Cultural Connector of the Year Award

I’m honoured to have received the inaugural Leo Cheverie Cultural Connector of the Year award at the PEI Arts Awards on November 22, alongside two incredible artists, Lindsay Connolly and Melissa Peter Paul.

PEI Arts Award 2023 recipients

It feels good to be recognized for something I really love to do – gathering people together through art and theatre. I am most thankful for my brilliant community of collaborators, spread across PEI, the maritimes, and beyond, who help make the work happen.

I’m also moved to be the first recipient of an award named after Leo, who invested so damn much into PEI’s arts community. I told this story at the awards gala:

Leo started volunteering for the Pageant in 2017, in the unglamorous role of parking volunteer. Every year after that, I would receive an email from him in the dead of winter, totally unprompted, that said “Count me in as a parking volunteer for this summer’s Pageant!” I realize now that he probably loved that job because he could greet every single person who rolled in to see the show. An easy place to do his cultural connecting work!

We can keep PEI aglow with Leo’s spirit by following his lead – supporting our artistic community, speaking up against injustice, and promoting peace and wellbeing for everyone, no matter who they are or where they are from.

I feel lucky to do this work of connecting people through art, among a community that has so much generosity and zest for it. May we all find the energy to give back as Leo did – he was a force, and he won’t be forgotten.

The award I received is so exquisite – a hand carved piece by my talented friend Lucas MacDonald.