Masayoshi Avery Redman Suzuki receives the Dianne Cross Award at Stelly’s Secondary School awards ceremony. Left to right: Art teacher Stephen Strutynski, Suzuki, ArtSea Vice President Lesley Turner. (Photographer: Devesh Komaromi)

Saanichton student receives inaugural Dianne Cross Award

Masayoshi Avery Redman Suzuki plans to use his $750 in Concordia University’s Fine Arts program

Morgan Cross / News staff

Stelly’s Secondary student Masayoshi Avery Redman Suzuki received ArtSea Community Art Council’s Dianne Cross Award for the Arts late June, the first of its kind dedicated to one outstanding graduating student in School District 63. The award was created in recognition of Dianne Cross’ time at ArtSea after her recent retirement from the board. Each year forward, it will be open for applications from any student attending Claremont, Stelly’s, Parkland, or S.I.D.E.S. who is interested in furthering their study in painting, sculpture, fibre, dance, drama, music, or voice. Applicants for the award must write a proposal for their project or program, and successful candidates must submit a final report on their accomplishments to ArtSea.

ArtSea Vice-President Lesley Turner said, “We’re always looking for opportunities to get involved in supporting the community and creativity.” The award is one way ArtSea, which focuses on promoting connections between art, culture, and community on the Saanich Peninsula, is reaching out to young artists.

Suzuki, recipient of the 2017 award, plans to further his exploration of the work he currently does, which uses a mixture of mediums while incorporating traditional Japanese art techniques with contemporary. This summer, he focuses on fine-tuning his skills for Concordia University this fall, where he will major in painting and drawing.

“In a lot of what I do, I’m trying to weave in older traditional Japanese work and use that for what I’m trying to say,” said Suzuki, whose artwork samples can be viewed at As a child, Suzuki grew up watching his father, also an artist, but only became serious about the craft himself three years ago.

“Seeing him as an artist allowed me to think of art as a possible thing I could do,” said Suzuki. He took art classes at Stelly’s Secondary and was mentored by teacher Stephen Strutynski as well. “It’s not often that you get a teacher to really encourage kids. He does a great job of steering kids in the right direction, but also allowing them to work in what they want to do,” he said.

Suzuki hopes to achieve his Master of Fine Arts and pursue a university-level teaching career thereafter. While the $750 allowance that comes along with the Dianne Cross Award can be used for any supplies or programs required for artistic development, he will put it toward his education this fall.

He said, “It was really an honour to receive the award, and kind of a surprise as well because there are a lot of really strong kids I know applied. I know they deserve it as much as I did.”

ArtsArts and cultureHigh SchoolsScholarships

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The State of Aging: COVID-19 exposed a long-term care system already in crisis

A look at Greater Victoria’s aging population and what that will mean for the future

Police seek ‘high-risk sex offender’ last seen in Victoria

Scott Jones is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for being ‘unlawfully at large’

Oak Bay home ready to house refugees, immigrants

District leases two village homes to Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society

Central Saanich police sport personalized face masks

Masks feature the crest and individual officer pin numbers

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Most Read