Partners in Art Wins Prestigious Arts Prize

April 13, 2013News Releases

Donates Proceeds of Award to Toronto Artist Shary Boyle

Earlier this evening, The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art and BMO Financial Group presented Partners in Art (PIA), the volunteer-based not-for-profit group of contemporary art supporters with the $25,000 MOCCA Award in Contemporary Art 2013 during a gala event at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) in Toronto this evening. The biennial award was established by MOCCA in 2007 to honour Canadians active in the field of visual arts for innovation, accomplishment or contribution over time, or for a specific project that has national or international significance.

Since its inception in 2002, PIA has cultivated key alliances among artists, gallerists, curators, educators, arts organizations, the business community and the public to develop vital and exciting contemporary art projects that promote Canadian art and artists on the national and international stage. As a perfect example of their generous work in support of Canadian contemporary artists, PIA announced that it would be giving the $25,000 prize to the National Gallery of Canada’s Venice Biennale fundraising committee in support of the 2013 Canadian artist representative, celebrated Toronto-based artist Shary Boyle.

Each guest at the gala received a limited edition artwork created specifically for the occasion by Ms. Boyle. By hosting the 2013 MOCCA Award gala at the Art Gallery of Ontario – the recipient of PIA’s first institutional gift – MOCCA pays tribute to the collaborative spirit of Partners in Art and their remarkable ten years of pioneering philanthropy.


David Liss, Artistic Director and Curator, MOCCA: “As MOCCA itself has been a leader in developing strategic and wide-ranging partnerships and collaborations across Toronto and Canada, we feel an affinity with the spirit of partnership that defines Partners in Art. By donating their Award to MOCCA’s institutional partner, the National Gallery of Canada, in support of Shary Boyle in Venice, Partners in Art demonstrates here tonight, before our very eyes, the reciprocal and exponential power of partnership.”

Gilles Ouellette, President and CEO, Private Client Group, BMO Financial Group – Presenting Sponsor of the MOCCA Award: “Since 2002, Partners in Art has been an important supporter of contemporary art in Canada – benefiting countless artists and cultural organizations in the process. Their generous support of Shary Boyle shows all of us yet again why the members of PIA are worthy recipients of the 2013 MOCCA Award.”

Yvonne Fleck and Mimi Joh, Co-Chairs, 2012-14, Partners in Art (PIA):“PIA has lots to celebrate during its tenth anniversary year and receiving and ‘re-gifting’ the MOCCA Award in Contemporary Art to Shary Boyle was especially important to the organization. As we look ahead to the next ten years, PIA plans to continue to build on its current work as well as undertake a greater role in advocacy, with a goal of influencing public policy around contemporary visual arts and supporting our cultural legacy both in Toronto and nationally.”


  • Presenting Sponsor: BMO Financial Group
  • Silver Sponsors: AIMIA, McKinsey & Company, Scotiabank
  • Media Sponsor, Newsprint: National Post
  • Media Sponsor, Magazine: Toronto Life

Previous recipients of the MOCCA Award include:

  • Michael Snow (2007)
  • Matthew Teitelbaum, Michael and Sonja Koerner Director and CEO, Art Gallery of Ontario (2009)
  • Edward Burtynsky (2011)


  • For more information on the MOCCA Award:
  • Read full text press release:
  • For more information on Partners in Art:

All programs and activities of the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art are supported by Toronto Culture, the Ontario Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, BMO Financial Group, Cisco Canada, individual memberships and private donations.