Awards and Exhibitions

On May 6, 2006, Maria Miranda Lawrence was awarded the Canadian national COPA Award Celebrating Outstanding Portuguese-Canadian Achievement in Arts and Culture.

The Copa Award presentation was held in Toronto, Ontario at the Royal Meridien-King Edward Hotel, included a fine dinner and musical entertainment by Suzana da Camara.(preparations above photo) This gala event celebrated 6 winners in the areas of Education and Academia, Vision, Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Arts and Culture. Maria Miranda Lawrence was the recipient of the "Arts & Culture" award for 2006. Nelly Furtado was also honored that year for her success in Music. The media covered the event on television and newspapers.

The COPA Awards were initiated to honour and celebrate Luso-Canadians active in a variety of fields and successful in mainstream Canadian society, and to inspire future generations.

Jim and Maria Miranda Lawrence at the event
Maria Miranda with Suzana da Camara, singer entertainment of the evening

Maria Miranda Lawrence (center)with Nelly Furtado, who won the Forca award and Filomena Carvalho, awarded for Vision. Paulino Nunes (actor) is on the left.

AN INVITATION TO THE AZORES 2005 by Maria Miranda Lawrence

One early morning I was woken up by a call from someone claiming to be from the Azores government, asking to confirm if I was the artist Maria Miranda Lawrence. He went on the explain they would like to invite me to attend a conference in the Azores all expenses paid, and for now all they needed to know was how my name read on the passport. I didn't even have a chance to put on my glasses, and felt a bit disoriented, could this be true, so random! I rummaged through my desk, and luckily my passport was there. He gave me the dates, and I explained I would be up north in Kitimat, at an opening of my first exhibition at the Kitimat Museum Art Gallery. The timing worked out perfectly, and I could fly directly from Kitimat, on route to the Azores.

The artist conference "Construir Cultura -Building Culture" held in S. Miguel, Azores on (July 6-11, 2005) brought several artists together from Brazil, the USA and Canada. There were poets, musicians, photographers and media and visual artists of Azorean descent. I was greeted at the airport, and before I was allowed to settle in my hotel room, I was taken to an art shop for to pick out the oil paints, canvas I needed to work on. All I was expected to bring was my own brushes. My five day nonstop adventure was soon to begin!

This event was hosted by the Azores "Comunidades" government. We were offered a tour of the island, were musically entertained, viewed film, art exhibitions and museums - all in the company of several talented participants -which was truly an unforgettable experience!

The participating artists were asked to each contribute artworks to be published. My contribution was the painting of two Azorean girls in the window, entitled "Um barco na linha do teus olhos" The original painting is now property of the government department. In 2008 - A limited edition book of collected works was released in hardcover, including an original collaboration of music on a CD. The painting is included in the book in a section with write up about my artwork.

The title of this painting: "... um barco na linha dos teus olhos" (...a boat in the horizon of your eyes) connects the image with the poem by Jose' Francisco Costa "Sina de Vespera"(The Eve of Destiny) It was the first of the idea that sparked work on the series The title of this painting: "... um barco na linha dos teus olhos" (...a boat in the horizon of your eyes) connects the image with the poem by Jose' Francisco Costa "Sina de Vespera"(The Eve of Destiny) It was the first of the idea that sparked work on the series " À JANELA - THE POETIC SOUL" connecting poetry to each image of the Window theme - used as a metaphor for the contrasts of Life.

The week at "Construir Cultura - Building Culture" cultural inspired me to create a unique project and book publication of my own " À JANELA - THE POETIC SOUL". I wanted to expand on the theme of the window and began communicating with the poets and singers I admired. I was delighted when so many talented individuals were onboard with the idea of my wanting to paint images and correspond it with their poetry. I applied for a grant, outlining the whole project, with the names of the singers, musicians and writers that would be collaborating with. The concept was awarded the top Azores government grant in 2011. My project included contributions of poetry and lyrics from celebrated writers and portraits of singers to illustrate the classical window theme. The Grant enabled my husband and I to travel and bring two crates of paintings with us to show the originals in Rosario, Lagoa for its first exhibition. Later I realized it had a profound personal meaning to me. It was the same place I took the photo of the two girls two years previously when I was also feeling emotional about not being able to return to the island for many years, and how I felt so connected to the island of my birth. When I looked at the image I had taken in my digital camera, I felt it was going to be a painting! It was the following year that I received the government invitation and celebrated as an artist and this was the image I painted for them.

