Award finalists and winners ranged from being born and bred in Nova Scotia to living in the province for several years and now calling it home. The first accolades presented were the Established Artist Recognition Awards ($5,000 per artist). Of the ten finalists, those who triumphed were Simon Docking (classical pianist and composer), Sue Goyette (poet and novelist), Sheilagh Hunt (dancer and choreographer), Daniel O’Neill (painter, printmaker and teacher) and Dinuk Wijerante (composer, conductor and eclectic pianist).
Chéticamp was presented with the Community Arts and Culture Recognition Award ($10,000 prize) for promoting arts and culture in its region and preserving Acadian traditions through the Conseil des Arts de Chéticamp. Alfred Poirier accepted the award on behalf of his township , telling the audience that they were welcome to downtown Chéticamp anytime. He also congratulated his fellow nominees (Antigonish and Christmas Island) and stated that together they could continue to encourage the Nova Scotia arts thrive.