Hri Neil presented with Community Arts Builder Award

WELL DESERVED - Hri Neil, pictured above, is the third annual recipient of the Community Arts Builder Award. (Submitted Photo)



The Prince Edward County Arts Council and Art in the County recently announced the winner of the the 3rd annual Community Arts Builder Award, Hri Neil, Curator and Gallery Director at Carbon Art & Design in Picton.

The award celebrates individuals who have enriched community life through the arts, as nominated by local residents. Previous winners include Krista Dalby, Executive Director of the Department of Illumination (2019) and Peter and Alice Mennacher of Blizzmax Gallery (2018).

The award includes a $250 monetary gift. Previous winners include Krista Dalby, Department of Illumination (2019) and Peter & Alice Mennacher, Blizzmax Gallery (2018).

The award is sponsored by Sam Simone, Monica Klingenberg & Laurie Gruer of Chestnut Park Real Estate Limited Brokerage. The selection committee consisted of The 2020 selection committee of Shirley Lewchuk, Laurie Gruer, Sarah Moran, and Krista Dalby.

“Since arriving in the County, Hri has made his presence known in a humble yet incredibly visible way. A thoughtful, creative and supportive artist, he has made an immeasurable contribution to our community as a mentor, curator, and participant in a wide range of community events. He truly is a community leader and we are indeed proud to present Hri with this award,” noted Dalby.

Neil is a multidisciplinary artist and curator centred on sound, video, installation, and performance who holds a BFA in Painting and Drawing from Concordia University.

His work has been shown both nationally and internationally, including performances for the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, and in the New Territories program at ARCO in Spain.

Neil is a past recipient of the Telus Award for Technological Innovation in the Arts. Over the last two decades, he has focused on his artistic practice and independent curatorial projects, as well as working in a variety of roles within the artist run, public and private art and design spheres.

Since moving to Prince Edward County, Neil has been committed to making space for contemporary art in our community by producing County Contemporary (2016 & 2017), and establishing Carbon Art & Design in June 2018.

He has also been involved with the Firelight Lantern Festival since 2013 and created the installations REMIX and BE HERE NOW for ICE BOX 2019 and 2020 respectively.

Neil’s sense of community is evident through volunteer work as a DJ Ombudsman, providing tech and design support for community events and groups (Food Not Bombs at Picton Town Hall, dance groups at Athol Rec Centre). As well, he has been the force behind Wintermarket, a seasonal market for local art, crafts, and edible bounty.

For more information about the Community Arts Builder Award, visit:, call the Prince Edward County Arts Council at (613) 476-8767 or e-mail: [email protected].