Mississauga Artists Walk Away with MARTYS

 

When people think of "glitz and glamour," they seldom think of Mississauga. But the city does - quite literally - roll out the red carpet from time to time to celebrate art and the artists behind acclaimed books, films, poems, music and performances. 

Artists and their supporters converged upon the Living Arts Centre to watch the 19th annual MARTYS. The MARTYS, for those who don't know, is a lively and formal celebration of Mississauga artists hosted by the Mississauga Arts Council (MAC). The event has all the trappings of a formal award ceremony - a red carpet, professional photographers, hors d’oeuvres, an elegant venue and memorable trophies - but with some informal charm.  But first, a rundown of the polished parts! 

Musical group Marielba, Eduardo and Greg entertained guests with Spanish ballads during the red carpet event proceeding the show, and guests filed into the spacious and elegant auditorium at 8:00 pm. The awards kicked off with a brief opening speech by beloved mayor and eternal Sauga icon Hazel McCallion, who showed she's still spry by dancing onto the stage. 

The night's host was local actor and comedian (and later in the night, MARTY award winner) Tristan Barrocks. Barrocks, confident and funny, shone the most in the video clips of him reading from award winner's literary works. The other bright spots of the evening were the musical acts. The Alma Quartet played smooth, jazzy background music while people were being seated and crooned for all the winners. The lead vocalist, Luke Matijczyk, had a perfect Justin Trudeau coif and a startlingly polished Michael Buble voice. 

Other performers included the Con Brio Singers, a youth choir comprised of talented singers ranging from grades four through 12, the Cawthra Dancers, the Vibronics featuring poet Zohra Zoberi and the Johnny Max Band. The Cawthra Dancers offered the liveliest performance with an energetic dance to You Can't Stop the Beat from the Hairspray soundtrack. The Vibronics collaboration with Zohra Zoberi was ethereal and exciting, and the Johnny Max Band concluded the night with a high-energy set. 

And now for the unpolished bits. 

There were a few missteps during the show. A few of the presenters stumbled through their announcements and two skipped naming the nominees (by accident) and tried to jump straight to announcing the winners. An annoyed crowd corrected them. But despite the glaring disorganization (or perhaps nerves, as few are perfect at speaking in public), winners were honored for their contributions to the city's art scene. 

Here's a quick rundown of the 2013 winners:

Emerging Literary Arts - Claire Carver-Dias
Established Literary Arts - Keith Garebian     
Emerging Media Arts - Tristan Barrocks
Established Media Arts- Alvin Campana          
Emerging Performing Arts - Austin McDonald               
Established Performing Arts - Tom Barlow    
Emerging Performing Arts Group - Word Made Flesh Productions    
Established Performing Arts Group - Cow Over Moon Children’s Theatre
Emerging Visual Arts - Francesco Reale    
Established Visual Arts - Cal (Cait) Harben               
Creative Community - Pat Hertzberg    
Laurie Pallett - Fred Durdan       
Hazel McCallion Volunteer of the Year - Gena Elizabeth Norbury 
People’s Choice - Stephanie McKenzie

Honourable mentions included: Peta-Gaye Nash in the emerging literary arts category; Anna Yin in established literary arts; the Narayans in emerging media arts;  Matt Campagna in established media arts; Jay T in emerging performing arts; Joel Martin in established performing arts; the Con Brio Singers in emerging performing arts group; the Shiamak Dance Team in established performing arts group; Shirley Mpagi in emerging visual arts; and Alison Syer in the creative community arts award category.   

All winners received some sweet monetary remuneration to the tune of $11,000. Well, to be more specific, that's what the MARTYS gave out in total -  each individual winner didn't walk away with over 10,000 bones. But, with bright and illustrious careers ahead of so many of the talented people honoured at the show, perhaps the big bucks are en route! 

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