The Strathbutler recognizes excellence in the field of fine craft or visual arts by an artist who has made a substantial contribution to the province of New Brunswick.
Sheila Mackay inaugurated this award in 1991 to provide recognition and support for New Brunswick artists. It was so named by Sheila Mackay as a mark of respect for the Scottish ancestral home of the Mackay family, Strathnaver. “Strath” was coupled with the word “butler” as a subtle suggestion that her aim was to be of service to the arts. The award is presented biennially at a gala reception. It currently is valued at $25,000.
In 2014, the Board of Director’s commissioned the creation of an iconic object to be a tangible symbol of the ideals of excellence embodied in the Strathbutler award. Master metal smith and Strathbutler artist Brigitte Clavette won the open design competition and created Manu Forti as an emblem of Strathbutler. It was unveiled in September 2015 by Lieutenant-Governor Jocelyne Roy Vienneau at a Gala celebration. – Go to Manu Forti page.
The foundation maintains a permanent collection of representative works by Strathbutler artists at the New Brunswick Musuem and works actively to promote Strathbutler artists as creative voices of distinction in New Brunswick and beyond.