Buffys: Arts Awards

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Did you attend Buffys 2022? Tell us about your experience!

The Buffys, also known as the Wood Buffalo Excellence in Arts Awards, is an annual program that recognizes and celebrates excellence in various areas of the arts and builds awareness of the incredible contribution artists make to Wood Buffalo. The Buffys invest in the future of our growing arts community by supporting our most exceptional artists through appreciation and employment opportunities, and by connecting artists to the wider community.

Community Impact

484 Nominations

305 Paid Artists

970 Event Attendees

22.7k Broadcast Views

Wood Buffalo Excellence in Arts Awards Showcase

Every October the Wood Buffalo Excellence in Arts Awards Showcase entertains audiences with high energy performances and creatively crafted artworks by local artists. With a new theme each year, the awards showcase is Wood Buffalo's premier midnight event highlighting award recipients and nominees. Details on the event theme, dates, and more will be released on this page every year as they become available.

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  • Awards Showcase
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Buffys 2023 Nominations & Self-Applications Now OPEN

Buffys 2023 Handbook

Nominations open until June 15, 2023 @ noon (MST). Self-Applications open until June 29, 2023 @ Noon (MST).

Self-apply, or Nominate an Artist or Group in Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo for arts awards in one or more of the following categories: Arts Administration, Arts Education, Craft, Creative Collaboration, Dance, Indigenous Artist, Ken Flaherty Music Award, Literary Arts, Media Arts, Performing Arts, Rising Star, and Visual Arts.

How it works


Nominate a deserving artist, arts group or arts organization, or Self-Apply. Don’t forget to read the Buffys 2023 Handbook


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

  1. Nominate an Artist by: June 15, 2023 @ Noon (MST)

  2. Self-Apply by: June 29, 2023 @ Noon (MST)

  3. Submit Entry Materials by: June 29, 2023 @ noon (MST)

  4. Shortlisted Nominees notified: August 30, 2023

  5. Buffys Showcase: October 21, 2023


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 [email protected] 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 Buffy awards.
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. Scoring will be based on the rubric as outlined in the Buffys 2023 Handbook.

Award recipients will be announced at the Buffy Awards Showcase.

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.

And the Buffys 2023 theme is...

Thank you to the Buffys 2022 attendees for helping choose next year's theme. We cannot wait to shine with you all in 2023!
Stay tuned for updates as we approach closer to October 21, 2023.

Nominations, self-applications and sponsorship opportunities are now open for Buffys 2023.

Frequently Asked Questions

Become a Sponsor of the Buffys

Wood Buffalo’s Premier Arts Awards & Showcase

Are you interested in sponsoring the Buffys?

Download the full Buffys Sponsorship Package.


For more information on this premier arts showcase, or for questions on securing your sponsorship opportunity, please contact Executive Director Liana Wheeldon at [email protected] or 587-674-1625 ext 100.

Thanks to our champions

What our Artists have to say