The winners of the annual Winnipeg Arts Council Awards were announced this week. 

Every year, the Arts Council recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the growth and development of the arts in our city and beyond.

"We need the voices, the words, the images, the sounds, all the creativity that artists generously offer, to sustain our own lives, for children to flourish and to know stories of the past and glimpses into the future. We are grateful for their work and to be able to honour them," said Carol A. Phillips, Executive Director of the Winnipeg Arts Council.

Four individuals were recognized on Thursday at a special event hosted at the RBC Convention Centre. 

The RBC On the Rise Award, which recognizes the demonstrated promise of an emerging professional artist in any discipline was given to Ekene Emeka-Maduka, a Nigerian artist based in Winnipeg. 

The Making a Mark Award which applauds an established professional artist, in any discipline, who is receiving critical recognition for excellence in their art practice in Winnipeg and beyond was handed out to Sharon Bajer, an actor, playwright, teacher, and mentor.

The Making a Difference Award which celebrates the contribution of an artist or arts administrator to the growth and development of the arts in Winnipeg went to Jennine Krauchi, an internationally recognized Metis beader, knowledge keeper, teacher, mentor and advocate, and special award for Career Achievement in the Arts was presented to Brenda Gorlick a prolific member of the arts community for 50 years.  

The awards were presented at the Mayor's Luncheon for the Arts on June 13.