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Visual Arts

Norval Morrisseau Award for Visual Arts

Surrey Muse Art & Literature Awards

Every year, Norval Morrisseau Award for Visual Arts will choose a Short List of six entries to determine First, Second and Third Place winners, and three Honorable Mentions. The First-Place winner will receive a $1000 award while the Second and Third Place winners and the three Honorable Mentions will receive citations and an opportunity to present their art at Surrey Muse gatherings next year.

The copyright for winning entries will remain with the artists. Some of the winning entries may be showcased on our posters, webpages and social media outlet.

Eligibility Criteria

Surrey Muse Arts Society (SMAS) is committed to inclusivity and equality, and it wishes to create opportunities for everyone in the arts communities regardless of race, ethnicity, social or economic status, caste, gender, disability, sexuality, religion, or any other similarly restrictive category. In accordance, we specifically encourage people of colour, LGBTQ+, disabled, and financially challenged artists to participate.

The SMAS is a secular organization that is neither against a religion nor it is in favour of any.

Works containing prejudice based on race, class/caste, gender, religion, sexuality, disability, and ageism will not be considered.

The Awards are open to Canadian citizens, members of Indigenous nations, landed immigrants, permanent residents, refugee applicants, and international students in Canada.

All applicants must reside in Canada at the time of submitting their work. Canadian citizens living, working, or studying outside Canada are not eligible to apply.

Works in French and other languages are welcome when accompanied by their English translations.

An applicant may apply to more than one Surrey Muse award. Multiple submissions to each award are allowed.

Simultaneous submissions are acceptable.

Members of SMAS Board of Directors, Literary Advisors, this year’s volunteers, paid workers, and advisors to Surrey Muse Awards program are not eligible to apply.

Submission Guidelines

Send the images of 6-10 items of your original, unpublished, artworks (paintings, drawings, sketches, digital art, sculpture) in .jpg, .jpeg, or .gif format not exceeding 2mb. 

When you submit:

• Do not give out your name in your artwork/s.

• Label each item only with the title of the artwork. 

• Provide your name, address, phone number, and list the titles with media, dates, and dimensions of your artworks in your email message.

• Pay the $25-$10-FREE entry fee as suggested at the following link:

• Copy the confirmation number in your email message, and enter the amount in the Subject Line of your message as follows:

– If you are financially comfortable, pay $25 and write: ‘Norval Morrisseau Award – $25’

– If not as comfortable, pay $10 and write: ‘Norval Morrisseau Award – $10’

– If financially-challenged at present, do not pay, and write: ‘Norval Morrisseau Award – FREE’

Attach the 6-10 images to your email message and send to:

The entry fee will not be returned in any event.

Please note that the judges will only receive your work, not the payment details.

By submitting to this award, you are complying with the eligibility requirements and submission guidelines as outlined above.

Submissions open from: June 1, 2023
Submissions close on: August 15, 2023
Awards will be announced: October 28, 2023
Awards Ceremony: Saturday, November 25, 2023

At the Awards Ceremony, the First-Place winners of the five awards
will present their winning entries and will have
a Q&A with the participants.
Out of town award winners will participate via Zoom or Skype.

The Judging Process

A member of the Awards Team will check all entries to determine compliance with the Eligibility Criteria and Submission Guidelines. The compliant entries will be sent to an independent Judge and two Jury Members (a member of SMAS team, and a community volunteer, both familiar with and/or working in the field of visual arts). The judge and the two Jury members will independently select six Short List entries each. The Judge, in consultation with the two Jury Members, will determine the First, Second and Third place winners. The Judge’s decision will be final and unchallengeable.
Judge and Jury Members
Jury Member
Jury Member (SMAS)

Dedicated to Norval Morrisseau

Norval Morrisseau (1932 – 2007), Copper Thunderbird, who founded the Woodland School of Art, is also called the grandfather of contemporary Indigenous art in Canada. In the 1960s, Morrisseau shattered societal, sexual, and commonly held stereotypes and prejudices, and in the face of intense discrimination, he created a style that was all his own, an artistic vocabulary that inspired a new art movement. A prominent member of the Indian Group of Seven, in 1978, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada. He was a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts where he was given a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008. He is the only Indigenous artist to have had a solo exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada. We dedicate the Visual Arts Award to Norval Morrisseau to express our gratitude for the color, the shapes, and the tremendous depth he gave to Canadian visual art.

The estate of Norval Morrisseau wishes to congratulate Surrey Muse Arts Society (SMAS) for presenting the first ever Norval Morrisseau Award for Visual Arts. We look forward to following this program, and we thank the Surrey Muse Awards for their hard work and dedication to young artists.
Cory Dingle, CEO, The Estate of Norval Morrisseau

Surrey Muse Arts Society (SMAS)

Surrey Muse is an interdisciplinary art and literature presentation group that was founded by four artists of Color in Surrey BC in November 2011. Mandated to inclusivity and equality, it held 3-hour salon-style monthly gatherings featuring authors, poets and artist/performers, with discussions and open mic sessions till March 2019 when it went virtual due to COVID-19 restrictions. In 2016, for its fifth anniversary, two additional programs were introduced: Surrey Muse At Large and Surrey Muse Writers. The group registered itself as Surrey Muse Arts Society (SMAS) in 2019, and it operates from the unceded Coast Salish territories of the Semiahmoo, Katzie, Kwikwetlem, Kwantlen, Qayqayt, Tsawwassen, Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.

This document is developed in consultation with
 Curator Jordan Strom
Painter Raghvendra Rao K.V.

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