2021 Richmond Arts Awards recipients unveiled

2021 Richmond Arts Awards recipients unveiled!

Richmond, BC – The City of Richmond and the Richmond Arts Coalition are pleased to announce the six recipients of the 13th annual Richmond Arts Awards, which recognizes Richmond residents, artists, business leaders, educators and change-makers for their achievements and contributions to the arts community.

“In the past year, the arts have helped us cope with our separation by bringing us together in creative ways,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “Despite the challenges artists have faced, these recipients demonstrated resourcefulness, tenacity and passion for their community and deserve the recognition they are receiving with this award.”

This year, the selection committee reviewed 51 applications to determine the recipients in each of the six categories. Artist acceptance speeches can be found here: https://richmondartscoalition.com/artsawards/

The Richmond News has also profiled the recipients here: https://www.richmond-news.com/sponsored/meet-this-years-winners-of-the-richmond-art-awards-3885303 

The 2021 Richmond Arts Awards recipients are:

Artistic Innovation
Artists Rendering Tales Collective Inc.

This collaborative group of professional artists creates 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.


Arts Education
Brigid Coult

Brigid Coult trained as an educator and worked in England until coming to Canada in 1982. She was the President of the British Columbia Choral Federation for 13 years, served as Director of Music at St. Mary’s Kerrisdale for 20 years, and since 1994, has been the Chorus Conductor with Richmond Orchestra and Chorus Association. Through the pandemic, when many choirs went on hiatus, she worked in creative ways to keep the Chorus viable and active.


Business and the Arts
Aberdeen Centre

Aberdeen Centre is the city’s only ‘Shoppertainment Destination’ with a distinctive retail concept, integrating shopping, dining and entertainment in combination with weekly arts and cultural performances, seasonal celebrations, themed exhibitions and the only state-of-the-art musical fountain show in town.

Cultural Leadership
Chiyoko ‘Mary’ Hirano

Chiyoko Hirano developed a keen interest in Buyo (traditional Japanese dance) at an early age and has devoted herself to a life-long study, providing people of all ages an opportunity to enjoy learning, performing and showcasing Japanese culture. In April 1970, she founded the Tatsumi Kai (Tatsumi-ryu Japanese Dance Society) with students performing at local, national and international events including the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake relief for the Consulate General of Japan in Vancouver. She also chaired the Japanese Cultural Show at the Steveston Salmon Festival for more than 25 years. In 2017, as one of the three founders, she co-hosted the Richmond Cherry Blossom Festival to showcase authentic Japanese customs and traditions of cherry blossom festivals as celebrated in Japan and continues to be involved with this event.


Jiliang Yao

Born in Shanghai, China, Jiliang Yao is a well-known Chinese ink painter and calligrapher and avid volunteer in the community. His volunteer activities have included countless hours of providing free calligraphy workshops at the Richmond Public Library. His vision is to promote calligraphy as a bridge to connect people and cultures, and bring harmony to the community.


Youth Arts
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 Centre Community Centre’s Youth programs since 2016, contributing more than 100 hours in planning and coordinating numerous events such as their annual talent show and youth art exhibition. In 2020, Jackie 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.


The Richmond Arts Awards ceremony is usually held every May. However, as in 2020, this year’s event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While in-person celebrations are not feasible at this time, it remains important to maintain this annual tradition to recognize the contributions of arts organizations and artists in Richmond.

In lieu of the ceremony, each recipient will be profiled in an online campaign highlighting their work and contributions to the Richmond arts community via the @HowArtWorks Instagram account. This initiative will be supported by the Arts Awards’ long-standing partner, Richmond News. The honourees will also be invited to join future recipients, in person, when the ceremony can, once again, be held in person.

The Richmond Arts Awards are presented in partnership with the City of Richmond, with promotional support from the Richmond News. For more information, visit www.richmond.ca/artsawards.

Artist acceptance speeches can be found here: https://richmondartscoalition.com/artsawards/

June 18, 2021