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TFVA 2023 Founders Achievement Award Winners - Lisa Steele and Kim Tomczak

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The Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts recently announced the results of their 2023 Founders Achievement Award. This year's winners are Lisa Steele and Kim Tomczak, who are co-founders of Vtape, one of A/CA's Community Partner organizations. Congratulations, Lisa and Kim!

See the full press release below for more details and/or click the following link to see Elisa Coish's video presentation of the award on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/814038748/ab634dfe15

Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts Announces the 2023 Founders Achievement Award Winners

Frances Price, President of the Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts, announced today the recipients of the Founders Achievement Award. “In 2023, the 25th anniversary of Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts, Lisa Steele and Kim Tomczak will receive this prize in recognition of their long history of achievements in multi-media arts in the Greater Toronto Area and indeed all of Canada.”

Since its founding 25 years ago, TFVA has distributed well over 1 million dollars in prize money to the visual arts community in Toronto.

The Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts is an independent, membership based, non-profit organization that promotes knowledge of the visual arts to its members through an extensive education program, and provides support and recognition for artistic achievement to artists and art organizations in the GTA.

This year to honour the Founders Achievement Award recipients, the TFVA has invited Curator, Elisa Coish to record a visual presentation which is located at the conclusion of this announcement.

The Achievements of Steele and Tomczak

Lisa Steele and Kim Tomczak are the recipients of the TFVA 2023 Founders Achievement Prize as a tribute to their outstanding contributions to the contemporary art scene individually and through their long-standing multi-media collaboration. The Founders Achievement Award is a $15,000 prize.

Both Steele and Tomczak were recognized as solo artists before they began to work collaboratively. In 1980, Lisa was founding publisher and editor of FUSEMagazine. Each first worked with photography and video art, and each had been involved very early with artist-run centres: Lisa at A Space (Toronto) where she made her first videos, and Kim at Pumps (Vancouver) where he was one of the founders.

Their decision to work together became a permanent commitment in 1982; one that focussed their mutual interests and concerns.

During their three decade partnership, Steele and Tomczak have produced groundbreaking video and multi-media art that has been shown internationally.

In 1982, Steele and Tomczak undertook an international research study to determine how best to improve the distribution and dissemination of artists’ video work. The following year Steele and Tomczak co-founded Vtape, Canada’s largest distributor of video art, documentaries and installations and the world’s largest distributor of Indigenous film and video. Vtape has contributed significantly to the establishment of standards for both exhibition and archiving, and the preservation of video art.

Steele and Tomczak are recipients of many awards including the Governor General’s Award for lifetime achievement in Visual and Media Arts (2005), and the Peter Herrndorf Media Arts Award (Toronto Arts Awards).

As two of Canada’s prominent artists they have contributed an awe-inspiring body of work and supported the creation, preservation and archiving of video art.

Video Presentation

Elisa Coish is a Curator with the Toronto-based art consulting firm Demetriou Art Group. Her expertise is rooted in contemporary art, and her curatorial practice has been deeply informed by the diverse collections and artists she has worked with to date. She previously held the role of Curator at Latcham Art Centre and was formerly the Senior Associate Curator at BMO Financial Group’s Corporate Art Collection. Elisa is an Art History and Cinema Studies graduate from the University of Toronto.

Click the following link to view Coish’s presentation: https://vimeo.com/814038748/ab634dfe15