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About The MARTY Awards

Celebrating the Greatest Achievements in Mississauga’s Arts Sector

The Mississauga Arts Awards (The MARTYS) are the Mississauga Arts Council’s annual award celebration honouring outstanding individual and organizational contributions to the arts and cultural activity in our city.  Each year we seek to recognize honourees whose work helps transform and advance our communities through art. For the last 28 years, the MARTYS have been the city’s most distinguished red carpet event for recognizing established and emerging artists.

Artistic Excellence Awards

Recognizing that excellence can be achieved at any stage in an artists’ career, Mississauga Arts Council (MAC) celebrates Artistic Excellence Awards in both Established and Emerging Categories. Artist Award Categories include:
Film/Video Arts, Literary Arts, Music – Group, Music – Instrumental, Music – Solo Vocalist, Performing Arts*, Visual Arts – Multimedia Arts, and Visual Arts – Traditional Forms.
The finalists and winners in each artistic discipline are selected by an independent jury of experts.

Artistic Excellence Award for Established Artists

Recognizing the outstanding achievement of a Mississauga artist or performer in an artistic discipline, actively working in the Mississauga arts and culture sector. An established artist is an individual who has been practicing professionally for five years or more.

Artistic Excellence Award for Emerging Artists

Recognizing and encouraging Mississauga’s valued emerging artists who, in the early stages of their careers, have demonstrated exceptional talent and accomplishments, as well as a unique artistic expression and commitment to their art.

The Community Awards

Each year MAC recognizes outstanding contributions by individuals and organizations that have impacted the arts sector in our city. The winner of the Festival of the Year Award category is determined by a jury of local Mississauga media representatives. The Volunteer of the Year Award, the Laurie Pallett Patron of the Arts Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award are determined and selected by the Board of Directors of the Mississauga Arts Council who seek nominations from stakeholders.

Community Arts Group/Arts Collective of the Year

This award is for a Community Arts Group/Collective based in Mississauga which has effectively demonstrated a strong community impact that contributes to shaping the arts and culture landscape in the city. Ideally, there is evidence of the group/collective’s engagement and involvement that makes a difference in artists’ lives and the public. 

Festival of the Year Award

This award is for an arts or cultural festival that features Mississauga artists and presents various art forms to a large and diverse audience. The award is presented to the festival’s organizing group for its outstanding quality and impact. Festival of the Year award replaces the previously adapted Virtual Festival of the Year Award that was recognized as a response to the recognition taken by Festivals during the COVID pandemic in 2020. Festival of the Year Award recognizes in-person festivals only.

Hazel McCallion Volunteer of the Year Award

The nominated individual will demonstrate exceptional volunteerism to the arts. This could be as an administrator of a creative event or arts group, or contributor of time and resources in support of an impactful creative event, organization, or movement in a way that brings honour to the arts and themselves. As a much-valued contributor, they deserve our heartfelt congratulations and recognition, for their generous dedicated service to an arts event or organization that makes a difference in their community.

Laurie Pallett Patron of the Arts Award

This award recognizes an enduring commitment to the local arts community, celebrates an individual or business that has made a meaningful contribution to the arts in Mississauga through philanthropic investments or entrepreneurial partnerships in artists, arts organizations and creative events.

Lifetime Achievement Award

This award is for an individual’s lifetime’s body of work and achievement in the arts scene in Mississauga. The deserving nominee should have demonstrated exceptional creative leadership and be a recognized and awarded talent in their arts practice with a career history of 20 or more years. Ideally, there is evidence of their influence and inspiration for others in their art works.

*New as of 2024. The Performing Arts category combines the previous Dance and Theatre Arts categories.