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)

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

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner’s report confirms cause of death of three men at Sooke River in 2020

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen drown while ‘puddle-jumping’ in pickup truck

The Pacheedaht First Nation is planning a $1-million expansion to its campground in Port Renfrew. (Pixabay photo)
Expanded camping announced for Pacheedaht Campground

$1-million project is part of the B.C. Rural Economic Recovery program

Soloman and Zev Nagler enjoy time on the beach at Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park on a summer day. The Capital Regional District is in the process of determining whether to institute parking fees at this and eight other CRD parks. (Black Press Media file photo)
CRD parks committee rejects new Greater Victoria parking fees – again

More arguments against fee hikes, pay parking at nine parks, brought forward by committee members

(Black Press Media file photo)
Crash at Saanich, Victoria border results in non-life-threatening injuries

Cause remains under investigation, impairment not a factor, VicPD says

The Gordon Head Recreation Centre stands in as the Quimper Regional Hospital on Feb. 23 for filming Maid, a 10-part Netflix series. (Greg Sutton/District of Saanich)
Netflix transforms Saanich recreation centre into hospital for filming

Facility was closed to public Feb. 23 for filming of Maid

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media File Photo)
POLL: Are you struggling with Greater Victoria’s cost of housing?

While Victoria remains one of the most expensive cities in the country… Continue reading

Nanaimo-raised singer Allison Crowe with director Zack Snyder on the set of ‘Man of Steel’ in 2011. Crowe performs a cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah in the upcoming director’s cut of ‘Justice League.’ (Photo courtesy Clay Enos)
Island-raised musician records song for upcoming ‘Justice League’ film

Allison Crowe’s rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah closes out the movie

A 50-year-old man was stabbed in an altercation that started with a disagreement about physical distancing. (File photo)
Argument about physical distancing escalates to stabbing in Nanaimo

Victim, struck with coffee cup and then stabbed, suffers minor injuries; suspect arrested

A battery electric-hybrid ferry, pictured here, is expected to make its way to Vancouver Island in late 2021, says B.C. Ferries. (Submitted photo)
Hybrid ferry for Gabriola-Nanaimo route launches in shipyard in Europe

Two hybrid vessels to replace MV Quinsam by early 2022, says B.C. Ferries

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
NDP will not trigger election as long as pandemic continues: Singh

‘“We will vote to keep the government going’

The Port of Nanaimo has signed a 50-year-agreement with DP World around short-sea shipping operations at Duke Point Terminal. (News Bulletin file photo)
Lease ‘important first step’ in $105-million Nanaimo port expansion project

Port of Nanaimo and DP World sign 50-year shipping operations agreement for Duke Point

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

Most Read