For more information regarding the book, here is the link - À JANELA - THE POETIC SOUL

The exhibition was carefully packed into two crates seen here, and travelled as luggage with Maria on the plane travel from Victoria.

Beautiful gallery at the Lagoa Municality, one section of it!

Lagoa Municipality Art gallery, in S. Miguel Azores

At the first exhibition opening (actor/singer songwriter) Zeca Medeiros to the left, (singer) Helena Oliveira, participants in the project, Teresa Tome (filmmaker)and Roberto Medeiros (local director and wonderful host)

In October 2012, Maria Miranda Lawrence celebrated the book release " À JANELA - THE POETIC SOUL" in form of a full concert, featuring Sara Marreiros and musicians, plus a poetry reading by paulo da costa. All her works paintings were on display next to the antique wooden white paned windows at the Fairfield United reception hall below the concert hall.

In February 2014, Maria Miranda Lawrence was invited for the second time to exhibit her artwork at the Kitimat Museum Art Gallery for one month. The first exhibition there was on the year she was invited to the Azores for the conference, where she flew directly from there to the Azores. This time was to show the entire collection of À JANELA - THE POETIC SOUL". The opening, on February 8, 2014 happened to be her mother's 90th birthday! Her three sisters, and families and friends were all there to celebrate the occasion. It was a festive and well attended opening to the show!

Public recognition for Maria Miranda's art began at age 13, when she won a poster contest to promote book reading, open to high school students in her hometown of Kitimat, B. C. Maria Miranda's illustrated the poster with the image of the world globe including various people around the outside of the earth representing her choice countries. She recalls including a drawing of a flamenco dancer, foreshadowing her future love for the music and dance of Spain. Unfortunately the original was not returned, and no photographs were taken of it, that we are aware of. She titled the poster "Around the world with books!"

In Grade twelve, Maria Miranda was awarded two scholarships which covered three years tuition at Kootenay School of Art in Nelson, B. C.

In 1983, following her move to Vancouver island in B.C., Maria and husband purchased their first home in Sooke. She noticed a contest the Sooke Mirror was advertising for the popular annual event, All Sookes Day. Her design was picked as the winner, a sepia toned pen and ink illustration of a climber she had photographed the year prior. With the cash prize award she purchased a studio drawing table and the image of her design was reproduced on an offset press to advertise the popular All Sooke Day. To the left is a photo of a copy of the poster, brown printed on blue.


2019 (Sept. & Oct.) Waterfront Theatre Gallery "Inspiration" Granville Island, Vancouver B. C.

2014 (Feb) Kitimat Museum Art Gallery "À Janela -The Poetic Soul" Kitimat B.C.

2012 (March) Portuguese hall featuring the theme - "Portugal" Victoria B. C.

2012 (Oct.) Fernwood United painting exhibition and book release "À Janela -The Poetic Soul" plus a full concert with local fadista, Sara Marreiros and poetry reading by paulo da costa, Victoria B.C.

2011 (Dec.) Lagoa Municipal Gallery, " À Janela -The Poetic Soul" Lagoa, S. Miguel Azores

2008 (June) Grimshaw-Gudewicz Art Gallery, Janelas da Alma – Sonhos de Portugal at Bristol College in Fall River, Mass. USA

2008 (May) Gallery at the Mac –Dance–McPherson theatre, Victoria B.C.

2007 (Sept.) Victoria Arts Connection -Music and Dance, Victoria B.C.

2006 (May) Multicultural Festival –Portuguese Hall, "Saudades de Portugal" Victoria, B.C.

2005 (April-May) Gastown (Portuguese Club Gallery) "Painting my Passion" Vancouver B.C.

2005 (July) Kitimat Museum and Art Gallery "Maria Miranda-In Retrospect" Kitimat B.C.

2005 (July-Aug) "Flamenco Dance" Langham Court Theatre, Victoria B.C.

2001 (April -May-2004 )" La Bodeguita" permanent display of Flamenco themed paintings Victoria B. C.

1999-2003 Miranda’s Art Studio annual Island Illustrators studio tours - weekend exhibitions paintings & sculptures Victoria B.C.

1984 (Feb) Sooke Museum Art Gallery "Faces & Figures" (30 paintings) Sooke B.C.

1983 (April) Country Crafters "Portraits and Painting" by Miranda Sooke B.C.

1974 (May) Kootenay School of Art. Gallery, Figurative works Graduate show, and first exhibition, Nelson B.C.


