The Wood Buffalo Excellence in Arts Awards Gala, lovingly nicknamed the Buffys, is our region’s premier arts event. The Buffys recognizes the artists and arts organizations demonstrating outstanding achievement and contribution to
Wood Buffalo, as well as the vital role the arts play in making our community a place to call home.
Buffys 2024 will transport audiences with our theme, Midnight in Miami! In keeping with our signature Midnight motif, the theme pays homage to Miami’s rich Art Deco heritage and iconic portrayals in pop culture.
We invite you to join us at Buffys 2024, where we’ll experience the flirtation, thrill, and impeccable style of South Beach in the 1980s, alongside the exceptional artistry of Wood Buffalo.
2016-2021 Community Impact
305 Paid Artists
970 Event Attendees
22.7k Broadcast Views
Wood Buffalo Excellence in Arts Awards Gala
Every October the Wood Buffalo Excellence in Arts Awards Gala dazzles audiences with world-class
performances, vibrant and immersive decor, and an unforgettable show. With a new theme each year, the Buffys
is Wood Buffalo's premier arts event.
ACWB will contact the nominee letting them know of their nomination and request nominee material.
Once the nominee material deadline has passed, entries in all categories are scored by adjudicators representing the diverse artistic disciplines that make up the Buffys.
The top three scores (by average) in each category will make up the shortlist. The top scoring entry in each category will be the award recipient.
Award recipients will be announced at the Wood Buffalo Excellence in Arts Awards & Showcase.
Deadlines & Timelines
Nominate an Artist by: June 17, 2024 @ Noon (MST)
Self-Apply by: June 28, 2024 @ Noon (MST)
Submit Entry Materials by: June 28, 2024 @ noon (MST)
Shortlisted Nominees notified: August 2024
Buffys Showcase: October 19, 2024
Arts Council celebrates and supports diversity, and is committed to creating an inclusive environment for all, free of barriers and discrimination. We are committed to providing programs that are accessible and barrier free. We hope to build local artist capacity by paralleling a nominations process that is adopted by the wider arts communities across Canada and the world. However, we also recognize that this process may be stressful to some.
Any artists who may be struggling to complete their nomination in any way are encouraged to reach out for help. Arts Council staff may review your entry prior to submission, as they do not participate in the adjudication process.
In an attempt to honour the oral tradition for Indigenous Artists, Arts Council has created an option for artists to submit oral submissions as a recorded audio file. This audio file will not be transcribed to text. It will be presented to the Buffys adjudicators in its recorded form, so that it is received in the voice of the nominee, as originally intended.
While this accessibility support was created with Indigenous Artists in mind, it is available to all artists who may wish to submit their entry orally.
For more information or support on this or any part of the nominations process, please contact the Programs Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 587-674-1625.
Peer evaluation is fundamental to Arts Council Wood Buffalo's decision-making process. All entries are adjudicated by a province-wide adjudicating committee. Entries in all categories will be scored by no less than three (3) adjudicators, representing the diverse artistic disciplines that make up the Buffys Award Categories The top three scores (by average) in each category will comprise the shortlist. The top scoring entry in each category will be the award recipient. Scoring will be based on the rubric as outlined in the Buffys Handbook.
Award recipients will be announced live at the Wood Buffalo Excellence in Arts Awards Gala.
Categories & Eligibility
Arts Council Wood Buffalo is committed to equity and inclusion, and encourages applications and nominations from culturally diverse, Deaf, disability and official language minority artists, groups and organizations. Arts Council recognizes and affirms the treaty rights of the Indigenous peoples of this land, and encourages applications and nominations from First Nations, Inuit, and Métis individuals, groups, and organizations in all its programs.
Recognizes an administrator or group of administrators working in arts-related production, marketing, project or organizational management, development, research/curatorship, operations, facility management.
Artist or group creating functional and non-functional craft-based work including: beadwork, book arts, ceramics, textile, fashion and wearable art, cosplay, furniture, glass, jewellery, metal, or wood.
Artist or group performing or choreographing dance of any format, including cultural dance. Nominees must be 16 years old and up.
Ken Flaherty Music Award
Artist or group who performs, composes, writes songs, DJs, and/or works in technical production (all genres of music).
Recognizes an artist or group working in film, video, podcasting, graphic design, animation, digital art, web-based art, audio/sound art, media art installation, new media, or any fusion thereof.
This award is intended to recognize the commitment of a youth artist (age 12-17) in any arts discipline to developing their craft. This typically includes performances and exhibitions and a demonstrated dedication to skill development (classes, workshops, competitions, etc.).
Recognizes an individual, small business, corporation, social profit, or foundation who has strengthened arts and culture in Wood Buffalo through their support and commitment to the sector. Support can be defined as advocacy, hiring local artists, offering skills and expertise, providing space for the arts, and financial. Recipients of this award are nominated by the Arts Council Wood Buffalo Board of Directors.
Recognizes a program, arts organization, artist, or teacher working in schools or the community which uses the arts to provide a meaningful learning experience (for any age).
Artist or group who was part of an innovative partnership to use the arts to contribute to a balanced community by highlighting or focusing on a community need or social issue.
Recognizes an Indigenous artist or group, who uses traditional and/or contemporary skills and materials to create art within any artistic discipline.
Artist or group active in poetry, short story, written journalism, fiction, non-fiction, blogging, or publishing.
