Virginia Parker Prize
The Virginia Parker Prize ($25,000) is awarded to a musician, instrumentalist or classical music conductor under the age of 32 who demonstrates outstanding talent, musicianship and artistic excellence and makes a valuable contribution to artistic life in Canada and internationally.
Blake Pouliot—described by the Toronto Star as “one of those special talents that come along once in a lifetime”—is this year’s winner. Pouliot previously won the 2016 OSM Manulife Competition. Since his solo orchestral debut with the Toronto Trinity Chamber Orchestra at age 11, he has performed as a soloist with world-class orchestras, including the Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra, the Edmonton Symphony, the Montreal Symphony, the NAC Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony, the Vancouver Symphony, and symphonies in Europe and South America. Blake Pouliot performs on the 1729 Guarneri del Gesù, a loan from the Canada Council’s Musical Instrument Bank. He was also the recipient of the Canada Council’s Michael Measures Prize in 2013.
I am constantly finding myself drawn toward striking displays of creativity. Those who possess the ability to capture raw emotional passion and intensity with an apparent ease of execution are what really grab my attention and ignite my desire to pursue greatness.
- Blake Pouliot