Visual artist Shelley Niro is the first laureate of the new Ontario Arts Council Aboriginal Arts Award. The Ontario Arts Council will present the $7,500 award to Niro at the Woodland Cultural Centre on August 11, 2012, during Planet IndigenUS activities. The new annual award celebrates the work of Aboriginal artists and arts leaders who have made significant contributions to the arts in Ontario. It also recognizes the next generation of artists: each recipient is invited to nominate an emerging Aboriginal artist, who in turn receives a $2,500 prize. Shelley Niro selected mixed media and visual artist Tracey Anthony as the 2012 Emerging Aboriginal Artist. Anthony is the founder of Vision Artworks at Six Nations of the Grand River territory / Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation.