The Mayor’s Dinner for the Arts: Awards for Visual Arts

ACOTTI is excited to present the 1st Annual “Mayor’s Dinner for the Arts” created to commend the efforts and accomplishments of visual artists in the 1000 Islands region. Mucisians and performers are publicly celebrated by the Brockville and Area Music and Performing Arts Hall of Fame, now in its 12th year. “We feel it is time for visual artists and artisans to also receive important community recognition for their contributions to the vitality and quality of life in Brockville and area” says ACOTTI chair Howard Alexander.

The 1st Mayor’s Dinner for the Arts presented 2 awards: the RH Lindsay Award and the Celia Kainz Award  (see below for more about the awards).

The trophies were created by local woodturner, Lance Besharah. Lance is a retired high school music and technology teacher residing in Brockville, ON. He is currently enjoying his passion for woodturning by creating fine pieces of turned wood art using salvaged native woods, while passing on the tradition of woodturning in Eastern Ontario, teaching the tools and techniques of this traditional craft.

To see more of Lance’s work please visit his website:



The RH Lindsay Award is a posthumous prize, in recognition of local artists who have passed on but contributed to the artistic community during their lifetime.

Robert Henry Lindsay (1868-1938) was a prominent local artist, born in Prescott, raised in Brockville. While in school, Lindsay also attended the Brockville Mechanics’ Institute to develop his skills in graphic arts. After graduating, he took a position as a painter in the James Smart Manufacturing Company. While employed at Smart’s he studied painting and sketching under Percy F. Woodcock, R.C.A. at the Brockville Ontario Government School of Art. This led him to a career as a professional artist and painter in oils and watercolour. In 1911 Lindsay became a part-time art instructor at the school and later succeeded Woodcock as the art instructor at the Ontario Government School of Art in Brockville, a position that he held for 12 years. He also taught drawing at the St. Alban’s Boys School. Lindsay maintained a studio in Brockville from which he carried on a commercial art business as well as his artistic endeavours. He was a contributing member of the Arts Club of Montreal and exhibited both oils and watercolours with the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, Ontario Society of Artists, and the Montreal Art Association.

Robert Lindsay,  became a trustee of the Brockville Public Library and later became the Vice-chair of the Brockville Public Library Board, when the Carnegie Library was constructed as the permanent home of the collections. He had drawn many pencil sketches of Brockville which are now of historical value. Following his death in 1938 his widow, Margaret Boucher Lindsay, presented about forty of his pencil sketches to the library. These sketches are on display throughout the meeting rooms on the second floor of the library.

“Robert Henry Lindsay.”Wikipedia.Last edited 10 September 2017, at 22:11.




The Ceilia Kainz Award is presented to a local artist who exemplifies artistic excellence and community involvement.

Celia Kainz has been a painter, sculptor and gardener for most of her life. Shortly after settling in the 1000 islands region in the 1980’s, she became involved in the artistic community and made it her mission to help it grow. She was the founder of the “Art Colony Studio Tours” that began on the 1000 Islands Parkway, giving local artists more opportunity to show and sell their work, as well as giving the public an opportunity to meet and talk to the artists in their studios/homes. This studio tour later developed into the local artist organization TIArts (Thousand Islands Arts) who have 2 art shows per year, one in the spring and one in the fall.

After moving into the City of Brockville, Celia created the “Art in the City” studio tour, for which she sought out and brought together talented established and emerging artists artists. Occurring on Father’s day weekend, this studio tour attracted visitors from Ottawa, Kingston, and the US and provided juried participants with opportunities for exposure, networking, and professional development. In its 7th year, the tour came out of the studios and joined with the 1000 Islands Wine and Food Festival. This collaboration lasted 2 years.

Celia also founded Brockville’s  New Year’s Eve Concerts, originally called “The First Night Concerts”. Having just celebrated its 25th year, these live music concerts are held in historic churches in Downtown Brockville. Starting at 6:00 pm, several different performances occur at different churches on each hour until 11:00 when all congregate at the Wall Street Church for the big finale and the countdown to midnight. All concerts are free but donations are greatly accepted. Each participating church chooses their own charity and, over the years, these concerts have raised over $150,000 for local charities.

Celia recently relocated to Toronto to be closer to family. During her time in Brockville, Celia created, displayed and sold her artwork; mentored young artists; encouraged professionalism in the arts; and developed opportunities for art to be enjoyed in our community. We miss her smile, her flare, and her “go get ’em” enthusiasm. Creating this award in her honour is our way of recognizing and thanking her for her contribution to our artistic community.

Celia Kainz photo: THOMAS LEE/The Recorder and Times, July 2012