CK arts and culture recognized with new Wall of Fame

© Can Stock Photo / ollikainen

Some big names in the Chatham-Kent arts and culture scene will be immortalized next month.

On October 26, The Chatham Kent Arts & Culture Network will induct 12 local cultural icons into the inaugural Class of 2022 Chatham-Kent Arts and Culture Heroes Wall of Fame.

According to Chatham Kent Arts & Culture Network Chair James Snyder, the network was formed nearly two years ago. After spending the past several months registering as a non-profit and organizing a board of directors, the Chatham-Kent Arts and Culture Heroes Wall of Fame marks the first major project for the Chatham Kent Arts & Culture Network.

“We have a sports hall of fame, we have an agriculture hall of fame, there has never really been recognition of the cultural and arts scene in Chatham-Kent,” he said. “Even though they contribute well and in many cases, are world known. So it’s time for us to promote this.”

Snyder said the group put out a call for nominations and reviewed the submissions that were received before making their final selections. He added that the response from the community was incredible and the plan is to induct a new group into the Wall of Fame every October.

“These, the ones that came up for this year, are by no means the final list,” Snyder explained. “We hope to do six or 12 again next year and keep on going. We had to make some choices. We sort of divided them into legacies that have not been recognized and relatively current people that are still around.”

The 2022 Chatham-Kent Arts and Culture Heroes Wall of Fame includes are:

Visual Arts
– Artis Lane – Painter and Sculptor (North Buxton)
– Janet Forsyth – Painter (Blenheim)

Performing Arts
– Keene Duncan – Movie and Television Actor (Chatham)
– Theatre Kent – Community Theatre Group (Chatham-Kent)

– Jeanne Gordon – Opera Singer (Wallaceburg)
– Sylvia Tyson – Folk and Country Singer (Chatham)

– Shae-Lynn Bourne – Ice dancer and Choreographer (Chatham)
– Florence Abel – Dancer and Instructor (Chatham)

Literary Arts
– Robertson Davies – Author, Playwright and Critic (Thamesville)
– June Callwood – Journalist and Activist (Chatham)

Cultural Builders
– Gwendolyne Gold – Cultural Builder (South Kent)
– Barbara Jean Rossini – Cultural Builder(Chatham)

Snyder said inductees will have a plaque permanently mounted at the Chatham Cultural Centre, inclusion on the “virtual wall” on the Chatham Kent Arts & Culture Network website, a commemorative token to take home, and recognition at both a public event and a municipal council meeting.

The inductees will be honoured at an Induction Ceremony and Wall Unveiling at the Chatham Armouries and the Chatham Cultural Centre on October 26 at 7 p.m.

Snyder said he has received confirmation that most inductees or their family members will attend the event.

“There’s some amazing talent in Chatham-Kent and we want to recognize that,” he said. “Either through family members who are tied to that person or though the actual persons themselves if they’re still around and still living.”

The public is welcome to attend the induction ceremony but must RSVP in advance to