2021 Arts Awards Recipients
The Richmond Arts Awards program recognizes the achievements in and contributions to the arts by Richmond residents, artists, educators, organizers and business leaders. All artistic disciplines are eligible: visual, performing, literary and culinary arts, as well as craft, environmental arts and new media. The Richmond Arts Awards are presented through a partnership between the City of Richmond and the Richmond Arts Coalition, and are supported by the Richmond News. The 2021 Arts Awards Recipients are as follows:
Recipient: Brigid Coult
Brigid Coult trained as an educator and worked in England until coming to Canada in 1982. In addition to a rich history of involvement in notable music events throughout the Lower Mainland, Ms Coult was the President of the British Columbia Choral Federation (BCCF) for 13 years, and is still deeply involved with the organization. She has served as Director of Music at St Mary’s Kerrisdale, in Vancouver, for 20 years.
Since 1994 she has been the Chorus Conductor with Richmond Orchestra and Chorus Association, challenging the singers and offering a rich variety of music from classics to pops to an appreciative audience in Richmond. Through the pandemic, when many choirs went on hiatus, she worked to keep the Chorus viable, learning the necessary Zoom facilitator skills to offer weekly sessions that were part-support group and part-rehearsal; she instituted an educational series offering the singers a music history/appreciation course, while encouraging them to develop their music-reading skills and keep singing through these challenging times.
Recipient: The Artists Rendering Tales Collective Inc.
The Artists Rendering Tales Collective Inc. is a collaborative group of professional artists whose refined skills create impactful narratives by integrating personal and historical knowledge with honour and respect, using the latest digital media tools. Their stunning story-based workshops, performances, art installations, video productions, and literary publications showcase a diversity of voices and points of view. Their strength lies in their award-winning skill sets, their ability to collaborate on creative projects and manage a wide range of artistic disciplines under one umbrella.
Recipient: Aberdeen Centre
Located in the heart of Richmond, Aberdeen Centre is the city’s only Shoppertainment destination with a distinctive retail concept, integrating shopping, dining and entertainment as one. Aberdeen Centre’s unique fusion of East meets West has included weekly Arts & Cultural performances, seasonal celebrations, themed exhibitions, as well as the only state-of-the-art musical fountain show in town. Aberdeen Centre provides opportunities for diverse artists and groups to share their heritage, arts and culture with the general public. In addition, their events and displays provide opportunities to collaborate and enrich the knowledge and culture of Richmond residents and guests from around the Lower Mainland.
Recipient: Chiyoko Mary Hirano
Chiyoko developed a keen interest in Buyo (traditional Japanese dance) at a very early age. After spending many years of her holiday time in Japan devoting to a life-long study and practices under Master Tatsumi Kiminobu, Chiyoko, the first 3rd generation Japanese Canadian, was granted the prestigious professional name, Tatsumi Yoshikiyo in March 1970. In April 1970, she founded the Tatsumi Kai(Tatsumi-ryu Japanese Dance Society) and started teaching from her small apartment. Her volunteering performances with her students started shortly after at local schools, churches, hospital, and senior care facilities in the community. The volunteering performances of her dance group were not limited to local nor provincial but also rippled to national and international events.
A few of the notable performances include the opening ceremonies of Richmond Centre, City Hall, RCMP Open Gala day, Aberdeen Centre, and Bayview Landing; Special anniversaries and commendations of Steveston and Kamloops Buddhist Temples; Festivals and promotional events such as the North Shore Folkfest(43 yrs.), Steveston Salmon Festival(7yrs.), 1986 EXPO(BC and Japanese Pavilions), JETRO(22yrs.), Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic, and Philippine Cultural Art Society(2);
Fundraising: Steveston Japanese Language School Bazaar(30 yrs.), 2011 Northeast Japan earthquake and tsunami (for Consulate General of Japan in Vancouver).
