To have our work be seen and to be shortlisted for the 2021 Lacey Prize means so much to us, particularly this year as UNIT/PITT continues to adapt to the pandemic/post-pandemic cultural landscape.
The board and staff of UNIT/PITT would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to Eunice Bélidor, Curator of Quebec and Canadian Contemporary Art at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Jonathan Shaughnessy, Director of Curatorial Initiatives at the National Gallery of Canada, Louise Lacey-Rokosh, artist and representative from the Lacey family, the National Gallery of Canada Foundation, and everyone else involved with the Lacey Prize for selecting UNIT/PITT as a runner-up.
The Lacey Prize is a biennial cash prize that recognizes the activities and impact of small artist-run organizations in Canada. Congratulations to Lacey Prize winners Blinkers Art and Project Space (Winnipeg MB), fellow runner-up The Khyber Centre for the Arts (Halifax NS), and honourable mentions, articule (Montreal QC) and NorVA (Flin Flon MB). UNIT/PITT is humbled to be included alongside such brilliant organizations. Click here to read more about the Lacey Prize.
As a runner-up, this recognition comes with $20,000. This is a boon for the organization, but we still have a lot of fundraising ahead of us. Earlier this year one of UNIT/PITT’s major funders, Canada Council for the Arts, ceased funding our core operations. The Lacey Prize will help stabilize the organization in 2022 as we seek out additional funding opportunities to maintain current staffing and reopen a small gallery. This news is the wind in our sails!
I would personally like to thank all the artists, art workers and recent board members who have contributed to UNIT/PITT’s achievements over the last few years. Thank you to UNIT/PITT and ReIssue staff, Rachel Lau, Lauren Lavery, Kara Stanton, and Casey Wei. Thank you to current board members, Aileen Bahmanipour, Sara Ellis, Jennifer Huang, Michael C.K. Ma, Madison Mayhew, Roxanne Panchasi (Board Member + La Commune 2021 Curator), James Spetifore, Andrea Valentine-Lewis and Alena Webber, and recent board members, Sunny Nestler, Terra Poirier, Molly Randhawa and Eleanor Wearing. Thank you to our consistent funders, BC Arts Council, City of Vancouver, and Vancouver Foundation’s Systems Change grant for ReIssue. Thanks also to longtime and recent donors, your support has been especially motivating.
Finally, thank you to poet, writer and educator Adèle Barclay for appreciating our programs and nominating us for this prize.