David Cronenberg and Michael Ondaatje to attend Governor Géneral's Performing Arts Awards Gala at the NAC

Ottawa (Canada) — Celebrated filmmaker David Cronenberg and Booker Prize-winning author Michael Ondaatje will pay tribute to some of Canada’s finest performing artists on
May 14 at the National Arts Centre (NAC) as part of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards (GGPAA) Gala.

Each of the presenters has a personal connection to the laureates, and will honour their careers during a live performance from Southam Hall. They will be joined by host Colm Feore.
Mr. Feore is the bilingual film actor who recently appeared in two very successful films Bon Cop, Bad Cop and The Trotsky.

The star-studded evening will honour some of Canada’s most acclaimed performing artists including Yvon Deschamps, Margie Gillis, William Shatner, Howard Shore, Leslee Silverman and Paul Thompson who have been named the 2011 laureates of the prestigious GGPAA Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement.

Two other distinguished national awards are also conferred each year. This year Jean André Élie will receive the Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Voluntarism in the Performing Arts and Denis Villeneuve will receive the National Arts Centre Award, which recognizes outstanding achievement in the past performance year.

The Governor General's Performing Arts Awards also feature a unique Mentorship Program, which unites past Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award recipients and talented mid-career artists. The program serves as a creative catalyst and as an investment in future Canadian artistic achievement. World-renowned ballerina Evelyn Hart, who received a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award in 2001, has chosen to mentor Heather Ogden, an extraordinarily talented young artist and principal dancer with the National Ballet of Canada.

Other presenters include Quebec comedian Martin Matte and acclaimed actor Maxim Gaudette, along with conductor Stephane Laforest, choreographer Paul Andre Fortier, and the Executive Director of Ballet BC Emily Molnar.

Created in 1992, the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards are the ultimate recognition in Canada’s performing arts.

The 2011 laureates will be honoured at various events in Ottawa next month. On May 13, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, will present the Awards at a special ceremony and reception at Rideau Hall. The Gala takes place on May 14. 

The National Arts Centre is proud to produce the 2011 Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Gala in partnership with the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Foundation and the National Film Board of Canada. The Awards are presented with the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canada Council for the Arts. The GGPAAF gratefully acknowledges Enbridge as Presenting Sponsor of the GGPAA Gala, as well as Associate Sponsor Netflix, Mentorship Programme supporter The Keg Spirit Foundation, National Partners McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada, Pratt & Whitney Canada Corporation and Weber Shandwick Worldwide and Print Sponsor The Printing House. The GGPAAF also acknowledges the significant contributions of Regional Partners CIBC, Cisco Canada, Corus Entertainment, Desjardins Group and Groupe Aeroplan. Impresario Partners include The Banff Centre, the Council for Canadian American Relations, Joe Fresh, Mark Motors of Ottawa, MTS Allstream and Trinity Development Group. In-kind support for the Awards is also received from Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP, Holt Renfrew, technology partner IBM, Links of London, Llama Communications, The Royal Canadian Mint as well as Media Partners The National Post, The Ottawa Citizen, Chum Radio, /A| , Clear Channel Outdoors, Le Droit, Embassy, Hill Times and The Wig. Grateful thanks also go to the GGPAA’s National Committee of volunteers, led by Honorary Chair The Hon. Hilary M. Weston, CM, OOnt; Co-Chairs M. Ann McCaig, CM, AOE, LLD, and James S. Kinnear; Vice-Chair Susan Glass, CM; and all the individuals and families whose philanthropic support helps make these Awards possible.

Tickets for the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Gala on Saturday, May 14, 2011 are available at the NAC Box Office and through Ticketmaster, 1-888-991-2787 or www.ticketmaster.ca.

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For more information, please contact:

Carl Martin
Communications Advisor
National Arts Centre
(613) 947-7000 ext 560                                                         
cmartin@nac-cna.ca

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