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Le Prix Powerhouse

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15 March 2018 - 12:53

Support the carrer of a 37 years and older artist by nominating them for the Powerhouse Prize 2018!

Deadline April 30, 2018

The PRIX POWERHOUSE is a biennal $5,000 recognition award that celebrates women* artists who have reached the mid-stage in their career and contribute in a significant and sustained way to the cultural life of Montréal. The purpose of the prize is to recognize and honour individual artists of unique vision who pursues their practice with determination and without compromise.


- Two 5,000$ grand prizes.
- A one month exhibition at La Centrale for the two nominees chosen by an external jury of cultural professionals from Montreal.

- Be at least 37 years of age and identify as a woman

- Live within the Greater Montréal area at the date of nomination
- Be nominated by a third party (only one nomination per artist will be considered)
- Have a practice in the visual arts that spans more than ten years (visual arts includes new media, sound and performance)

- Sustain a pertinent artistic practice of quality that thrives under the radar of major cultural institutions in the city
- Board and staff members of La Centrale are not eligible


To nominate an artist, please fill the present form and send it to us along an email stating why the artist is deserving of the prize, according to the above stated criteria.  Do not forget to mention why you feel this artist is underrecognized and to include visuals of her work.

Please include the full contact information (email, phone, postal address) for yourself and your nominee.
Nominations should be submitted no later than:
 Monday April 30th, 2018
By email or Dropbox to

*Women and self-identified women.
La Centrale would like to recognize the generous contribution of an anonymous donor that has made this prize possible.

11 February 2016 - 16:16

La Centrale is very proud to announce
the finalists for the POWERHOUSE PRIZE 2016!

kimura byol-nathalie lemoine
Manon Labrecque
Alexis O'Hara


The process and the choice for the final nominations for this year Powerhouse Prize was engaging, chaotic but clear in the end. Sitting at a table discussing and debating the dossiers was a telling experience in how an artistic community comes together not with a final result, but with the aim of finding a set of criteria and more important questions that can lead us to determine the recipients of this prize. Quickly it became clear, that it is not about choosing the obvious or the most enduring, nor the most recognized or under recognized artistic practice, but to rather take a closer look at practices that reflect the liminal and systemic conditions that determine the visibility of the artists in Montreal and the art world today. Given the rich offering of this year’s nominations we decided to reconsider our first and perhaps obvious impulses, but to go a step further and question the political correctness, the desires of a prize such as the Powerhouse Prize, the meaning of recognition and the role of Montreal’s institutions and networks. While all the nominees are deeply invested in their respective practice and communities this prize will offer visibility, financial support and the opportunity to discover the work of artists that merit more recognition. For us as a jury this meant highlighting the drive of these artists’ to transgress disciplines, norms and communities.



kimura byol-nathalie lemoine

The many names of star kim / cho mihee / kimura byol / nathalie lemoine speak to the complexity of their identities. zer art practice creates a space to appreciate the material quality of identities: at once unstable, constructed and real. ze is a Korean-born Belgian adoptee who immigrated to Canada. As a racialized queer who was raised by white Europeans, kimura-lemoine, whose art practice encompasses film, video, calligraphy, painting, photography, digital, action and conceptual art, brings us to question our socialized and oppressive perception of identity. Practicing since the 1980s, ze does this with an affirming softness and playfulness, using a DIY aesthetics that is truth-seeking. zer multidimensional, prolific and persistent art practice, despite contemporary art’s boxes, echoes zer enduring and generous presence in Montreal’s feminist art communities, as a curator, a documenter as well as a member of GIV, La Centrale and Qouleur, a 2QTPOC (2-spirited-queer-trans-people of colour) art festival. The jury wished to acknowledge kimura-lemoine’s intersectional contribution to feminist art communities as well as to highlight zer long standing practice which has persistently and courageously been defying categorization. While kimura-lemoine has received recognition mostly outside of Quebec,zer nomination signals a positive change in Montreal’s feminist art landscape: one where agents do not only fight against the systemic barriers that exclude white women from mainstream art circuits but also those that prevent women of colour, as well as queer, gender non-conforming, and trans artists, from being considered according to their own merit.


Manon Labrecque

The jury was drawn to the practice of Manon Labrecque for her research and creation in kinetic installation, which today, all to often, is not a field of practice in which women artists are well represented. In this way she  has opened new perspectives for other generations of artists, as she has done since the beginning of her career, as a leading figure in video art, which she now also teaches. By inscribing her practice in a niche rarely penetrated by women artists, Manon Labrecque has developed an approach in which the issues raised stimulate profound consideration of the nature of the contemporary subject. By the considered strategies that Labrecque brings forward, such as self-filming, the body and its images are brought into the work. In this way the works affirm the performative dimension of the subject, in exposing its vulnerabilities, and out of this, paradoxically, one’s power to act. When representations of the body do not appear, the installations elaborate playful metaphors of mechanical subjectification and submission, amplifying the experience of contingency in role of reception.  At the heart of these works by Labrecque, the controlled unruliness, provoked and experienced, bring out the tensions between the self and the world, and its relations, in which technology, even artisanal, is always implicated.  The works of the artist, in the form of uncertain vacillating automatons and machines of vision, seemingly  innocent, reveal the norms at work, which are evaluated, measuring power, even in its most interiorised manifestations.



Alexis O'Hara

The jury wished to honour the ongoing quality and coherence of artist Alexis O’Hara’s process, which for twenty years has developed into a singular, dense and multifaceted body of work. O’Hara’s universe is both personal and collaborative; her relationships with scenic and surrealist games, vocal and electronic improvisations and political and social issues convinced the jury, as did the consistency and audacity of her artistic practice. Alexis O’Hara’s work covers a variety of mediums and forms, places and scales: electronic improvisations, performances, videos, installations and objects, galleries, theatres, bars, vacant lots, shopping malls…. Her oeuvre draws inspiration from the fragmentation of sexual, linguistic and cultural identities, creating an interdisciplinary and political practice that explores the allegories of the human voice. Particularly interested in post-apocalyptic culture, human biology and cognitive science, O’Hara invents characters, is one half of an androgynous sound art duo, participates in collaborative projects, and performs abroad. In 2015, le Mois Multi (Québec) hosted her work La Couvée, an immersive performance-installation, where the public was invited to enter a giant egg sac, inside of which they took part in a meditation on the life cycles of gods, mortals and aliens – a critique of the commodification of women’s fertility. Fashion, fertility, gender stereotypes and the social construction of femininity and masculinity are all areas of research that nourishes the artist’s work


24 September 2014 - 14:34

2014 finalists are Manuela Lalic, Renée Lavaillante, Dayna McLeod and jake moore !!

La Centrale is very pleased to announce that the 2014 Powerhouse Prize has been awarded to Montreal artist Dayna McLeod.

‘‘ The interdisciplinary practice of Dayna McLeod offers us the irreverent attitude - insolent and free, of the 21st century artist. One could qualify her performances and videos as courage in the face of normalisation in our culture. McLeod has chosen to put before us a radical honesty - the head, the breast, the sex - with a sense of humour of dazzling intelligence. ’’  - Mathieu Beauséjour, member of the 2014 jury.


The POWERHOUSE PRIZE is a $5,000 recognition award that celebrates women* artists who have reached the mid-stage in their career and contribute in a significant way to the cultural life of Montréal. The purpose of the prize is to recognize and honour an artist of unique vision who pursues their practice with determination and without compromise.

This year the jury found four artists equally deserving of this prize and we congratulate them. The 2014 finalists for the Powerhouse Prize are:

Manuela Lalic
Renée Lavaillante
Dayna McLeod
jake moore

We thank all those nominated artists and nominators for their support of this initiative that seeks to recognize the achievements of mid-career women artists in Montreal.

The members of our jury this year were : Raymonde April (artist and teacher, Concordia University), Mathieu Beauséjour (artist and curator), Geneviève Goyer-Ouimette (Director, CIRCA Art Actuel) et Krista Lynes (teacher, Concordia University). We would also like to thank them for their time and fantastic work. The winner of this year's prize has been chosen by vote by the sixty members of La Centrale.

6 February 2013 - 17:39

Announcing the three finalists for the Powerhouse Prize for 2013:

Catherine Bolduc

Nadia Myre

Thérèse Mastroaiacovo


7 June 2013 - 16:54

Finalists for the 2013 Powerhouse Prize were Catherine Bolduc, Nadia Myre and Thérèse Mastroiacovo.



10 February 2012 - 21:42

La Centrale Galerie Powerhouse is honored to announce the call for nominations for the 2014 POWERHOUSE PRIZE !

4 July 2011 - 13:59

It is with great enthousiasm that La Centrale announces Aude Moreau as the winner of the first ever Prix Powerhouse.

6 April 2011 - 0:00

It is with great honor that we are launching the first edition of LE PRIX POWERHOUSE.

22 June 2011 - 10:55

It is with great pride that La Centrale Galerie Powerhouse announces the 3 candidates in the run for this first edition of the PRIX POWERHOUSE prize, which will be given during a "6 to 8" event, on Wednesday June 29th, 2011.