The Linda Joy Media Arts Society is a charitable organization established in1986 in memory of Linda Joy Busby. Linda was the Coordinator of the Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative, as well as a talented Canadian artist and filmmaker when she was diagnosed as having breast cancer. She died in 1984 at the age of 34. She had begun the film Linda Joy to share her experience, during a period of the disease’s remission.

After her passing, her friend and fellow filmmaker, Bill MacGillivray (Picture Plant) finished the film. Linda Joy won a Blue Ribbon Award of Excellence at the American Film Festival, and a special jurors’ award at the Yorkton Festival. In addition, the film was sold to organizations like hospices and cancer societies. All proceeds were donated to the newly formed Society.

The Society was formed in order to support the work of emerging media artists in Atlantic Canada. The Society also supports established artists who wish to explore a new genre or medium. Sponsors contribute cash and services as awards to applicants who are selected by peer review.

Since its first year of operation, the Society has advanced from awarding a single grant of $500 to awarding more than $80,000 in cash and services today. Over the past eighteen years, the Society has awarded more than $680,000 to over 125 emerging media artists in this region.

Many Joy Award winners have gone on to national and international acclaim, and are now successful, established artists, including Andrea Dorfman, Mary Lewis, Rodrigue Jean, Mike Clattenburg, and Rosemary House. Many recipients attest that they would not have been able to continue their film and video careers without the Society’s assistance. We celebrate their accomplishments, and are proud to contribute to our region’s cultural heritage.

“The award sits proudly on my desk and serves as daily inspiration for my goals as a filmmaker. Honestly! I was both overwhelmed and honoured by the award, and felt tremendously encouraged to continue making films.”
-Andrea Dorfman, ‘Most Promising New Director’

From the outset, the LJMAS was ground-breaking in its activity in the Atlantic region. It offered or supported workshop and training opportunities in the region, initiated Atlantic industry studies, created resource material such as Co-production reference tools aimed at developing more international production and investment in Canadian media, published a regional newsletter which acted as a central focus allowing the exchange of production news across the region, among several other initiatives which were significant in growing the film and media scene in this region.