Author, singer get Emerging Artist awards

A Red Deer opera singer and a Lacombe author are among eight winners of the prestigious Lieutenant Governor of Alberta 2014 Emerging Artists Awards.

A Red Deer opera singer and a Lacombe author are among eight winners of the prestigious Lieutenant Governor of Alberta 2014 Emerging Artists Awards.

Author Jennifer Quist and singer Tracy Cantin were presented with medals and cheques of $10,000 each in a private ceremony at Government House. The eight Alberta winners were selected from 194 applicants.

Tracy Cantin, who was born in Red Deer but is living in Chicago, is a classical soprano who is in her third and final year at the Young Artist Training Program at the Lyric Opera. She has performed under the direction of leading conductors, debuted in a various roles, and understudied for some leading sopranos.

Adjudicators describe Cantin as being “on the cusp of an international career.” Critics have described her voice as “luminous,” and capable of strength and “extraordinarily accurate virtuosity.”

Quist is a novelist and essayist, whose writing was described by adjudicators as being “extraordinarily strong, powerfully handled and evidence of a rarely encountered original voice.”

The mother of five boys has written introspective personal essays for CBC’s Definitely Not the Opera and Tapestry, and written commentaries for The Globe and Mail and National Post. Quist also recently wrote the debut novel Love Letters of the Angels of Death, which was favorably reviewed in newspapers across the country.

“There is no shortage of creative energy in Alberta,” said Alberta Lt.-Gov. Donald Ethell. “These artists have talent, but they also have relentless focus and drive. They are representing us to the world with distinction.”

The other award winners from Edmonton are: Josee Aubin Ouellette, an interdisciplinary visual artist; Jenna Butler, a poet and writer; Nuela Charles, a singer/songwriter; and Heather Inglis, a theatre critic and creator. Winners from Calgary are filmmaker and composer Kyle Thomas and hip-hop artist and poet Daniel Bennett (aka Transit).

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