The Cornwall & Area Arts Hall of Fame grew from 17 to 29 members on Oct. 18, as the Centre for the Arts Collective honoured major contributors to the arts in Cornwall.
“Cornwall has for a long time been seen as just an industrial town focused solely on sports, but we are so much more than that,” said Councillor Syd Gardiner. “Our community needs to recognize the efforts and triumphs of our arts, which is what tonight is all about.”
Many inductees, who’s successes have brought them away from Cornwall, returned home for their induction to the hall of fame. “What started as a breakfast and then later a dinner quickly became the evening we have now,” said Gardiner.
The inductees were Louise-Andrée Baril, Michèle Chauvin-Bourdon, Noëlla Cotnam, Focus Art Association, Janet Irwin, Nicole Labelle, Roger Levac, Veronica Maguire, Duncan McIntosh, James Fagan Tait, Rick Forrester, and Brad Bonaparte.
Focus Art Association, an organization dedicated to nurturing visual arts for 15 years in Cornwall, is the first organization to be inducted into the hall of fame.
Along with honouring artists, performances from Seaway Sound, Powell School of Dance, Native North American Travelling College singers and dancers, and Nicolas Doyon filled the evening.
“We have almost 200 years of art history in the area that hasn’t been formally documented,” said Councillor Elaine MacDonald, the event’s sponsor. “Over the next little while, we hope to bring more and more people into the upcoming arts centre in the coming months.”
A total just surpassing $500,000 has been raised for the arts centre, according to MacDonald.
The evening also honoured the recently passed Lionel Tessier and Tom Thompson for their lasting contributions to Cornwall’s art community.