Are you a Mississauga based artist? If so, you may want to look into the Marty awards! Also known as the Mississauga Art Awards, the Marty’s have been celebrated for over 25 years, and all art disciplines are involved. You can be an established or an emerging artist when it comes to this fancy red-carpet award show.

Since 1994 the Marty awards has celebrated and honoured artists involved in dance, digital arts, fashion, literature, music, theatre, and visual arts. The Mississauga Arts Council produces and hosts the event annually. Those who are nominated for an award demonstrate excellence in their chosen work field. How do you get nominated? On the Mississauga Arts Council website there is an online application form you can fill out. From there, the judges choose the top five finalists for each category. Below is a list of the categories to be nominated for:

  • Dance Emerging
  • Dance Established
  • Digital Arts Emerging
  • Digital Arts Established
  • Fashion and Beauty Emerging
  • Fashion and Beauty Established
  • Literary Arts Emerging
  • Literary Arts Established
  • Music Group Emerging
  • Music Group Established
  • Music Instrumental Emerging
  • Music Instrumental Established
  • Music Vocal Emerging
  • Music Vocal Established
  • Theatre Arts Emerging
  • Theatre Arts Established
  • Visual Arts Emerging
  • Visual Arts Established

There are also community awards given out which include: the Festival of the Year Award, the Hazel McCallion Volunteer of the Arts Award, the Laurie Pallett Patron of the Arts Award and, the Lifetime Achievement Award. Those who attend the award show are the nominees, along with their family and friends. As well, any artists, prominent Mississauga politicians, art lovers, volunteers, business leaders and celebrities.

Before the Marty’s, the Mississauga Music Council had their own annual award for Musician of the Year. Later on, the Music Council helped with the formation of the Mississauga Arts Council and the Living Arts Centre. The Arts Council then took over the Musician’s Award, and created the Marty’s. The first award show was held at the Meadowvale Theatre. They gave out awards for the following five disciplines: music, dance, theatre, literature, and visual arts. The Marty’s were then hosted the following year at Square one and, as part of the Mississauga’s Art Festival. The award show was on hiatus in 1996, since the city was mostly focused on building the Living Arts Centre. The following year the award show took place at the Hammerson Hall at the Living Arts Centre and award winners were also granted $1,000! The show went on to host live professional performers after Quartetto Gelato performed in 2000, and was live broadcasted on Rogers Television.

Instead of the award show being named after a monumental individual, the Arts Council decided to host a contest in 2007 to create a new name. “M” for Mississauga and the word “ARTY” was put together to form “Marty” and was chosen as the winner. In 2009, to celebrate the 15th anniversary, the award show began to include a silent and live auction and dinner hosted at the Stage West. The Marty’s moved back to the Living Arts Centre in 2011 and presented the first “People’s Choice” Award. For the 20th anniversary the Marty’s gave away artist created sculpted trophies, along with a certificate and $1,000. Then in 2016 the Marty’s were hosted at the Mississauga Convention Centre, which included a red carpet, dinner and a gala show.

Notable winners include Billy Talent, Robert J. Swayer and Jake Dheer.

Visit the website for more information or to nominate someone:


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