ARTS & CULTURE NOMINEES
For enriching the culture of our community through creation or promotion of the arts on a volunteer or professional basis.
Award Presented by:
Isabel Vankuik, Branch Manager, Scotiabank
Angela Onuora is an award-winning filmmaker and interdisciplinary artist based in Waterloo Region. She is a first-generation Nigerian immigrant to Canada, and a mother to three dynamic young children, one of whom is on the Autism spectrum. Angela embraces resiliency and a passion for equity and inclusion, fueling her mission to ensure that all people experience a culturally vibrant, inclusive, empowered, and engaged Waterloo Region. Through her work in film and the arts, she showcases and empowers others to share stories of underrepresented and racialized people to raise awareness and shed light on their abilities to overcome, and inspire others.
Brie Pointer is a multidisciplinary designer, illustrator, artist, and farmer living, growing, and loving in Waterloo Region. Her life’s work is built upon a passion for connection, inclusion and support within her community. Brie has been an artist all of her life which has lead her to the 10+ year career in graphic design. She has worked with many businesses within Waterloo Region and across Canada. When she’s not designing, she’s running Wayward Farm, or managing the Mary Allen Farmers Market. No matter what new project or idea she takes on, her passion and determination comes from creating a positive, loving community first.
Coral is a writer and arts advocate whose work has appeared in many publications over the past four decades. On the national stage, she’s been featured in: Saturday Night, Take One, Graffiti, The New Quarterly, Canplay, Music Express, Performing Arts & Entertainment in Canada, Samaritan Magazine, and Harrowsmith. On the local scene, she’s been featured in: Waterloo Region Record, Grand Magazine, Echo Magazine, and Most Magazine. Coral has recently published her first full length book “The Back Door.” She also promotes the arts community on two radio shows on CKWR 98.5 FM – The Afternoon Drive and Coral Rockks.
Hannah Marie is an award-winning photographer who guarantees satisfied clients. Carving out a niche in headshot photography, while also capturing family sessions, Hannah takes her time with each subject, prioritizing their comfort and helping them get photos that capture their unique personality. Hannah also provides photography education through both large-scale and intimate sessions to help other photographers build strong businesses that help them achieve their goals. She is an active member of the community, volunteering at a church playground, cooking for shelters, and giving locals a chance to meet political candidates through live virtual sessions.
Jacquie has dedicated her life to the youth of Waterloo Region through her involvement with The Ventures Winter Colour Guard. In 1980, as a member of the drum corps, Jacquie and the team won their first of five world championships. In 1995, Jacquie became director of the organization and has provided leadership, coaching, and mentorship to thousands of youth ever since. In the program, young people from age eight to 17 learn a combination of dance, movement, baton, and performance. Beyond the physical aspects of the sport, these youths learn responsibility, dedication, and teamwork - lessons they carry for life. Jacquie’s passion for Winter Guard and dedication to the young people of the Region have made a critical and lasting impact.
Jessie T (Treneer)
Jessie T's FACTOR funded debut album “Reckless Heart” was released September 2016 and produced by well-known local producer J. Richard Hutt. Headlining venues and festivals across Ontario, Jessie has performed most notably at Multicultural Fest KW, Bestival, JUNO Host City Music Exchange, Trackside Music Festival and K-W Oktoberfest’s 50th Anniversary, alongside Dallas Smith for a duo performance of Smith’s hit song ‘One Drink Ago’. Jessie also performed for Kitchener’s Canada Day celebrations in 2017 and 2018. In spring 2023, Jessie is releasing her second studio album entitled “Burning Back.”
Katie is a producer at Digital Sabbath Film Company in Kitchener, ON. As part of Digital Sabbath, Katie was instrumental in producing Business Unusual, a series that profiled local businesses as they navigated pandemic lockdowns, which is now streaming on Air Canada flights across the world. Katie is a co-founder of Open Gate Filmmaker Lab, a program that gives hands-on filmmaking instruction to high school students. She also works to support a growing community of female filmmakers in the Region by hosting networking and charity events.
For the past 26 years, Sandra Henein has created legacies in the music industry, with a focus on Racialized communities. As Marketing Director for The JUNO Awards and Canwest, she helped launch 91.5 The Beat and created “Beat Rocks the Block,” a free outdoor concert in downtown Kitchener. Other notable achievements include an “Artists Against Bullying” program in local schools, The Mel Brown Music Festival, and “Black Exposed,” Canada’s only prime time FM radio with all Black Canadian artists on 98.5 CKWR.
Sara Geidlinger is a longtime photographer and more recently, a podcaster, filmmaker, and digital media specialist in Waterloo. She is currently working on a documentary film called Hip Hop Hope about the local Hip Hop music scene, in partnership with Wilfrid Laurier University and the Kitchener Public Library, with support from the Waterloo Region Community Foundation and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. In 2022, Sara produced two documentary films which sold more than 1000 seats at the premieres, screening at Landmark Cinemas and Princess Twin Cinemas in Waterloo.
Sarah Willett Recarte
Sarah Willett Recarte is an educator, musician, and choreographer who has poured her life into teaching, training, and encouraging young people in our region. She teaches private lessons, has run a summer performing arts school, taught at several dance studios, and also does choreography for KW Glee. She is a tireless supporter of her students, going above and beyond to help them to reach their goals, both on stage and off. Sarah is not only a teacher, but also a role model and mentor who has had a lasting impact on many.