Over the past 50 years, Chiyoko conducted workshops, mentored, organized, and choreographed for the Japanese dance groups in BC and Alberta: Edmonton(4 yrs.), Calgary(43 yrs. to present), Lethbridge(32 yrs.), Victoria(13 yrs. To present) and Kamloops. In 2019, she assisted in organizing to host a Folk Dance workshop by inviting dance groups from Edmonton, Calgary, Lethbridge, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, and Vancouver. In 1977, Chiyoko was selected as a National Choreographer to organize, assist with choreography, and create the program for the concert, the Commemoration of the centennial year of the arrival of the first Japanese immigrant to Canada, which took them across Canada from Toronto to Hamilton, Lethbridge, Calgary, Edmonton, to Vancouver. Shortly after, the selected group was invited to Ottawa to celebrate the 25th anniversary (Silver Jubilee) of Queen Elizabeth’s accession to the throne in her presence.
In 2017, Chiyoko assisted in coordinating over 100 dancers and choreographed the performance in celebrating the 50th anniversary of Japan-Canada Friendship in Lethbridge in attendance of Princess Ayako Takamado from Japan. Internationally, her dance group was invited to participate in Atlanta in 1996 and San Francisco in 2006.
The Tatsumi Kai hosted 8 Appreciation Concerts since its inception in 1970 and the proceeds from the concerts were donated to the various local organizations in the community.
Over the past 50 years, Chiyoko not only continued her study of Buyo(traditional Japanese dance) but also provided people of all ages an opportunity to enjoy learning, performing, and showcase Japanese culture through Buyo at various events. In addition to her exemplary contribution in the art of Buyo, her devotion to sustained and selfless voluntary services not only earned the respect of her peers but also became a role model for her young students who are interested and have a passion in learning Japanese customs and tradition through Buyo.
Additionally, she chaired the Japanese Cultural Show at the Steveston Salmon Festival for over 25 years and chosen as the 69th Steveston Salmon Festival Honorary Parade Marshal in 2014. In 2017, she co-hosted the Richmond Cherry Blossom Festival to showcase a touch of authentic Japanese customs and tradition of cherry blossom festival as celebrated in Japan. In short years, this event has transformed and emerged as an annual spring event held at Gary Point Park, This year, Chiyoko was one of the organizing directors for a virtual online presentation of Richmond Cherry Blossom Festival.
Recipient: Jiliang Yao
Born in Shanghai, China, Jiliang Yao is a well-known Chinese ink painter and calligrapher. Before immigrating to Canada in 2004, he enjoyed a high reputation in the Chinese art circle and won numerous prestigious awards. After landing in Canada, he continued his painting and teaching because of his passion for the arts. He has contributed to local charities by often donating his art pieces for charity auctions. Among his hundreds of students, there are both junior elementary school students and retired seniors, and people from diverse cultural backgrounds. He is enthusiastic about promoting cross-cultural exchanges in Canada’s multicultural society. Mr. Yao is a tireless volunteer in the community. His volunteer activities have reached every corner of the community including various community organizations, the Richmond Public Library/Cultural Centre. . From 2006-2012, he volunteered backgrounds to display their artwork and demonstrate different calligraphy styles. His vision is to promote calligraphy as a bridge to connect people and cultures, and bring harmony to the community.
Recipient: Jackie Lai
Jackie Lai is a multidisciplinary artist passionate about uplifting the Richmond community through visual art, environmentalism, and community-based events. Jackie has been involved with City Center Community Centre’s Youth programs from 2016 to the present day. As the former Captain of Footprints, a non-profit youth-led art and culture-centric leadership team sponsored by the Richmond City Centre Community Association and the City of Richmond, she has contributed well over 100 hours in planning and coordinating numerous events such as their annual talent show and youth art exhibition. As a youth arts volunteer, Jackie’s duties included individual leadership development of youth in Footprints, mentorship in the event planning process, and acting as a liaison between youth and youth staff. Passionate in mentoring Richmond youth, she also works as a fine arts instructor and birthday party organizer within City Centre Community Centre. In 2020, Jackie has also designed, lead and produced a collaborative community mural titled “Think Global, Act Local” at Richmond Secondary School to prompt students to reflect and improve their personal environmental impact.