OAF News

Artist Shelley Niro awarded the Paul de Hueck and Norman Walford Career Achievement Award for Art Photography

Toronto, February 26, 2020  – Shelley Niro is this year’s recipient of the Paul de Hueck and Norman Walford Career Achievement Award. This year’s award recognizes outstanding achievement in the field of art photography. Niro will be presented this $30,000 award at the Robert Langen Art Gallery on March 5th where she will be giving a lecture for her exhibition, “Something Cold and Hard Like Winter”. 

About Shelley Niro
Shelley Niro is a multidisciplinary artist and a member of the Six Nations Reserve, Turtle Clan, Bay of Quinte Mohawk. She has worked in a variety of media, including beadwork, painting, photography, and film. Niro’s art has been featured in numerous exhibitions and museums across Canada and the United States, including the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI). Her artistic achievements have also earned Niro fellowships and residencies at major educational and cultural institutions.

She was the inaugural recipient of the Aboriginal Arts Award presented through the Ontario Arts Council in 2012. In 2017, she received both a Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts and the Scotiabank Photography Award.

Jury Comments
The jury praised Niro’s work and her significant contributions to photography in Canada and beyond. “Throughout her long career, Niro has consistently pushed herself forward, using her photography to look unflinchingly at her life. Her inspiring work tells the story of what Canada is and challenges stereotypes with unapologetic directness. Through mentorship, teaching and leadership, she has encouraged artists of every age and in so doing passes the legacy forward.”

Shelley Niro was selected by a jury comprising of artist and Gallery Director Melanie Colosimo (Halifax, NS), artist and 2017 de Hueck / Walford award recipient Rosalie Favell (Ottawa, ON), and photographer Luther Konadu (Winnipeg, MB).

"500 Year Itch", Shelley Niro

About the Award

The Paul de Hueck and Norman Walford Career Achievement Award was established at the Ontario Arts Foundation by the late Norman Walford, former Executive Director of the Ontario Arts Council, and the late Paul de Hueck, former CBC television production manager.  The award recognizes in alternating years a classical or jazz keyboard artist, an art photographer, and a classical singer.  The winner is chosen through a nominating and adjudication process managed by the Ontario Arts Council. 

Previous award winners in the field of art photography include Rosalie Favell (2017), Moyra Davey (2015), and Larry Towell (2011). See the full list of previous recipients.


For more information, please contact:

Alan Walker
Executive Director, Ontario Arts Foundation
Tel: (416) 969-7413

 Established in 1991, the Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) is passionately committed to building long-term support for the arts in Ontario. In 2018-2019 the OAF paid over $4.35 million in endowment income and $315,000 in awards and scholarships.

For more than 55 years, the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) has played a vital role in promoting and assisting the development of the arts for the enjoyment and benefit of Ontarians. In 2018-2019 the Ontario Arts Council invested $61.1 million in 228 communities across Ontario through 2,252 grants to individual artists and 1,424 grants to organizations.

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