The Ling Academy of the Arts (LAOTA) was founded in early 2007 in Saskatoon, Canada, with a mandate to host a formal event to celebrate friendship and community. The namesake of Ling originates from the original business address of the academy: 14 Ling Street; named after mathematician, professor and Dean of Arts & Science (U of S 1916-1928) George H. Ling.
The first annual Ling Awards were held in the spring of 2007. Originally conceived and hosted by David Broberg and Paul Thompson, the awards were an homage to the now-defunct Friends' Awards. On 23 March, 2007, a collection of friends sat in awe of the tremendous event unfolding in front them. Awards in a variety of categories were handed out to worthy recipients.
While the format of the first event was very similar to the current iteration, they have increased in quality, size, production value, cost, grandeur, and general excellence. Award categories have evolved over time to reflect changing times, new ideals, and the achievements of nominees.
Following the success of the inaugural Ling Awards, the Ling Academy of the Arts was expanded to include creative director Greg Paterson. Planning of the second annual Ling Awards began immediately. With the coming expansion, a larger venue was selected. Designer Zach Landine is credited with the conceptual design and production of the current familiar golden award and trapezoidal bases. The second annual Ling Awards saw both the introduction of the technical awards categories and a live musical performance by The Chase.
The Ling Awards once again out-grew its venue and continued to expand. The third annual Ling Awards introduced the Ling Lifetime Achievement Award. This award is bestowed upon one worthy recipientannually in a category appropriate to their tireless efforts.
In 2010, the fourth annual Ling Awards introduced the Best Picture category awarded the best movie trailer submitted for consideration over previous year. The first advertisements filmed and produced by the LAOTA media production team were aired live the event.
Following the success of the fourth - and anticipating the growth the fifth - annual Ling Awards, two new members were invited to join the Ling Academy of the Arts for 2011: Myles Morrison and Lindsay Quick. The two new members were welcome additions to the organizing committee. The duo hosted the awards ceremony and were key contributors to its rousing success. The work of professional photographer Jon Miller was contributing factor to the success of the awards. For his contributions to the fifth annual Ling Awards, and his production experience, Jon Miller was invited to join LAOTA.
The sixth annual Ling Awards, held in 2012 were by far the largest and most successful event that the Ling Academy of the Arts had ever promoted. The event drew a crowd of several hundred and made an impact in the hearts and minds of everyone in attendance. The achievements awarded at this event will not be forgotten.
The seventh annual Ling Awards in 2013 raised the proverbial bar again drawing another record crowd, an amazing evening, and a collection of worthy award recipients.
The 2014 the Ling Awards set a new attendance record again. Videos, presentations, music, costumes and art were elevated to new heights. The Ling Academy became a registered non-profit organization and changed it's name to The Ling Academy of the Arts Inc. Partnerships were formed with LB Distillers, Dakota Dunes Casino, Great Western Brewery & Organic Tan. The opening video of the Ling Awards took home "Best Video" at the 2014 Kazies Awards, and CTV Saskatoon did a feature on the Ling Awards with hosts Myles & Lindsay.
The tenth annual Ling Awards boasted even larger crowds, productions and the use of drone footage. Videos created exclusively for the tenth annual Ling Awards ("Office Protocol" by Myles Morrison and Jon Miller, and "Un Amour Dangereux" by Greg Paterson) went on to become official selections at the 2016 YYComedy Festival in Calgary, and the Award of Distinction Winner at the Canada Shorts National Film Festival 2016 respectively.
"The best is yet to come..." - Tony Bennett (1926- )