This year brings some great news for a selection of Canadian artists longlisted for the Sobey 2021 Art Award. The award will be presented in collaboration with the National Gallery of Canada. It features twenty-five visual contemporary artists that have been selected from across the five regions of the country. Rob Sobey, Chair of the Sobey Art Foundation, explains the vast participation and variety that the awards have attracted this year “The unprecedented number of first-time longlisted artists resonates loudly with the Sobey Art Foundation’s commitment to amplifying new voices. I am pleased to see such an exciting array of emerging artists.”

What is the Sobey Art Award?

Created in 2002 by the Sobey Art Foundation, the Sobey Art Award is considered one of the country’s leading art awards for contemporary Canadian artists. It historically recognized the work of artists aged 40 and under who have exhibited in an art gallery or publicly within 18 months of being nominated. The award aims to celebrate the career of emerging Canadian artists and provides them with both international and national recognition. The award also offers generous prizes that act as financial support to help creators throughout their journey.  

What can the winners expect?

The 2021 Sobey Award is slightly different from previous years because the prize for longlist candidates has been increased to CA$10,000 per artist to provide artists with more support for their projects. This increase also comes alongside an increase in the overall value of the prize to CA$400,000. Additionally, this is the first year that the award is open to participates of all ages in recognition of the struggles that artists have been facing throughout the pandemic. 

The top five finalists can expect their prizes to be issued in the following order, 100,000 dollars to the overall winner, while the four other finalists can expect an award of 25,000 dollars each. Additionally, this select group will have the honor of exhibiting their work at the National Arts Gallery of Canada during the fall of 2021.

Who are the 25 Artists?

The longlist of the 25 visual contemporary artists by region are:


  1. Carrie Allison
  2. Rémi Belliveau
  3. Glenn Gear
  4. Meagan Musseau
  5. Lou Sheppard


  1. Guillaume Adjutor Provost
  2. Lorna Bauer
  3. Dayna Danger
  4. Sheena Hoszko
  5. Walter Scott


  1. Parastoo Anoushahpour, Faraz Anoushahpour, and Ryan Ferko
  2. Jawa El Khash
  3. Tanya Lukin Linklater
  4. Esmaa Mohamoud
  5. Rajni Perera

Prairies and North

  1. Alana Bartol
  2. Maureen Gruben
  3. Andrea Oliver Roberts
  4. Laakkuluk Williamson-Bathory
  5. Nic Wilson

West Coast and Yukon

  1. Gabi Dao
  2. Sharona Franklin
  3. Julian Yi-Zhong Hou
  4. Emily Neufeld
  5. Anne Riley and T’uy’t’annat-Cease Wyss

Marking the Sobey Award’s Twentieth Year

The National Gallery of Canada has entered a partnership with the Sobey Art foundation in 2016. The gallery has since been organizing and circulating the exhibition. Annually awarded, the Sobey Award brings some much-needed hope and attention to emerging and young artists throughout Canada and allows them the chance to share their work with a global audience. Awards such as the Sobey play an essential role in the arts by creating a space for expanding the field and introducing some much-needed variety. The overall winner of this prestigious award will be announced in the fall of this year.