The Universities Art Association (UAAC) recognizes excellence through the honours and awards programs which also serve to acknowledge the work of its members. UAAC annually presents three awards:

Award Nomination

Current UAAC-AAUC members can submit nominations for the UAAC-AAUC Recognition Award and Lifetime Achievement Award. Nominations for these awards are received and approved by the Board of Directors. The deadline for nomination is August 1st. This award is usually presented at the UAAC-AAUC annual conference each fall.

Award Eligibility and Process

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Graduate Student Essay Award

Graduate students who presented papers at the current annual UAAC-AAUC conference can submit complete versions of their essays, in English or French, for consideration by the UAAC-AAUC Board for the Annual Graduate Student Essay Award. The winning essay will be awarded a $250 prize and will be published in the subsequent spring issue of RACAR.

Year Recipient Essay
2021 Erika Kindsfather From Activism to Artistic Practice: (Re)imagining Indigenous Women’s Labour Activism in Contemporary Art
2020 Marie Ferron-Desautels Satire et sociabilité au cœur de la pratique caricaturale de Lady Dalhousie (1786–1839) : vers une histoire des femmes caricaturistes britanniques
2019 Sarah Carter India and the Antiquarian Image: Richard Payne Knight’s A Discourse on the Worship of Priapus
2018 Caitlin E. Ryan Eli Lotar and Jacques-André Boiffard aboard the Exir Dallen
2017 Vanessa Bateman Ursus Horribilis: Seth Kinman’s Grizzly Chair at the World’s Columbian Exposition
2016 Elysia H. French Transformations of Oil: Visibility, Scale, and Climate in Warren Cariou’s Petrography
2015 Elizabeth Anne Cavaliere Onward! Canadian Expansionist Outlooks and the Photographs that Serve Them
2014 Kathryn Desplanque Repeat Offenders: Reprinting Visual Satire Across France’s Long Eighteenth Century
2013 Jennifer Orpana Turning the World Inside Out: Situating JR’s Wish within Cultures of Participation
2012 Erin McLeod By a Wing and a Tale: Authenticating the Archive in Mohamad Said Baalbaki’s Al Buraq | The Prophet’s Human-Headed Mount

Recognition Award

Established in 2010, the UAAC-AAUC Recognition Award acknowledges members who have demonstrated their unselfish and devoted service to our association and their commitment to our profession’s ideals. These individuals have shown leadership and have made significant contributions to the organization. To honour the UAAC-AAUC conference’s 50th anniversary in 2017, the board decided that, henceforth, a lifetime membership in the association will accompany this award.

2021 UAAC-AAUC Recognition Award: Dr. Anne Whitelaw

It is an honour to present the UAAC Recognition Award to long-time UAAC member Dr. Anne Whitelaw, Provost and Vice-President, Academic and Professor, Art History at Concordia University.

Anne has published extensively on the display of Canadian art at the National Gallery of Canada, the integration of Aboriginal art into the permanent displays of national museums, and the work of settler collectors in Canada. Anne is the author of Spaces and Places for Art: Making Art Institutions in Western Canada 1912–1990 (MQUP 2017) and is co-editor with Brian Foss and Sandra Paikowsky of The Visual Arts in Canada: The Twentieth Century (Oxford University Press, 2010). In addition to a highly distinguished academic career, she has been a long-standing and serving member of UAAC-AAUC. Anne served on the UAAC-AAUC Board of Directors as President (2013–2016), Vice-President (2010–2013), and Prairie Representative (2009–2010), during which time the organization grew in membership and presence. Particularly in her role as President, Anne actively listened to and served the membership, encouraging effective organizational change, most notably in her letter in RACAR in 2014, which addressed and acted upon membership concerns regarding the precarity of sessional faculty. The effort, patience, and zest required to host the annual conference as an institutional partner is an extraordinary accomplishment Anne has taken on twice—in 2010 at the University of Alberta and again in 2012 at Concordia University. Before this, she was the editor of the UAAC Journal (2002–2009). Perhaps the most important contribution has been her thoughtful and encouraging mentorship within the UAAC-AAUC community. Many of the graduate students that Anne supervises have become members of the organization and attendees of the annual conference.

Year Recipient
2021 Anne Whitelaw
2020 Martha Langford
2019 Annie Gérin
2018 Lynda Jessup and Sally Hickson
2017 Lora Senechal Carney
2016 Nicole Dubreuil
2015 Joyce Zemans
2014 David McTavish
2013 Brian Foss
2012 Barbara Winters
2011 Mary and Alan Hughes
2010 Catherine Harding and Allister Neher

Lifetime Achievement Award

The UAAC-AAUC Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to a past or present member of UAAC who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession over the whole of a career either through leadership, creation, education, curatorial projects, service, or publications.

2021 UAAC-AAUC Lifetime Achievement Award: Dr. Sherry Farrell-Racette

The 2021 UAAC Lifetime Achievement Award has been presented to Dr. Sherry Farrell-Racette, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Media, Art, and Performance at the University of Regina.

Sherry Farrell Racette is an interdisciplinary scholar with an active arts, research, and curatorial practice. Her work is grounded in story: stories of people, stories objects tell, painting stories, telling stories, and finding stories. She is committed to Indigenous ways of knowing and is noted for her mentorship and support of Indigenous scholars and artists across Canada. Farrell Racette has done extensive work in archives and museum collections with an emphasis on retrieving women’s voices, Indigenous histories, and recovering aesthetic knowledge and objects. Her writing can be found in publications such as History of Photography, Art Journal, Canadian Journal of Art History, and Sources and Methods in Indigenous Studies. She has an active curatorial practice, which includes the forthcoming exhibit Kwaata-nihtaawakihk – A Hard birth at the Winnipeg Art Gallery (2022), co-curated with Cathy Mattes, in celebration of the Métis nation’s role in founding Manitoba. She is a children’s book illustrator and has collaborated with noted authors Maria Campbell, Ruby Slipperjack, Freda Ahenakew and Wilfred Burton. Primarily a painter and textile artist, beadwork is increasingly important in her artistic practice, creative research, and pedagogy. She is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Visual Arts, Faculty of Media, Art and Performance at the University of Regina.

Sherry Farrell Racette was born in Manitoba, and is of Metis and Algonquin heritage and a member of the Timiskaming First Nation (Quebec). She studied at the University of Manitoba (Winnipeg), receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts (1974) and a certificate in Education (1975), before completing graduate studies in Education in Regina (1988). Farrell Racette later received a Ph.D. from the University of Manitoba in the Interdisciplinary Program in Anthropology, History and Native Studies (2004). Farrell Racette also had an extensive career in Saskatchewan education, working at SUNTEP Regina (GDI), First Nations University of Canada, and the University of Regina. Prior to her current appointment, she was cross-appointed to the Departments of Native Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Manitoba. Farrell Racette has been active within Saskatchewan’s art community, serving as a board member and advisor to the Saskatchewan Arts Board, Sakewewak First Nations Artists’ Collective, the Mackenzie Art Gallery, and the Saskatchewan Heritage Foundation. She has also served on the board of Urban Shaman Gallery, the ACC (Aboriginal Curatorial Collective) now Indigenous Curatorial Collective, and the Visual Arts Advisory Committee of the Canada Council for the Arts. In 2016–2017, Sherry was a distinguished Visiting Indigenous Faculty Fellow, Jackman Humanities Institute, at the University of Toronto/Massey College Senior Resident Scholar. In 2009–2010, she was the Ann Ray Fellow at the School for Advanced Research—a nine-month scholar residency in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Year Recipient
2021 Sherry Farrell-Racette
2020 John O’Brian
2019 Sandra Alfoldy

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Award for the advancement of equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility

New in 2022, the UAAC-AAUC Award for the advancement of equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility, recognizes and celebrates the achievements of those whose work in our fields foster change and build an equitable, diverse, inclusive, and accessible community in Canada.

Eligibility: This award recognizes and celebrates the achievements of those whose work in our fields, foster change and build an equitable, diverse, inclusive, and accessible community in Canada.

UAAC member at any career stage with a demonstrated contribution to: 

  • building a more inclusive, equitable, diverse, and accessible practice / working environment
  • increasing diverse representation
  • promoting research and insights relating to Equity, Diversity, Inclusivity and Accessibility
  • leadership and engagement in addressing systemic inequality

Deadline for submissions: September 16th

Prize: UAAC Life Membership + $1000 prize + 1 year of RACAR