The Parker Prize is given to “a musician…under the age of 32 who demonstrates outstanding… artistic excellence and who makes a valuable contribution to artistic life in Canada and internationally.” In 2018 the Parker Prize went to violinist Blake Pouliot, our current CDA winner!
Blake Pouliot, 2018 WMCT Career Development Award winner, has been awarded the Canada Council’s Virginia Parker Prize. This $25,000 Prize is awarded to a musician, under the age of 32 who demonstrates outstanding talent, musicianship and artistic excellence and who makes a valuable contribution to artistic life in Canada and internationally.
Several WMCT CDA winners have been awarded this prize in earlier years: Shannon Mercer (2006), James Ehnes (1997), and Karina Gauvin (1995).
In 2015, Blake was given the use for three years of the 1729 Guarneri del Gesu violin from the Canada Council Musical Instrument Bank. This loan has now been renewed until 2021.
Diane Martello, WMCT president, with Blake Pouliot and his new official t-shirt. After a week of concerts in Los Angeles, Washington DC, and Toronto, the 2018 Career Development Winner paused on April 16 before flying off to Ottawa to performances with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, for a lunch with some WMCT and WMCTF Board members, and the CDA Committee.
Here is Blake with Annette Sanger, CDA Committtee Chair, CBC Producer Alison Howard, and the cupcakes. Blake wrote to Annette he is “beyond humbled to get the opportunity to join…an incredible and laudable group”. Blake will be performing in Music in the Afternoon‘s 122nd Season, 2019-20. Follow his performances until then on his website.
Yes, the cupcakes! Individual stunners, made by Kathy Halliday, each with a spun-sugar musical motif, including “CDA” of course, a mini-instrument for Blake (complete with pegs), and the notation of the opening solo violin line in the second movement of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto.
Kathy Halliday, far right, Blake’s parents Les and Christine Pouliot, far left, and the rest of the lucky cupcake eaters.
Blake Pouliot,violin, is a versatile artist — a classical musician, film and television actor and keyboardist in an award-winning pop band. At age 23 he has already performed as a soloist with orchestras across North and South America, and will play again with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra April 14-15. He is the recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts 2013 Michael Mesure Prize, and the Grand Prize winner of the 2016 Orchestre symphonique de Montréal Manulife Competition.
On March 8, the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto named him winner of the 2018 Career Development Award. On March 9 his debut CD of the Debussy and Ravel sonatas was released on the Canadian Analekta label. Click here to purchase.
Read Robert Rowat’s Radio-Canada interview, including an excerpt from Blake’s new album. CBC Radio listeners also heard about Blake Friday March 9 on Tom Allen’s Shift and on Paolo Pietropaolo’s In Concert, Sunday March 11.