Lake Country’s McCoubrey wins ARTSCO Lifetime Achievement award

Sharon McCoubrey has been pushing the arts in the Okanagan Valley for years.

Sharon McCoubrey

On May 28, 13 Okanagan Arts Awards were presented by the Arts Council of the Central Okanagan.

ARTSCOSharon McCoubrey has been pushing the arts in Lake Country for years and now her lifetime of artistic endeavours have been recognized.

Over her career McCoubrey has succeeded in integrating two of her passions: Education and community arts.

She is a Professor Emeritus with the Faculty of Education at UBC Okanagan, with a specialization in art education.

McCoubrey has been given a number of awards for her work in art education and public art. She is currently past president of the Arts Council of the Central Okanagan, is a director of the Central Okanagan Foundation, chair of the Lake Country Public Art Commission, president of the Lake Country Art Gallery Society, and is in her 15th year as chair of Lake Country ArtWalk.

These were the ninth annual award presentations. The other  winners were:

Visual Arts: Laurie Koss

Dance : Janessa McGrath

Music: Andrew Judah

Literature: Michael V. Smith

Theatre: Robert Mason-Brown

Time Based Media: Todd Ramsay

Applied Arts: Art Felt Collaborative

Art & Business: Carrie Mayhew

Business Supporter: The Heritage Retirement Residence

Emerging Artist: Kelsie Balehowsky

Innovation: Opera Kelowna

Community Impact: Lake Country Art Gallery.

In a press release, ARTSCO explained how each winner was vetted for their accomplishments according to a set of criteria to recognize, foster and encourage excellence in the arts:

Public Presentation – work that has been publicly presented and acknowledged by cultural institutions, organizations or other outstanding practitioners (local,regional, national or international)

Peer Recognition – attained a level of artistic excellence in their chosen discipline as recognized and acknowledged by other practitioners in that same discipline

Community Engagement – how the community and practitioner have previously and/or currently engage with each other – their ideas and their work – as demonstrated by any or all of the following: gained local media attention, favourable peer review, quoted in other sources and/or by other practitioners cultural event attendance, created learning opportunities, like workshops and lectures

Leadership – practitioner is recognized in the community as a leader in their discipline and/or nomination category

Extended Reach – how the artistic practitioner is putting the Central Okanagan on the map regionally, nationally and internationally.

The winners were feted in style May 28 at the Habitat in Kelowna with performances by Wildson, The Trips, Lucy Hazelwood, Anna Jacyszyn, Loni Moger, Stephen Buck, father and son duo Graham and Aaron Ord, Leah West, Kelly Derrickson and DJ Wolfhous, as well as a live painting/performance by MC and host Peter Breeze and visual artist Alex Ross.

Neil Facey and Barbra Barrett directed the award showcase and Glen Samuels of Mountain Lake films created all the videos of the winners.

For more information on the winners of the 9th Annual Okanagan Arts Awards, please visit


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