Mayworks’ vision is to incite the creation and production of art that engages diverse artists and workers at the intersection of culture, economics and social justice. We showcase working people’s art and promote artists as workers and workers as artists. One way we do this is by recognizing the artistic contributions of artists and activists to the labour movement.

Award categories

The Artist Award for Excellence in Contribution to the Labour Movement for an artist, working in any artistic discipline (e.g. visual arts, writing, performance, music, etc.), who has significantly captured the values of the labour movement in their work.


The Activist Award for Excellence in Contribution to Labour Arts for an activist who has promoted and incorporated labour arts in their activism.


The Labour Organization Award for Excellence in Contribution to Labour Arts for a labour organization that has made outstanding use of the arts to engage their membership and/or the community.


The Traditional Labour Arts Award for the creative design and use of a quilt, banner, badge, button, placard, or apparel, etc., to promote labour solidarity.

The Min Sook Lee Award for Outstanding Contribution to Labour Arts for an individual who has captured the values of the labour movement in their art and/or through their activism over many years.


This award is named in honour of Min Sook Lee, an activist-artist whose own contributions moved Mayworks Festival toward its current artistic vision to actively encourage representation of equity-seeking groups as audiences and artists. Lee also helped Mayworks focus on programming that engages new, non-arts audiences, and that challenges Eurocentric notions of art.

Who can be nominated?

The Mayworks Labour Arts Awards are meant to recognize the contributions of individuals or organizations who produced artistic work in service of the labour movement in 2018 that is relevant to the category for which they are being nominated. In the case of the Min Sook Lee Award, nominees should have multi-year history of contributing to labour arts, as an artist and/or activist.

How do I nominate an individual or organization?

Nominators must submit a one-page summary explaining why the nominee(s) should be considered for the specific award. References that can help elucidate the reasons behind the nomination are welcome. Nominations should include images (up to 10) and/or recordings where relevant.

Nominations can be submitted by e-mail or post:

When is the deadline?

We’ve extended the deadline for nominationsfor the Mayworks Labour Arts Awards to Friday, January 18th, at midnight. Late submissions will not be considered.