What an amazing evening! Over 200 people joined us in celebrating creative youth in our region at the MASC Arts Awards. Many thanks to our supporters and partner: French Family Foundation, boyden and the National Arts Centre.

Congratulations to all the nominees! And here are the 22nd annual MASC Arts Awards Winners:

Rishika Malhotra-Burt

MASC Arts Award Winner – Dance

“Teachers care for their students, they encourage them, they guide them, but Rishika has my full respect as a student, a dancer, and a choreographer. I cannot overemphasize their maturity, their willingness to lead, their desire to learn and their humility that makes working with them easy. They have the confidence of someone much older than themselves. Rishika will follow their dream and make it a reality; I have no doubt. They are driven. They have goals. They have focus. They have the right attitude to make anything they want a reality.”

Nominated by Maria Maclean, Hadley Junior High School

Scholarship donated by The School of Dance

Amarissa Nwabuisi

MASC Arts Award Winner – Drama

“Amarissa has been an exceptional drama student of mine for two years now. She has performed in two plays The Day the Internet Died and The Jungle Book. During this time, I have seen her grow considerably. She has become much more confident and showed real leadership during this year’s production. She really deserves this recognition, and this scholarship will give her the opportunity to shine”.

Nominated by Benjamin Postin, St. Francis Xavier High School

Scholarship donated by The Ottawa Children’s Theatre

Jaydon Moncrieffe
MASC Arts Award Winner – Music

“Jaydon is very deserving of recognition for his hard work and dedication to music. He has blown everyone away with what he has taught himself these last few months. Jaydon has taken it upon himself to learn the clarinet during his own time, both at home and at recess since starting to play in October. He is an eager participant in our beginner band and comes to the Music room regularly to practice and plays songs at a higher difficulty level than what we are working on in class or in band. He has a natural gift, and I am so grateful he has found something that really gives him the opportunity to shine.”

Nominated by Ashley Cardinal, Hawthorne Public School

Scholarship donated by Allegro Music Schools

Najah Meneem

MASC Arts Award Winner – Visual Arts

“Najah demonstrates exceptional focus, attention to detail and determination in all that she does. She always goes above and beyond and shows great leadership in our classroom. Najah is a leader, she is kind, and she is mature beyond her years. She is curious about her craft, and she is resourceful when looking for answers to her questions and takes great pride in her work. She is resilient and follows the creative process diligently until she is happy with her final product. I believe that these qualities all contribute to her success as a self-taught artist.”

Nominated by Mackenzie Jones, St Mother Teresa High School

Scholarship donated by the Ottawa School of Art

Kaya Hipwell
MASC Arts Award Winner – Literary Arts

“Kaya’s love for reading and writing is evident through her dedication and love of the craft.  She is creative, kind, curious, and brave, which is an ideal combination for storytelling. Her writing is inspiring, unique, and refreshing; her descriptive writing and word choice are masterful.  Her hard work, imagination and passion will surely leave a mark in this world.  It is exciting to see where she will journey with her calling.  It is an honour to stand behind Kaya Hipwell.”

Nominated by Erin McHardy, Hadley Junior High School

Writing mentorship with local author, Laurie Gough

Molly Ellens Award Winner

Claudia Salguero, Daijah Celestin and Jane Ellens at the MASC Arts Awards

Daijah Celestin

“Daijah Celestin is a talented and creative artist with the hopes of becoming an interior designer in the future. She has created multiple pieces of art for school and community events such as the York Street Public School 100th anniversary open house and the OCDSB Black Excellence Celebration. She is a girl of few words who speaks and connects with others through her art, and whois developing the confidence to shine by making York Street Public School and Lowertown a more beautiful place to learn and grow.”

Nominated by Mia Kakebeeke, York Street Public School

Prize donated by the Ellens family and DeSerres Ottawa

Jennifer Cayley Award Winner

In 2013 Leticia won the MASC Arts Award in Literary Arts, and she was mentored by Ottawa author, Frances Itani, a friendship that continues to this day.

Leticia Alvarez

Leticia is a trilingual twenty-two-year-old Canadian-Colombian living in New Zealand, in her fourth year of undergraduate law, English, and politics.

Leticia has had her work published in various publications and recently won the University of Auckland’s creative writing competition. She was nominated by the Law School as their representative at Georgetown’s Centre for Transnational Legal Studies at King’s College in London, in 2024.

The MASC Arts Awards winners received a year-long scholarship to pursue studies in their art discipline with: The School of Dance; Ottawa Children’s Theatre; Allegro Music Schools; Ottawa School of Art;  and mentorship with local author, Laurie Gough. All nominated students received commemorative name tags designed by Aurora Jade.

Aurora MASC artist.