2021 Sooke Fine Arts (July) virtual exhibition - acrylic painting "Agua de Jamaica"

2021 The Island Illustrators Society (Window Art Display Tillicum Mall) Recent works 4 dance related paintings (June 15 -July 6)

2021 The Island Illustrators Society (Window Art Display Tillicum Mall) "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" 8 new paintings (July 6 -25)

2021 Bolen's Books Artist feature, three of my Ballet themed works (August 1 - 18)

2021 Summer Small Works show and sale, Victoria Art Gallery, painting "Music leads"

2020 Winter Small Works show and sale, Victoria Art Gallery, painting "Summer light"

2018 two sculptures at the Summer Small works show and sale, Victoria Art Gallery

2014 (Nov) Coast Collective Gallery "Fabulous Fakes" Island Illustrators, Metchosin B.C.

2014 Illustrated Travelling Musical Alphabet, "F for Fado" was my contribution ( painting for the show) 8 Library locations.

2013 Island Illustrators Society Island Illustrators Society, Naughty & Nice Show, Martin Bachelor Gallery

2013 (July) Greater Victoria Art Gallery, TD Paint-In on Moss St.

2013 (Nov) Coast Collective Island Illustrators Society Presents Victoria, B.C.

2012 (May) Arts Centre Gallery, Cedar Hill "Seeing it through your eyes 2" group show

5 cultures, Italian, Filipino, Metis, Ukranian and Melanie Furtado and I represented the Portuguese community.

2012 Royal Colwood Golf Arts and Jazz Event Island Illustrators Society, Colwood, B. C.

2011 (February) Martin Batchelor Gallery "Exotica-2 -An Interpretative Celebration of Dance" collaborative project with Clement Kwan, Bill Zuk, Herman Surkis Victoria, B.C.

2011 (Aug –Nov) Maltwood Gallery, University of Victoria, (with Kwan, Zuk & Surkis) "Exotica-3 An Interpretative Celebration of Dance"

2011 (Oct) Cedar Hill Rec. Centre Island Illustrators Society, "25th Anniversary Exhibit" Victoria, B.C.

2010 (Apr-July 2010) Victoria Arts Connection, Victoria, BC Exotica-1 An Interpretative Celebration of Dance collaborative project with Bill Zuk, Clement Kwan, and Herman Surkis)

2009 Butchart Garden gift shop feature wall, "The Illustrated Garden" Brentwood Bay, B.C. The Island Illustrators Society group show

2009 Cedar Hill Gallery Garry Oak Habit, Island Illustrators Society Group Exhibit 2009 , C.A.C. Gallery, "A Climate of Change" IIS "

2008 ( June) Chapel Arts, Celebrating Portuguese heritage exhibited with five other Portuguese artists displayed 20 of my Dance themed paintings in the main gallery, Van. BC

2007 Maltwood Gallery "Woodworkers & Illustrators" University of Victoria, Island Illustrators Society show, Victoria B.C.

2007 On Canvas Gallery In our lifetime Island Illustrators Society show Victoria B.C.

2007 Craigdarroch Castle, "Illustrators at the Castle", Island Illustrators show Victoria B.C.

2005 St Ann's Historic Site "Illustrating Saint Ann" Island Illustrator show Victoria B.C.

2005 the Roundhouse, Vancouver B.C. Night of Artists individual display booth in first in Vancouver B.C.,

next in Edmonton, Alberta and Ottawa, Ontario.

2005 CAC Gallery, Slow Food-Slow Art, Island Illustrators Group Exhibit, Victoria, B.C.

2005 Sooke Harbour House "Slow Food-Slow Art" Island Illustrators show Sooke, B.C.

2004 (Dec) Chapters "Party Animals" Island Illustrators showing , Victoria, B.C.

2003 -2007 Winspear Centre Night of Artists(art & musical entertainment) individual display booths, Sidney, B.C.

including participating in creating panels for Mosaic Murals

2002 Campbell River District Art Gallery "Illustrating Illustration", Campbell River, B.C.

2001 Royal British Columbia Museum Illustrating Emily, Emily Carr Exhibit, Victoria, B.C.

2001-2009 Collab-Art:work with students /display auction L’ecole Brodeur, Victoria, B.C.

1999-2003 annual Island Illustrators Studio Tour, solo display of paintings in home studio

1997 Crystal Gardens Illustrators showcase own display of paintings, Victoria BC

*plus more - numerous Island Illustrators Society Group semi-annual exhibits in Victoria, and Saanich B.C. These were based usually themed to go with the venue, such as the "Tea at the Empress", The Museums, and many more. My work has also been selected in various juried group exhibitions at the Sooke Fine Arts and Sidney Fine Arts.