Wayne Sumner, a University Professor Emeritus in philosophy at the University of Toronto, and visual artist Ian Wallace, of Vancouver, are the winners of this years Molson Prizes, presented by the Canada Council for the Arts
Two Molson Prizes, worth $50,000 each, are awarded every year to distinguished Canadians, one in the arts and the other in the social sciences or humanities. Dr. Wayne Sumner is the winner of the Molson Prize in the Social Sciences and Humanities. The winner of the Molson Prize in the Arts is Mr. Ian Wallace, a winner of a Governor Generals Award in Visual and Media Arts (2004).
The prizes recognize the recipients outstanding lifetime achievements and ongoing contributions to the cultural and intellectual life of Canada. The Council administers these awards in co-operation with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and, following a nomination process, both laureates were selected by a joint peer assessment committee.
Wayne Sumner received his B.A. from the University of Toronto and his Ph.D. from Princeton University. He is the author of four books: Abortion and Moral Theory (cited in the 1988 Morgentaler decision by the Supreme Court of Canada); The Moral Foundation of Rights; Welfare, Ethics, and Happiness; and The Hateful and the Obscene: Studies in the Limits of Free Expression (shortlisted for the Donner Prize for books on Canadian public policy and winner of the C.B. Macpherson Prize for books on political theory).
Dr. Sumner is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a recipient of the University of Torontos Northrop Frye Award. With teaching and research interests in ethical theory, bioethics, political philosophy and philosophy of law, Dr. Sumner is working on a book on assisted death. He is currently University Professor Emeritus in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Toronto.
As an artist and a teacher at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (1972-1998), Ian Wallace has contributed to the development of contemporary Canadian visual art for over 40 years. In 1967, he began making minimalist paintings and sculptures from industrial materials, and since 1969, he has produced experimental photo-related works. Mr. Wallace has established a broad artistic practice that goes beyond the parameters of making and exhibiting art. His investigations of art extend to film and literature which are informed by his knowledge of art history and critical theory.
Mr. Wallaces commitment to experimentalism and innovation together with his ongoing exploration of new technologies and mediums has brought a new approach to visual art genres of still life, history painting and street photography. He has regularly published critical texts in exhibition catalogues, anthologies and art magazines. His writing often addresses key issues in contemporary culture and has been formative in the interpretation of contemporary art. Mr. Wallace lives and works in Vancouver.
This years Molson Prize committee was made up of Louise Dompierre, Director of the Art Gallery of Hamilton (Hamilton); Marnina Gonick, Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Gender Identity and Social Practices at Mount St. Vincent University (Halifax); Zab Maboungou, Founder and Artistic Director of Compagnie Danse Nyata Nyata (Montreal); Jean Morency, Canada Research Chair in Intercultural Literary Analysis, Université de Moncton (Moncton); Jason Sherman, playwright and screenwriter (Toronto); David E. Smith, Professor emeritus in the Department of Political Studies, University of Saskatchewan (Regina).