WorkInCulture Bob Johnston Award logo

The WorkInCulture (WIC) Bob Johnston Award recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to supporting the growth of our sector's most valued resource—its people.

It is presented to an individual who is committed to furthering the growth and development of Ontario's cultural sector and who has demonstrated strength in nurturing and supporting people throughout their careers, either as a manager, mentor, supporter or educator.

The Award is named after Robert (Bob) Johnston, whose persistent, patient and dynamic efforts over a lifetime of service stand as a model of professionalism for cultural workers of all disciplines and abilities.

As a former long-standing Executive Director of WorkInCulture (formerly known as Cultural Careers Council Ontario), Johnston's leadership resulted in heightened awareness of the importance of human resources management for cultural organizations and provided improved opportunities for training and professional development for cultural workers.

Bob Johnston passed away in November of 2022. With the 2023 Award we will honour and remember him, and his lifetime of service to the cultural sector.

The Award is open to individuals (artists and administrators) who have contributed a minimum of ten years of professional service to the arts and cultural industries.

All nominations are reviewed by WorkInCulture's Bob Johnston Award Selection Committee.



Nominations are now open for the WorkInCulture Bob Johnston Award.

Deadline for nominations: October 15, 2023

Nominators will be notified of the results by November 1, 2023.

The Award will be presented at WorkInCulture's annual general meeting on November 15, 2023.

Nomination Criteria

The selection committee is looking for nominees (artists and administrators) that meet the following criteria:

  • Currently working as a manager, mentor, supporter or educator in the cultural sector in Ontario
  • Have contributed a minimum of ten years of professional service to the arts and cultural industries
  • Have demonstrated an outstanding contribution to furthering human resources practices and the support of people working in our sector

Nomination Process

Individuals may nominate anyone working in the cultural sector who meets the criteria above. We encourage nominations from all regions of Ontario.

To submit a nomination, please complete the online nomination form at

You will be asked to upload a written submission, no longer than six (6) pages, that should include:

  • Why you are nominating this individual;
  • A brief summary of the nominee's work history (a resume or curriculum vitae could be included, if available); and
  • A description of the activities and achievements of the nominee that support the nomination criteria, along with specific examples and demonstrated achievements. (You may include hyperlinks here if you wish.)

We are also requesting a letter of support for the nomination, which should come from an individual who is familiar with the nominee and who supports the nomination, along with their rationale.

All nominations will be reviewed by the Bob Johnston Award Selection Committee, made up of a jury of peers.

The award recipient will be publicly announced and honoured during WIC's annual general meeting on November 15, 2023, and presented with a beautifully crafted piece of kiln-formed glass made by artist Don McClennen.

Please contact Brianne DiAngelo, Marketing and Communications Manager at with any questions about the Bob Johnston Award.



Emerging Leader Award recipient - Jacqui Arntfield, Curator at Lakeshore Arts
Excellence Award recipient - Lila Karim, Executive Director, North York Arts
* Note: In 2018, WorkInCulture presented an Emerging Leader Award, alongside the Excellence Award, that provided $500 to go towards a professional development opportunity (course, workshop, residency, etc.).

2016: Carol Kehoe, former Executive Director at Hamilton's Philharmonic Orchestra.
2014: Margaret Genovese, Senior Partner at Genovese, Vanderhoof & Associates
2012: Catherine Smalley, Arts Consultant and member of Arts Consultants Canada
2010: Patricia Fraser, Dancer and Artistic Director of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre