The morning after Oscars were handed out to artists in the film industry, the city held its own nomination ceremony at city hall for local artists.

The 23rd Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts takes place on March 22 and this year 39 nominees in nine categories will be vying for the prestigious awards.

“It’s a fun night and a fun event,” said Mayor Stephen Mandel. “It’s about Edmonton and the talent we have in this city.”

The Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts is a showcase of the talent that resides in this city and an opportunity to create awareness for organizations like the Professional Arts Coalition of Edmonton (PACE).

Alice Major was nominated for the ATCO Gas Award for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement. Major was Edmonton’s first Poet Laureate, and has just published her ninth collection of poems.

“It was a real thrill to be the Poet Laureate,” Major said. “Maybe this will give me another chance to get back on the Winspear Centre stage.”

The lifetime achievement award goes to the artist whose outstanding talents and determination contribute richly to the cultural fabric of our city.

“For me, Edmonton is the place where I became an artist,” Major said. “It was the right community for me and I think it’s obviously the right community for a lot of artists.”

Major said Edmonton is a place where artists can thrive.

“And, occasionally, come out with lifetime achievement awards,” she added with a laugh.