Presented with support from

Beverly Glenn-Copeland

Beverly Glenn-Copeland

VALA 2019 winner Patty Gail Peaker, surrounded by [l-r] Julia Howell of the Toronto Foundation, award donor Joan VanDuzer, CAN Executive Director Scott Walker, and CAN Chair The Hon. Marie-P. Charette-Poulin

The Robert Johnston Visionary Artist Award

The Canadian Artists Network is proud to announce Beverly Glenn-Copeland as this year’s recipient of the Robert Johnston Visionary Artist Award. The Award is given annually to an artist whose exemplary work, produced away from the spotlight of the moment and without fanfare, has been a notable source of inspiration to others in the arts and/or whose visionary contributions to the arts and broader communities have been made in under-acknowledged or ‘behind the scenes’ roles.

Beverly Glenn-Copeland has had a significant impact across many spheres over his fifty-year career as a singer, songwriter, recording artist, and transgender advocate. As an artist, he has masterfully blended genres and expanded musical horizons, pushing boundaries and using his passion for nature and science, to craft a distinct sound. As a trans artist with a diverse cultural heritage, he has been a passionate supporter of Black, Indigenous, and LGBTQ2S+ communities both in Canada and abroad.

“I am extraordinarily honoured to know that I have been chosen for the 2023 Robert Johnston Visionary Artist Award,” says Glenn-Copeland. “We live in challenging times and it means a great deal to me in this, my 80th year, to know my work has served as an inspiration to others.” 

“Beverly Glenn-Copeland represents everything that the Canadian Artists Network stands for,” says Scott Walker, Executive Director of the Canadian Artists Network. “He broke new ground with his Keyboard Fantasies; he is still going strong in his 80th year, with his beautiful new album, The Ones Ahead. And he has a strong belief in the future generations of artists. He is proof positive that Creativity Lives Forever.”

About Beverly Glenn-Copeland:

Throughout a fifty-year recording career, Beverly Glenn-Copeland’s music has defied categorisation and genre, its only consistency being the extraordinary fusion of vision, technology, spirituality and place.

Beverly Glenn-Copeland (Glenn to his friends and acquaintances) was born into a musical family and studied the classical piano repertoire from ‘cradlehood,’ listening to his father playing the piano four to five hours a day. He moved from his hometown of Philadelphia to study classical music at McGill University in 1961 (focusing on the European song repertoire) before he suddenly felt called to write music that would weave influences from the myriad musical cultures he had come to love.

After many years of absence from the concert stage, Glenn-Copeland has resumed performing with his new band, Indigo Rising, in Canada and Europe. With great joy and appreciation Glenn-Copeland acknowledges his deep connection with the younger generations that are now so enthusiastically embracing his music!

https://beverlyglenncopeland.com/

About the Award

The Robert Johnston Visionary Artist Award was introduced in 2019 with a grant from the Distinguished Mature Artist Fund at the Toronto Foundation. 

Originally called the Visionary Artist Lifetime Award, this prize has been renamed the Robert Johnston Visionary Artist Award in honour of the late Bob Johnston, one of the Canadian Artists Network’s original board members whose long career included serving as Deputy Minister of Culture for the Province of Ontario and General Manager of the National Ballet of Canada.

The Robert Johnston Visionary Artist Award is given annually to an artist … 

… whose exemplary work, produced away from the spotlight of the moment and without fanfare, has been a notable source of inspiration to others in the arts …

… and/or …

… whose visionary contributions to the arts and broader communities have been made in under-acknowledged or ‘behind the scenes’ roles

Past Winners

The first winner, in 2019, was Patty Gail Peaker, chosen for her work in helping to found the Performing Arts Lodge in Toronto, along with PAL’s Supporting Cast Program.

The second winner, in 2020,  was John Leberg, the former Director of Operations for the Canadian Opera Company, who led the development of surtitles in opera.

The third winner, in 2021, was Elizabeth Doxtater, a cornhusk doll maker and mentor whose work is deeply imbedded in her Mohawk culture and traditions, and a sharer of her vision and talent. 

In 2022, the award was presented to Terrill Maguire, an elder dance artist, educator, and mentor who has worked with students from York University to James Bay.