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After long wait, Hazee Awards are handed out

Hazee Awards ceremony took place at Chapel Gallery on Wednesday night

NORTH BATTLEFORD - It may have taken a while due to COVID-19 restrictions, but the second annual Hazee Awards were finally presented Wednesday night at the Chapel Gallery.

The Hazee Awards is more formally known as the Hazel Asmussen Youth Art Competition. It was instituted by Rob and Nora Rongve and family in memory of their friend Hazel Asmussen, an artist and nurse in the North Battleford community who had passed away in 2009.

The competition was open to youth between ages 11 and 20 who reside within a 100 km radius of North Battleford. The first Hazee Awards competition was in 2019 and it had been scheduled for 2020, but that competition was pushed back to 2021.

Submissions are on display this month at the Chapel Gallery, with the exhibition running from Oct. 9 to 29. This month marks the return of art exhibitions to the Chapel Gallery after several months when the space was used as a city council meeting venue.

There were five levels of prizes: the grand prize Hazee Award for $500, second prize of Artistic Achievement - $300, two third prizes of Creative Excellence of $100, and Honorable Mentions of $50. 

This year there were multiple recipients in some categories. As Rob Rongve explained, there were “way more winners” than what they had initially anticipated.

A number of those winners were on hand for the award ceremony at the Chapel Gallery, although quite a few were unable to make it.

Here is a summary of the winners: 

The Hazee Award grand prize of $500 went to Brooklyn Hochbaum (Grade 6, EMBM) for Nature’s Beauty, an acrylic on canvas work. 

Two Artistic Achievement awards were presented. One went to Jihoon Koo, grade 12 at NBCHS, for his acrylic paint on canvas work The Garden of Gyeongbokgung Palace. The other went to Kiera Lewis for her painting Imaginary World. Both of them get runner-up prizes of $300 each.

There were two Creative Excellence awards and one went to Nola Iron of John Paul II, for her untitled work depicting an Indigenous woman. The other went to Ainsley Orobko, Grade 12 at Unity Composite, for Water and Wetlands. Both receive cash prizes of $100 each.

Honorable Mentions went to Jorda Thomas of NBCHS for her work Genesis, Drake Phommavong of Holy Family School for The Cabin, Malory Chickosis of John Paul II Collegiate for Carrier of the Earth, David Castano of John Paul II for his untitled work, Aron from John Paul II for Northern Lights, Jalaiyah Wuttunee of John Paul II for her untitled work, and Sienna Pethick of EMBM for her work Global Reality.

The intention is to hold another Hazee Awards competition again six months from now, in 2022.