Audain Prize for the Visual Arts awards $100,000 to James Hart

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Nov. 08, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — At a luncheon today in the Sapphire Ballroom at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel, the Audain Award for the most distinguished artists of the British Columbia was awarded to James Hart. Hart is a hereditary chief of the Eagle Clan of the Haida Nation.

The Audain Prize, which was established in 2004, is one of three major annual Canadian awards for the arts, awarding the winner a cash prize of $100,000. The Scotiabank Giller Prize (which celebrates excellence in Canadian fiction) and the Sobey Art Award (for contemporary Canadian artist) are in this rare company.

“It is truly an honor to present this award to one of British Columbia’s greatest living artists. Jim Hart,” says Michael Audain, President of the Audain Foundation. “Mr. Hart is a carver in a long line of Haida artists: master carver and Hart ancestor Charles Edenshaw, Bill Reid and Robert Davidson whom Hart apprenticed with in 1978.”

“The Audain Foundation wants to see our best artists make themselves known.
British Columbia has many internationally acclaimed visual artists who are not as widely recognized in our own province as they should be,” says Audain.

In addition to the $100,000 Audain Prize for the Visual Arts, the Audain Foundation funds five $7,500 travel grants for students in university visual arts programs. This year the students are:

Pip Dryden University of British Columbia Okanagan
Carly Greene University of Victoria
Eric Jantzen Emily Carr University of Art and Design
Homa Khosravi Simon Fraser University
Romi KimUniversity of British Columbia

“The Audain Museum of Art is proud to be the managing institution for this prestigious visual arts award, as our permanent collection is exclusively focused on the production of outstanding historical and contemporary art in British Columbia,” said Director and Chief Curator, Dr. Curtis Collins. “Such a prize is a testament to the continued vitality of creative communities across the province and is selected by an independent jury made up of curators and artists.

The Audain Prize was established in 2004. Past winners of the Audain Prize include: Ann Kipling, Edward J. Hughes, Eric Metcalfe, Gordon Smith, Jeff Wall, Liz Magor, Robert Davidson, Rodney Graham, Marian Penner Bancroft, Takao Tanabe , Gathie Falk, Fred Herzog, Michael Morris, Paul Wong, Carole Itter, Susan Point and Stan Douglas.

About the Audain Foundation
Created in 1997 to support the visual arts primarily in British Columbia, the Foundation has disbursed over $120 million in grants. In 2016, the Foundation expanded its scope to include wildlife conservation, with a particular focus on grizzly bears. Last week, the Audain Foundation pledged a transformational gift to the Vancouver Art Gallery, as it celebrates its 90and birthday.

About the Audain Art Museum
The Audain Art Museum is grateful to be on the shared and unceded territory of the Squamish Nation (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh) and the Lil’wat Nation (Lil̓wat7úl). It is located on Blackcomb Way, next to Whistler Village. Opened in 2016, the museum houses much of the art collection that Michael Audain and his wife Yoshiko Karasawa have amassed over the past 40 years. Their collection of world-class Northwest Coast art is on permanent display, and there are galleries for special exhibitions of Canadian and international art.

For media inquiries please contact:

Justine Nichol
Marketing Director
Cell: 604.789.4359

Charley McIntyre
Executive Director (Acting)
Cell: 778.835.2876

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at