The 10th annual Barrie Arts Awards unfolded Nov. 21 at a new venue, the Barrie Country Club.

Awards were handed out in six categories. Nominations were received from the community in each category, 39 in all, and the winners were selected by an independent jury panel.

This year also marked the end of a four-year term for Barrie’s second poet laureate, Damian Lopes.

The laureate role is to raise the profile of the literary arts in the community; write, publish and perform poetry; encourage and celebrate other local poets and writers; as well as act as a literary ambassador at city events. Victoria Butler was named Barrie’s next poet laureate.

This year’s awards went to Mitchell Graszat, Most Promising Youth; musician Megan Anne, Emerging Artist; Valerie Losell, Artist without Barriers; Glenn Coulson, Business Champion; Tori Foster, Excellence in the Arts; and Angela Baldwin, Contribution to Community. A special presentation, Cultural Changemaker, was awarded to Stephen Mosley a.k.a. Mose Stephenson.

In June of 2018, Barrie lost one of its most talented singer-songwriters. Mosley was a folk musician, coffee shop owner, music-scene founder and well-known busker who lobbied for the creation of a street performer program in Barrie. In the 1970s Mosley was instrumental in establishing the first Barrie Folk Society. As a singer-songwriter, he self-produced five albums in Barrie and had songs profiled on CBC Radio. His legacy lives on in his music and in Barrie’s Emerging Musicians Program, an evolution of the street performer program which serves as an incubator for young and emerging musicians building music careers.

The arts awards event also featured live performances and presentations by artists and groups from the Barrie community.

Photo: Stephen Mosley a.k.a. Mose Stephenson 1953-2018 was named Cultural Changemaker at the Barrie Arts Awards.

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