MAY 19, 2022, OTTAWA – The National Arts Centre (NAC) is delighted to announce that renowned composer Alexina Louie has chosen to mentor composer and pianist Christopher Goddard through the 2022 Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Mentorship Program.

Made possible with support from The Keg Spirit Foundation, the program allows past recipients of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award (GGPAA), Canada’s highest honour in the performing arts, to give back to the next generation. Through the program, Alexina will work with Christopher as he embarks on a variety of projects and professional appearances.

One of Canada’s most celebrated composers, Alexina Louie (GGPAA 2021) writes music with an imaginative and spiritual blend of Asian and Western influences. She has written for all musical genres, from piano, voice and orchestra to opera, film and ballet. Her impressive body of work totals nearly 80 compositions, including Take the Dog Sled, for two Inuit throat singers and seven musicians; Scenes from a Jade Terrace, for solo piano, commissioned by Jon Kimura Parker; O Magnum Mysterium: In Memoriam Glenn Gould, for 44 individual string parts; and The Scarlet Princess, a full-length opera. In 2017, Canada’s 150th anniversary year, her Triple Concerto for Three Violins and Orchestra, jointly commissioned by the Toronto Symphony, the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, was performed by all three orchestras. In 2019, the prestigious Honens International Piano Festival, the Canadian Music Centre and Ireland’s Finding A Voice Festival each honoured her with a concert devoted to her compositions.

Christopher Goddard is a Canadian composer and pianist. As a composer, he has collaborated with NYO Canada, Esprit Orchestra, the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Continuum, Ensemble Paramirabo, the Orchestre de la Francophonie, andPlay duo, No Exit New Music Ensemble, NOISE‑BRIDGE duo, and others. Recent commissions have come from the Lucerne Festival, Koerner Hall at The Royal Conservatory, and the City of Reutlingen. Recorded on the Innova and Naxos Classics labels, his music has been broadcast by BBC Radio 3 and CBC Radio 2 and can also be heard on iTunes. As a performer, he has presented dozens of premieres by his colleagues and appeared with new music groups and at contemporary music festivals across North America and in Europe.

“Alexina Louie is a legendary figure in Canadian music,” said Christopher Goddard. “I look forward to receiving her guidance as I pursue new artistic projects and professional opportunities in the coming year. I am very grateful to The Keg Spirit Foundation for making this mentorship possible.”

“I first recognized Christopher Goddard’s compositional talent while I was sitting as a jury member for the inaugural Graham Sommer Competition for Young Composers,” added Alexina Louie, O.C. “Even at that time, I was impressed by Chris’s wealth of technique as well as his musicality. I have since discovered that he is as fine a pianist as he is a composer! I am delighted to have this opportunity to guide him through the next phase of his professional development through the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Mentorship Program.”

A unique partnership between the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Foundation, the National Arts Centre and The Keg Spirit Foundation, the GGPAA Mentorship Program is designed to offer creative guidance to talented mid-career artists, and serves as an investment in future Canadian artistic achievement. Each year, a past laureate of the Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award is invited to select a professional artist (or artists) to share, learn and grow from the experience and insight of their mentor. In addition to receiving artistic guidance and an honorarium, each protégé or protégée is recognized during the GGPAA celebrations in Ottawa, including the star-studded GGPAA Gala at the NAC.

The Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards and the National Arts Centre Foundation are deeply grateful to The Keg Spirit Foundation, which has generously supported the Mentorship Program since 2009. Established in 2001, The Keg Spirit Foundation supports organizations that mirror the mentorship that The Keg Steakhouse + Bar has provided to hundreds of thousands of young staff for more than 50 years. In that time, the foundation has granted more than $11 million to more than 400 charities across North America.

“Through The Keg Spirit Foundation, we are proud to support mentorship programs that enhance learning and facilitate personal and professional growth,” said David Aisenstat, Chair and CEO of The Keg Steakhouse + Bar, and Chairman and Founder of The Keg Spirit Foundation. “We are delighted that renowned contemporary composer Alexina Louie will be sharing her creative musical insights with Christopher Goddard through the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Mentorship Program in the coming year.”


Created in 1992, the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards are Canada’s highest honour in the performing arts. This year’s laureates for Lifetime Artistic Achievement are Fernand Dansereau, Rita Shelton Deverell, David Foster, Tomson Highway and Linda Rabin. Michelle Smith will receive the Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Voluntarism in the Performing Arts, and Crystal Pite will receive the National Arts Centre Award. The laureates will receive the Awards at a special ceremony and reception at Rideau Hall on Friday, May 27. Then on Saturday, May 28, the NAC will host a star-studded gala featuring superb performances and evocative film portraits by the National Film Board of Canada.


The National Arts Centre is proud to produce the 2022 Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Gala in partnership with the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Foundation. The Awards are presented with the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the National Film Board of Canada. “We are delighted to announce that long-time GGPAA champion Donald K. Johnson, O.C., has committed a leadership gift of $1 million to support the Awards for the next 10 years,” said Jayne Watson, CEO of the National Arts Centre Foundation. A resident of Toronto, Mr. Johnson shared: “My gift to the GGPAA gives me satisfaction in knowing that the performing arts have more funding so that they can continue to flourish. Philanthropy is a true passion for me.”

Grateful thanks also go to the Honourable Margaret N. McCain, C.C., O.N.B., for her support as Honorary Chair, and the leaders from across the country who served on the National Committee of Volunteers, led by Kate Alexander Daniels, and helped raise the necessary funds for the GGPAA Gala.

Tickets for the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Gala are on sale to the public through Ticketmaster, 1‑888‑991‑2787 or


The National Arts Centre (NAC) is Canada’s bilingual, multi-disciplinary home for the performing arts. The NAC presents, creates, produces, and co-produces performing arts programming in various streams—the NAC Orchestra, Dance, English Theatre, French Theatre, Indigenous Theatre, and Popular Music and Variety—and nurtures the next generation of audiences and artists from across Canada. The NAC is located in the National Capital Region on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation. 



Mary Gordon
Senior Advisor, Corporate Communications
National Arts Centre
(613) 601-3877