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

West Shore RCMP searching for missing Langford man

The 59-year-old man was last seen Aug. 23 and was reported missing to police Sept. 20

After 53 years, Saanich Jr. B team rebrands as Predators

Saanich Predators Junior B hockey team navigates COVID, culture

New Sooke library project awarded to Nanaimo-based company

No construction timeline announced by contractor

Netflix, Warner Bros filming 10-part series in Colwood

Filming takes place now until March 2021

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Sept. 22

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS

Grand jury indicts police officer in Breonna Taylor death

Officer Brett Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Attorney General of Canada defends Kelowna Mountie involved in rough arrest

Tyler Russell filed a lawsuit against Const. Siggy Pietrzak in June of this year

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Refresh of Liberal government’s agenda comes amid new looming COVID-19 crisis

Lockdowns saw fed spending soar to historic levels in effort to offset pandemic’s blow to Canadians’ livelihoods

Most Read