The Dream Project Winners!

The Dream Project Winners

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting this year’s Dream Project winners. The Dream Project (formally Next Top Artist) is an annual contest which aims at showcasing the work of a local artist, photographer, graphic designer, etc. in the Stampede Rotary Dream Home. It’s a win-win, really. We give an artist’s career a little boost by displaying his or her work to over 100,000 Dream Home visitors, and in exchange we have a collection of distinctive pieces to complete the home’s interior.

Anyway, back to the winners. Yes, winners. This year we have two. They are sisters. Twins, in fact. And they are as lovely as they are talented. Michelle and Stephanie Hoogveld are our first-ever Dream Project duo! Talented? Absolutely. But what I enjoyed most about meeting them was their undeniable passion for their craft and their desire for their work to have a positive impact on the community.

Michelle ( ) refers to her search for inspiration as ‘foraging’. Working primarily in mixed media, she’s constantly gathering matchbooks, stamps,

Michelle art

and other found objects to use in her pieces. Her work is primarily abstract, but she practices portraiture as well.

Stephanie ( )came to art a little later than Michelle. After working on a piece with her sister, she was motivated to pursue painting. Last year, she was accepted into the Western Art Showcase and even won Best in Show for new artists.

 Stephanie art

During a particularly touching moment at yesterday’s meet-up, the women discussed the recent loss of their mother and how her passing has instilled new meaning and motivation in their work. Michelle spoke of her desire to not just paint a subject, but connect with that subject. And Stephanie discussed their efforts to set up a foundation in their mother’s honour.


It was an absolute pleasure to meet Stephanie and Michelle, and I’m really looking forward to seeing their pieces for the Dream Home. I’ll try to give you a few sneak peeks as the weeks go by.

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