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Every year, the Awards of Distinction are presented to individuals, organizations and corporations to honour the support of and excellence in the arts. Nominations for these awards are put forth by faculty members, students and staff. The selection committee is comprised of three faculty members and one representative each of the Fine Arts Advisory Board, the Fine Arts Student Alliance and the Advancement and Alumni Relations Office. This year, a formal presentation ceremony and cocktail reception will be held April 7 on the 11th floor of the EV Building.
Advancing the discipline of art
Christine Jones will be receiving the award for an artist or scholar whose body of work has advanced the discipline and positively impacted the Concordia community.
Jones graduated in 1989 from Concordia’s Faculty of Fine Arts with a BFA in Design for the Theatre. She then earned an MFA from New York University, where she currently teaches. She is also a frequent guest lecturer at Princeton University.
She continues to support and encourage Concordia theatre students, leading master classes at the university and regularly offering advice and direction.
Jones enjoyed a long career as an accomplished set designer before her 2007 Tony Award nomination for Best Scenic Design of a Musical for the hit Broadway play, Spring Awakening. Jones also earned nominations from the Drama Desk and Outer Critics’ Circle for The Green Bird, which appeared on Broadway in 2000. She has designed sets for the Houston Grand Opera, New York City Opera and Minnesota and Denver opera companies.
Outstanding contribution to art and culture
Toronto-based Ydessa Hendeles will receive the award for her remarkable service and support of arts and culture.
Hendeles is an internationally renowned curator, collector and creator of the distinctive practice of 'curatorial compositions.' She has presented more than 100 contemporary-art exhibitions in the past 30 years. From 1980 to 1988, Hendeles operated a commercial art gallery in Toronto exhibiting exclusively Canadian artists. In 1988, she established the groundbreaking Ydessa Hendeles Art Foundation, Canada’s first privately supported contemporary art exhibition space.
Hendeles was inducted as a Member of the Order of Canada in 2004 and Order of Ontario in 1998, and in 2002, won a Governor General’s Award for Outstanding Contribution in the Visual and Media Arts.
Born in Marburg, Germany, Hendeles grew up in Toronto and is a graduate of the University of Toronto, the New School of Art in Toronto and the Toronto Art Therapy Institute. She is now a doctoral candidate at the University of Amsterdam. In July, she will begin an adjunct appointment as professor at the University of Toronto’s Department of Art.
Fondation J.A. DeSève
Exceptional financial support
The Fondation J.A. DeSève will receive the award for its tremendous financial support and its positive affect on the Concordia community. Accepting the award will be Guy Dufort.
The numerous Quebec sites that bear the name J.A. DeSève are a testament to the Fondation’s positive impact on the province’s educational, cultural and humanitarian causes. Concordia’s own J.A. DeSève Cinema in the J.W. McConnell Building has played host to countless screenings of student works and award-winning films, lectures and artist talks.
The foundation owes its ability to continue its philanthropic mission to its founder, Joseph-Alexandre DeSève (1896-1968), one of the most important figures in 20th-century Quebec film and television. DeSève established the foundation J.A. DeSève in 1966 and a charitable trust was instituted in his name in 1968.