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The ACKER AWARDS Toronto honours artists who are pioneers in their endeavours, artists who broke boundaries and blazed the way for others to follow. Recipients of the award are artists of every discipline whom we recognize for their groundbreaking, unconventional, cutting edge, nonconforming, risk-taking, and community/culture-oriented accomplishments.

The ACKER AWARDS is named after Kathy Acker (1947-1997), internationally-known novelist, punk-poet, and sex-positive feminist writer. In her life and work she exemplified the risk-taking and uncompromising dedication that identifies the spirit of a true pioneering artist.

The actual award each recipient receives is not a trophy or monetary award, but an original box containing an assemblage of small-scale works created by the recipients themselves. The Acker Box, as the award is known, is a time capsule, a creative way of celebrating the artists who contributed to the most innovate, experimental, and visionary ideas for the local and international art community over the past four decades.

The ACKER AWARDS was founded and initiated by Clayton Patterson (visual artist and community organizer) in New York, 2013. Endorsing the important cultural value and independent nature the award plays in New York City, Toronto-based artist Istvan Kantor, along with Eldon Garnet and Kitsuné Soleil, consequently initiated the annual ACKER AWARDS Toronto. The first award ceremony took place at the Theatre Centre in October 2017.

With no corporate, institutional or government agenda to follow, other than the shared desire of artists to recognize other artists for their will to create, the time of the ACKER AWARDS Toronto is here!

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