Artist or group active in theatre, performance art, acting, directing, playwriting, theatre design, comedy, and/or technical production (such as stage management).
Recognizes an artist or group active in painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, photography, or installation art.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Recognizes the long-standing significant achievement of an artist over the course of an entire career. This typically includes artistic practice and achievement, recognition by peers, and the artist’s contribution to the local and broader artistic community. Recipients of this award are nominated by the Arts Council Wood Buffalo Board of Directors.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why nominate or self-apply?
The recognition received by each nominee and award recipient serves to raise their profile, helps build their portfolio, and allows them opportunities to compete and thrive as an artist in our community and beyond.
All nominees receive recognition for their outstanding contribution to the arts in Wood Buffalo through ACWB’s marketing leading up to and during the awards event.
Each award recipient will be presented with a $250 cheque, a certificate, and an award (called a “Buffy”) handcrafted by a local artist.
How does being the recipient of a Buffy award help me?
Being a nominee or recipient of a Buffy award is something artists can use as leverage to gain grants, admission into schools, or to beef-up their CVs (resume). Seeing as all entries are reviewed by like-minded artists in the community, it is an excellent display of peer recognition, and could be used to support being recognized as an arts professional, in accordance with the Canadian Artist Code.
I have accessibility requirements that may restrict me from being able to submit an application online. Can I submit an application in person?
All submissions need to be entered through our online portal (during the nomination period) in order to be shared with our judges. We suggest that those who are unable to submit an application online, first ask a friend to help them do so. If that solution is not available to you, you are welcome to make an appointment with an ACWB staff member, who can help support you in submitting your application, either in person, or over the phone. To make an appointment, contact us at email@example.com or phone 587-674-1625.
I’m not sure whether I am really an “artist,” but I dabble in the arts at home. Can I still apply?
Yes, you can. One of the goals of the Buffys is to encourage those who don’t view themselves as “artists” to begin seeing themselves as artists. The nomination process is designed to encourage people to self-reflect about their artistic practices and to expand their ability to speak about their artistic process. The nominations application form will also provide you with guiding questions along the way to help hone how you speak about your artistic practice. This alone is an excellent exercise for anyone questioning whether or not they are an “artist.”
Why should I nominate an artist, if they can self-apply for an award themselves?
Some artists may need a little push to know that their work is worth being considered for a Buffy award. They may be too humble or feel too shy to self-apply, and receiving a nomination from someone else just might give them the confidence they need to enter.
I want to nominate an artist or group, but I’m not certain which award category they will be eligible for.
Do your best to select an award category that you think would suit the artistic practice of the artist or group you are nominating. After you submit your nomination, your nominee will have an opportunity to reselect the category that they feel they are best eligible for.
If I am an Indigenous Artist, can I apply for the Indigenous Artist Award and another arts category?
Yes, you can. As an Indigenous Artist, you can apply for the Indigenous Artist category, as well as another discipline that best describes your work. (For example, a drummer may apply under the Indigenous Artist category, and Music). To make things easier, you can use the ‘copy’ feature on our online portal (during the nomination period) to create a copy of an existing entry, and change the content to suit your new category, as required. Make sure your entries and supporting materials are submitted by the deadlines listed on the Buffys web page.
Do I have to be nominated for a Buffy Award or can I nominate myself?
You can be nominated by someone else, or self-apply for a Buffy. To get started, register an account on our online portal (during the nomination period). Make sure you submit your entry and supporting materials before the deadline listed on the website.
I’m not sure if I have lived in the Wood Buffalo region long enough to be eligible for an award.
To be eligible for a Buffy award, you need to have lived in the Wood Buffalo region for at least one (1) year before the submission deadline. If you moved to the region less than a year before the deadline, then you are not eligible, but may be eligible for an award next year.
Can I be nominated or self-apply for more than one award category?
Yes, you can. You are allowed to enter more than one award category, as long as you are eligible and the work submitted for your application matches the award description. To make things easier, you can use the ‘copy’ feature on our online portal to create a copy of an existing entry, and change the content to suit your new category as needed.
I was nominated last year. Do I need to rewrite everything in my nomination again this year?
You don’t need to rewrite everything. If you applied in 2020 (or later), the online portal will allow you to copy your application and then update it.
How do I fill out my Buffy nomination form?
We recommend that you watch this video from Buffys 2020 for tips on how to fill out your nomination. If you still have questions, you’re welcome to contact our Programs Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or 587-674-1625 (ext. 102).
Why should I submit my Buffy nomination information again? I was nominated in previous years, but wasn’t selected for an award.
What you’ve done last year might be very different this year. You are continuing to grow and gain more experience. Maybe you didn’t receive an award after a previous nomination, but that doesn’t mean you won’t this time. Give it a shot. You deserve it.
Become a Partner of the Buffys
Become a Partner of Buffys 2024 and showcase your championship for the arts in our region. Your organization could be featured before the arts community, as well as our guests and corporate partners. Help us build a creatively empowered Wood Buffalo and enjoy an unforgettable evening.
For more information on this one-of-a-kind event, or for questions on securing your sponsorship opportunity, please contact Executive Director Liana Wheeldon at email@example.com or 587-674-1625 ext 100.
Thanks to our champions
What our Artists have to say
I’m overwhelmed with gratefulness. Grateful to be doing what I love for a living. Grateful to be able to provide for my family with music. Grateful for the immense support from our community. Grateful to still be able to dream, and grow as a musician.