Mike Jones
(Category 1 – Visual Arts and Written Word)

For nearly a decade, Mike has worked as a professional tattoo artist, applying his aesthetic expertise to the medium human skin. As co-owner of Blackgate Tattoo Collective in Strathroy, ON, he hones his craft constantly on a long waiting list of dedicated clients, that can sometimes stretch up to half a year in length. Mike also occasionally utilizes his studio space as an art showroom in order to showcase local artists in a gallery setting, a rare opportunity in small town Ontario.

Having dabbled in several different mediums and styles, Mike has recently gravitated towards digital painting and works heavily in Pro Create. While he works solely in grayscale for his tattoos, his paintings are in full colour. Drawing inspiration from artists like Nikola Samori as well as classical Gothic literature, Mike's style leans heavily into the world of the dark and macabre. Cultivating a sense of dread and unease in the viewer. Preying on familiar shapes and concepts in order to generate a primal sense of disquietude.

Carolyn Hepburn
(Category 1 – Visual Arts and Written Word)

Carolyn Hepburn is passionate about the transformative power of art. Born and raised in Northern Ontario, she witnessed firsthand the positive effects that music, dance and visual arts had on the youth within isolated Northern communities. Her affinity for the arts led her to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree at Nipissing University, majoring in Visual Arts with a focus on painting. She also completed a Bachelor of Education degree with the intent to eventually teach Visual Arts.

After completing her schooling, Carolyn ended up meeting her now husband and moving to London, later settling in the small town of Ailsa Craig. She taught at 4Cats Art Studio in Byron briefly before diving into full time motherhood in 2014. She now has three young children who also love to create, although they sometimes have a hard time differentiating between paper and walls. Carolyn is an Occasional Teacher with Thames Valley District School Board. She also recently opened up Carolyn Hepburn Studio, an online, carefully curated shop of her original paintings.

Hilary Nicpon
(Category 1 – Visual Arts and Written Word)

I started drawing and painted my first oil at the age of 9, and throughout my art journey experimented with acrylics, watercolours, chalks and mixed media.
In 1983, I opened Camien Croft Studio of Art, where classes are held for adults during the winter months.
My works have been in exhibitions in Cambridge, Hamilton, London, Kitchener, Waterloo, Strathroy, and Spain, and have been sold all over the world.
The Mount Brydges studio is a retreat from the outside world, located in a country, stone home surrounded by trees, fields and streams.

Rob Gee
(Category 2 – Musical and Performing Arts)

Rob Gee started his musical career at the age of four taking piano lessons. He grew up in a very musical family with two uncles as music teachers and attended the Salvation Army church in Oakville where he ventured into vocal instruction and also learned how to play brass instruments in the band.  He graduated from UWO in 1992 with a degree in music education and in his graduating year was awarded the Don Wright scholarship award. Since graduation, he has taught in the Strathroy community for 27 years at Adelaide W. G. Macdonald, Metcalfe, Colborne and currently at J. S Buchanan public schools and has been involved in many musical organizations over the years including being a judge for the Strathroy Idol during its most recent season.

Katherine Quick
(Category 2 – Musical and Performing Arts)

Katherine Quick has been teaching music in one form or another for over 30 years. She began her music education at the age of 9 at the piano and then broadened her focus to include voice and cello while she was in highschool. Growing up in Northern Ontario, she completed her music degree at Lakehead University, studying piano with Heather Morrison, voice with Mary Whicher and cello with Marc Palmquist. She then completed her Bachelor of Education at the University of Western Ontario in both instrumental and vocal music. After a short time of teaching high school music, she retired to homeschool her children and to turn her attention to her private studio.

Katherine's love of children and of music has led her to many teaching opportunities over the years, from coordinating music programs in the homeschool community to teaching ensemble classes and directing the Junior Cello Department at Forest City Talent Education in London. She has directed choirs, staged musicals and is presently the Music Director at Youth Performing Arts right here in Strathroy. She thoroughly enjoys each and every opportunity!


Amy Dickson
(Category 2 – Musical and Performing Arts)

Amy Dickson has been involved in the performing arts since she can remember. She started her dancing career at age 4, and joined the Needham’s School of Dance competitive team at age 11. She started her acting and singing career right here in Strathroy with Youth Performing Arts, and went on to perform at the Huron County Playhouse (Drayton Entertainment), the Grand Theatre (High School Project), and in her high school’s annual productions (Holy Cross Catholic Secondary).

She continued to pursue her love of performing arts throughout her degree and graduated from Western University in 2017 with an Honours Specialization in Kinesiology and Minor in Dance. After school, she traded in her role of cast member for crew member, and was stage manager for 3 of Youth Performing Arts productions in 2018.

Performing has always been her most beloved passion. She is eager for the return of live theatre, but for the time being, is thrilled to participate in virtual events like this one.