The Arty Awards is an initiative of the Abbotsford Arts Council to celebrate and highlight the achievements and contributions of local artists to the Abbotsford community.

The following awards are discipline specific, but cover broad categories.

The awards are based on work created by an artist, group, or organization with a practice spanning no less than three years in length. Those with less than three years at their craft are invited to enter in the Emerging Artist category.

Lifestyle recognizes the artistic achievement of an individual, group, or business that exemplifies excellence in a creative pursuit where art and design enter our lives on a regular basis. This includes, but is not limited to: interior design, fashion design, culinary arts, tattoo arts, etc.

Performing Arts recognizes the artistic achievement of an individual, group or organization that exemplifies excellence in a performing arts discipline including theatre, improv, spoken word, dance, music or comedy.

Media Arts recognizes the artistic achievement of an individual, group or organization that exemplifies excellence in a media arts discipline including: graphic design, TV or radio, game design, web design etc.

Literary Arts recognizes the artistic achievement of an individual, group or organization that exemplifies excellence in a literary arts discipline including: poetry, prose, journalism, publishing, etc.

Visual Arts recognizes the artistic achievement of an individual, group or organization that exemplifies excellence in a visual arts discipline including: painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, photography, public art, and fine craft.

Arts Advocate recognizes the achievement of an individual who strongly supports and promotes the interests of artist and arts initiatives through their engagement in the Abbotsford Arts Community.

Youth Achievement Award recognizes an artist 18 years of age or younger who has exhibited artistic excellence in any form of art.

Emerging Artist Award recognizes the artistic excellence an individual who has been practicing in any discipline for three years or less.

Submission Criteria

1. Entrants should be residents of Abbotsford or should be having a significant impact on the Abbotsford arts community. Artists may live or be involved in communities outside of Abbotsford as long as one of these specifications applies.

2. Entrants may be submitted in only one category.

3. 2018 Arty Award winners may not be entered in the same category for the 2019 awards. A list of 2018 Arty Award recipients can be viewed on  All other past Arty Award recipients are eligible for nomination. An individual or group that was entered in 2018 but did not win can be submitted again in 2019.

4. Current staff and directors of the Abbotsford Arts Council may not be nominated. Please visit for a full list of staff and directors.

5. In addition to artistic achievement, each entrant’s contributions to the Abbotsford community will also be considered. This will be judged at a value of 90% for artistic achievement, 10% contributions to community.

6. Artists at any level are eligible for entry, from new, emerging artists to professional artists. Please read the categories carefully to determine the best fit for your submission.  

7. If it is believed someone has been entered into a category in error, they may be moved, with their permission, to the correct category.

Selection Process

Upon receipt, submissions will be reviewed by a committee to confirm eligibility. Entrants meeting all eligibility criteria will be notified by the Abbotsford Arts Council via email or by mail if no email address is available. Notification will occur shortly after the submission is received and confirmed. The entrant will have from the time of notification until August 16 to respond and fully complete submission requirements. This being the case, the earlier you submit your entrant, the more time they will have to prepare their materials.

Each entrant will be asked to complete a short questionnaire and to submit a short biography, headshot photo, 3-5 photos of themselves engaging in their artistic practice (preferably), and any other supporting materials (video, written works, etc.) to the Abbotsford Arts Council by the August 16 deadline. Once all of the requested materials have been received, the submission will be considered accepted by the entrant. Entrants who do no not submit all of the requested materials by the deadline may be disqualified.

All submitted materials could be used in event promotion and/or at the awards ceremony.

The entry form, answers to the questionnaire, and supporting materials will be reviewed by a panel of judges specific to each category selected by the Abbotsford Arts Council. The panel will vote by secret ballot to select category finalists and the award recipients.