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Pacific Toa category announced for Arts Pasifika Awards 2019

Creative New Zealand is offering a new Pacific Toa Award to support Pasifika artists with the lived experience of disability, as part of this year’s Arts Pasifika Awards. Nominations for the 2019 awards are now open.

Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Hon Carmel Sepuloni, who is also Associate Minister for Pacific Peoples and Minister for Disability Issues, announced the new category as part of Creative New Zealand’s Pacific Arts Strategy 2018 – 2023.

“As part of Te Moana Nui a Kiva, Aotearoa is deeply connected to other nations of the Pacific,” says Minister Sepuloni.

“The Arts Pasifika Awards recognise these connections and celebrate the enormous talent we have in the field of Pacific arts.”

“It is particularly exciting that this year we will welcome the new Pacific Toa Award, recognising the outstanding contribution of a Pasifika artist with lived experience of disability. I look forward to celebrating the power and reach of our Pacific arts sector.”

The annual Arts Pasifika Awards recognise excellence and innovation in the Pacific Arts and its contribution to the rich diversity of our multi-cultural Pacific nation.

As part of Creative New Zealand’s ongoing investment in Pacific Arts through the Pacific Arts Strategy, the prize monies for each of the awards have also increased this year.

In 2018 award winners included acclaimed multi-disciplinary artist Rosanna Raymond – who received the Senior Pacific Artist Award – and award winning play-wright Leki Jackson-Bourke, who received the Emerging Artist Award.



Nominations are now open for the awards, which will be hosted at Parliament in October.

The awards recognise artists at various career stages across seven categories:

Senior Pacific Artist Award ($25,000) – recognises the contribution of a senior established Pacific artist in maintaining or developing their artform in New Zealand.

Pacific Contemporary Artist Award ($10,000) – recognises an artist who has demonstrated innovation in their artform. Artists must have a track record and have achieved in their chosen field. Recognition will be given to those who push the boundaries of their practice.

Pacific Heritage Arts Award ($10,000) – recognises an artist or cultural group who has made a major contribution to maintaining, reviving or promoting a Pacific heritage artform in New Zealand. This may include language, dance, music, weaving, tatau or vaka.

Iosefa Enari Memorial Award ($7,500) – recognises the contribution of the late Iosefa Enari to the arts, in particular his pioneering role in Pacific opera. This award supports the career development of an individual Pacific singer, musician or composer across all classical genres and career stages.

Emerging Pacific Artist Award ($7,500) – recognises an emerging artist showing promise and potential in their chosen art form. The purpose of this award is to recognise achievement at this developmental stage and to help the artist develop their career.

Special Recognition Award ($10,000) – recognises the recipient’s special contribution to the standing, and standard, of Pacific Arts in New Zealand and/or internationally. This award recognises an individual whose work, influence and commitment have raised the standards, expectations and reputation of Pacific art and artists. It may be awarded for artistry across any art form or for arts management, and could be for a one-off or ongoing contribution to a local or international success story.

Pacific Toa Award ($10,000) – recognises the contribution of a Pasifika artist with the lived experience of disability to the standing, and standard, of Pacific arts nationally or globally. The award recognises an individual whose work, influence and commitment has raised the standards, expectations and reputation of Pacific arts and artists. It may be awarded to any artform or for arts management. It could be for an ongoing contribution to a local, national or global success story.

Make a nomination for yourself as an artist, or for someone else, by email. Closing date is 5pm, Friday 28 June 2019.


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