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The Spotlight Awards celebrate exemplary programming taking place each year as part of the Ontario Culture Days Festival. This year, Spotlight allows us to celebrate the ingenuity demonstrated by our organizers as they have adapted to extraordinary circumstances to connect with audiences.

Nominations are closed, deliberation is done, and that means we can proudly present this year’s Spotlight award winners!


The 2020 Spotlight categories are:

  • Participation From a Distance
  • Accessibility
  • Creative Solutioneering
  • People’s Choice

Full category descriptions below.

Participation From a Distance

Participation isn’t just about getting hands-on. We may not be able to get up close this year, but there are still plenty of opportunities to try out a new activity. From online improv classes to mail-in knitting projects to en plein air painting, we want to hear about the programs that helped audiences take part, even if it is from a distance.


There are many barriers that exist which stop people from participating in arts and culture, and unfortunately, such impediments frequently go unacknowledged. 2020 in particular has created unexpected challenges and new opportunities for accessible programming. This category recognises the thoughtful and inspirational programs that actively built in ways to reach new audiences.

Creative Solutioneering

This year was certainly full of unexpected challenges. We want to hear how you problem-solved, collaborated, thought outside the box or found a new hack to pull off a successful Culture Days event. The most creative or inspirational methods will get the Spotlight!

People’s Choice

People’s Choice is an open-category accolade that allows the general public to recognize any program and its overall contribution to the Culture Days festival. Spotlight jurors will choose their top five nominations from the People’s Choice category and post descriptions of each on ONCD platforms. The program that receives the greatest number of votes will be awarded the Spotlight.