedman
Nate Friedman is a writer, actor and comedian and recent honours graduate from the Humber College for Comedy Writing and Performance, where he received both the Joe Kertes Scholarship in 2018 and the David Goodman Comedy Scholarship in 2019. He currently works on the children’s TV show ‘Odd Squad Mobile Unit’ and finished his first short film ‘Keto Crazy: The Documentary: The Movie’ which he wrote, directed and starred in using a smartphone during the pandemic.

Nate is also a graduate of the University of Windsor (2010) with a Bachelor of Human Kinetics and minor in Sports Psychology. He has published three children’s books, with his most recent release in February 2020, “Coffee Monster and the Land of Coffee,” along with “The Last Hockey Fight” (2018) and “The Coffee Monster” (2015). He is currently working on the TV adaptation titled “Coffee Monster and Friends”. Nate loves performing family-friendly comedy that includes impersonations and characters.

“Receiving the Tim Sims Encouragement Award, and giving someone like me who just wants to spread laughter and smiles such a big boost, early in their career (when artists need it the most!) is the most amazing thing,” says Nate. “The peace of mind and financial resources for current creative projects will help immensely. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

About the Award
The Tim Sims Encouragement Fund was founded by Lindsay Leese and established in 1995 in the spirit and memory of Tim Sims, a well-known comedic performer, writer, director, and charity fund-raiser from Toronto. From 1996-2014, the Fund awarded prize money totaling $65,000 to young comedians in the early stages of their careers at the annual Cream of Comedy award show at Second City. Beginning in 2015, the $2,500 award is given annually to a graduate of the Comedy Writing and Performance program at the Humber College, School of Creative and Performing Arts and to a Conservatory Program Graduate at the Second City Training Program.

Previous Tim Sims Encouragement award winners from Humber College include Bria Hiebert (2019), Glenys Marshall (2018), and Jordanne Brown (2017). See the full list of previous recipients.


For more information, please contact:
Alan Walker, Executive Director, Ontario Arts Foundation

416-969-7413 | awalker@oafdn.ca


Established in 1991, the Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) is passionately committed to building long-term support for the arts in Ontario. In 2019-2020, the OAF paid out over $4.25 million in endowment income and $270,000 in awards and scholarships.

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