Acorn Arts Award

Award Criteria

Oak Bay’s Acorn Arts Award is an honorary artistic achievement award that recognizes a living individual, group or institution who has demonstrated an outstanding contribution to, and significant impact on the arts in Oak Bay. 

The purpose of the award is threefold:

  1. To acknowledge and celebrate outstanding artistic merit or outstanding arts contributions in Oak Bay. 
  2. To enhance awareness of the arts and the role they play in nourishing Oak Bay's economic, social & emotional well-being.
  3. To acknowledge persons who have contributed to an enlivened, healthy, and meaningful community.

Arts can include, but are not limited to: visual arts, craft, design, film, new media, music, dance, writing, public art, theatre arts, philanthropy, business supporting the arts, volunteerism in the arts, culinary arts, landscape art, or architecture. 

The award is administered by the Oak Bay Department of Parks, Recreation & Culture and the Municipality of Oak Bay and is adjudicated by the Oak Bay Arts Laureate and the Public Art Committee. The award has no monetary value. The honoree receives a bespoke acorn keepsake and will be publicly recognized for their achievement. The Acorn Arts Award is only awarded when a suitable candidate is identified. 

Inaugural Acorn Arts Award Recognizes Oak Bay Artist Pat Martin Bates

The Acorn Arts Award recognizes a living artist, group, institution, or business which has made an outstanding contribution to the arts in Oak Bay. The Award is administered by Oak Bay Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture, and is adjudicated by the Oak Bay Arts Laureate and the Public Art Committee. By a unanimous vote, the Committee decided to present the first Acorn Award the Arts to Oak Bay artist Pat Martin Bates. While the Acorn Arts Award has no monetary value, the honoree will be recognized for their achievement at a ceremony with the Municipal Council, and receive a bespoke Acorn keepsake.

Pat Martin Bates, a long-time resident of Oak Bay, is at the summit of a distinguished career and is recognized both locally and internationally. Her innovative print-making techniques, involving deep embossing and piercing of the paper, brought her many honours, including the Gold Medal at the International Biennale of Prints in Fredrikstad, Norway. In places as far afield as Yugoslavia, India, and Japan, she is known as “Lady Print”.

Mrs. Bates was a formative teacher in the first years of the University of Victoria, and founded the Signal Hill Creative Centre (now XChanges Gallery) and also the Community Arts Council of Greater Victoria. Her long career as an educator culminated in the first Excellence in Teaching award (1991) and an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts, both in recognition of her long service at University of Victoria.

With many thanks to Robert Amos for contributing biographical writing about Pat Martin Bates in this announcement. Photo also by Robert Amos.

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