The Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards Foundation has awarded violinist Arlan Vriens the 2022 Emerging Artist Award which includes a $10,000 cash prize, plus a handcrafted medal and certificate.
Founded in 2003, the Canadian organization promotes excellence in the arts and has provided $1,430,000 to 74 Emerging Artists and 23 Distinguished Artists (awards that alternate every other year).
According to Vriens’ interview with The Gateway, he plans to use his award funds to commission a new violin, which he hopes would “‘really suit who [he] is as an artist,’ as he had been borrowing violins for around five years prior.”
Based in Toronto, Vriens grew up in Edmonton and attended the University of Alberta. He has served as concertmaster of Opera on the Avalon and associate concertmaster of the Newfoundland Symphony.
Vriens frequently performs new and contemporary works in concerts and festivals across North America and Europe, including music by Ruth Crawford Seeger, Steve Reich, and Alfred Schnittke. He is currently pursuing a doctorate degree studying baroque violin at the University of Toronto and is a Visiting Research Student at Cambridge University.
His awards include the Sir James Lougheed Award of Distinction and grants from arts councils across Canada, as well as the American Bach Society’s William H. Scheide Research Grant, among others.
The other musicians receiving this year’s Emerging Artist Award include saxophonist Perpetual Atife and soprano Eden Tremayne — both from Calgary.
“We are thrilled to invest $110,000 this year in advancing the careers of these outstanding artists at the early stages of their professional development,” Foundation Board Chair, Arlene Strom said in the press release. “Our artists help tell and shape our stories — enriching how we see and appreciate one another, and these 11 have so many stories to share!”
There were 140 applications for the award whose adjudication was overseen by The Banff Center. The jury comprised Darren Fung, Sean Caulfield, Patricia Darbasie, Jenna Butler, and Derek Beaulieu.