Noted Sault Art Leader Honoured

The Arts Council of Sault Ste. Marie and District submitted the nomination of Michael Burtch.  Michael Burtch is an individual whose creative contributions to visual arts and support of artists have significantly enhanced our community.  The members of the Cultural Advisory Board unanimously supported the nomination, which recently received the support of City Council.  Michael Burtch is one of those rare individuals who has been able to successfully interweave his professional career with community development and volunteerism.  Mr. Burtch, presently Director of the Art Gallery of Algoma has served in a volunteer capacity as President of the Ontario Association of Art Galleries, as a Board Member of the Sault College Summer School of the Arts, an advisor to the Fall Festival of the Arts, and has worked hard to help establish a fine arts program at Algoma University.  In addition, Mr. Burtch has spent countless hours assisting young artists in preparing their submission for advanced education in arts at credited universities and colleges.  A graduate of Queen's University, Mr. Burtch has taught at Canadore College, Algoma University College, Sault College and Sir Sanford Fleming College.  As Director of the Art Gallery of Algoma he is responsible for the development of an art collection of works of National significance.  As an artist, his sculpture "Wind Chimes" won the Allied Arts Award from the Ontario Association of Architects.  "Compassion" won the competition for the General Hospital a sculpture dedicated to the spirit of St. Margueritte d'Youville and "Corpus Mobilis" won the competition for the John Rhodes Community Centre.  He was a finalist in the Loggers Sculpture Memorial for Blind River.  Michael Burtch is a percussionist and an art historian.  He has published numerous catalogues and articles on various artists including J. Barry, David Bierk, Ken Danby and others.  His latest work - Jack Bush, Hymn to the Sun; Early Work, was based on Bush's Journals and was a companion piece to the touring exhibition that crossed Canada.  He has curated exhibitions which had National exposure - "Sans Demarcation" in 1987, David Blackwood, Jean Burke, Robert Carmichael, and Valerie Palmer to name a few.  The prime benefits to the culture of this community from Mr. Burtch's extensive knowledge of the visual arts and through his involvement have been increased knowledge of local art history, increased awareness of our artistic heritage, and an increased appreciation of art in the community.  Mr. Michael Burtch - the recipient of the 2003 Cultural Advisory Board Community Recognition Award.


The Sault Star: Article by Dan Belrose

The award, to be made at city council's regularly scheduled meeting this afternoon, is recognition for activities considered to be particularly outstanding or innovative, or which demonstrate a long-term commitment to culture.

As an artist, his sculpture Wind Chimes won the Ontario Association of Architects Allied Arts Award while Compassion, a sculpture dedicated to the spirit of St. Marguerite d'Youville, won a General Hospital competition.

As art historian, who has published numerous catalogues and articles, as well as a curator of exhibitions of national significance, he has spent countless hours assisting young artists in preparing submissions for advanced education, the award release says.