Whereas, in previous editions, the jury would meet to select The jury then meets and chooses one representative from each region for the national shortlist; this year, following the jury’s selection of the 2020 longlist, the Board of the Sobey Art Foundation and the National Gallery of Canada leadership team shifted all major budgets in order to provide more financial support to all of the artists on the longlist.
For 2020, these 25 exceptional Canadian artists will be awarded $25,000 (CAD) each. Our commitment is to return to a juried annual award as soon as public health guidelines enable us to do so, but for this year the shortlist artists’ exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada, the winners’ announcement gala and the international residencies program have been suspended.
Established in 2002, the Sobey Art Award is the pre-eminent prize for Canadian artists 40 years of age and under. Presented annually, the award celebrates some of our country’s most exciting young artists, and offers significant financial recognition. In 2019, a total of $240,000 (CAD) in prize money was awarded: $100,000 to the overall winner, $25,000 to each of the four other shortlist artists, and $2,000 to each of the remaining twenty longlist artists. In addition, the five shortlist artists are usually featured in an exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada in even years, and at a leading art institution in Canada in odd years. Three nominees from the longlist traditionally take part in the Sobey Art Award Residencies Program: a trio of international art residencies funded by the Sobey Art Foundation.
An independent jury consisting of curators representing five regions — the Atlantic Provinces, Quebec, Ontario, the Prairies and the North, and the West Coast and Yukon), as well as one international juror — oversees the selection process. The jury creates a list of five artists from each region selected from all regional nominees, and based on the jurors’ professional knowledge of their regions and of the national art scene.