The top three winners of the James Weir People’s Choice Awards were announced Friday evening.
Over 1,270 people from 22 countries voted for their favourite pieces in the James Weir People’s Choice art exhibition. Curator and Arts Coordinator Regan Lanning said that 185 ballots were spoilt and not counted. Ballots were spoilt by people not putting their name on them, not voting for three pieces, or for voting multiple times. She added that one person voted 23 times, and none of his ballots were counted.
Kelly Stephanson won first place this year for her painting, “The Turn.”
“It is Moraine Curve, it’s close to Moraine Lake,” Stephanson said. “You need to drive through some mountain roads.”
This was Stephanson’s second time winning first place, the first time was in 2020 for her piece entitled, "Jade Green in the Rockies". She moved to Weyburn four years ago from China.
Second Place went to Christopher Borshowa for his photograph entitled, “Fallen.”
“So, it's actually printed on metal, which is really cool on brushed aluminum to give it some texture. Usually, my work is a lot darker, but this time I wanted to do something a little more uplifting.”
He added that this is his third time winning in five years.
Third place was awarded to Olha Matiusheva, for her beaded sculpture, “Birch.”
“Birch is the kind of tree that's growing in Ukraine and here in Canada, that’s why I wanted to make something with a connection.”
Matiusheva moved to Canada from Ukraine four years ago. She added that this is her second year taking third place.
On top of the regular first second and third place awards, there was an honourable mention this year that went to Sara Irwin for her piece, “Flowers Galore.” She was close to winning third place with about a 20-ballot difference.
Regan Lanning said that Speedy Glass creates original custom made trophies for the winners every year.
The first place winner also has their name added to the James Weir People's Choice trophy.