Over 250 deserving youth to attend Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Gala in “Inspiration Seats,” thanks to McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada

The National Arts Centre is delighted to announce that over 250 deserving young people from the National Capital Region will attend the 21st Anniversary Gala of the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards on Saturday, June 1 at 8 p.m., thanks to McDonald';s Restaurants of Canada.

A sponsor of the GGPAA Gala for six years, McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada will transform the Southam Hall Balcony into “Inspiration Seats” so that young people who would not otherwise have the opportunity to attend the Gala can experience the inspirational power of the performing arts first-hand. The Awards represent Canada’s highest honour in the performing arts, and the Gala is a star-studded event with heartfelt tributes and incredible performances that celebrate the extraordinary achievements of eight Canadian artists.

“We want to do our part to help ensure a bright future for the performing arts,” said John Betts, President & CEO, McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Limited. “I am sure the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Gala will be a wonderful evening of inspiration and fun for these young people, many of whom will no doubt go on to become artists themselves.”

“We are so grateful to McDonald’s for helping us share the power of the performing arts with hundreds of young Canadians,” said NAC Foundation CEO Jayne Watson. “The Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Gala is always a night to remember, but it makes it even more special when we can share the magic of the evening with young people.”

To help fill the seats with deserving youth, the NAC partnered with schools and youth-service programs in the community, including: Pathways to Education, Child and Youth Friendly Ottawa, De La Salle High School, Equal Voice, SEVEC, Youth Net, Algonquin College, Ottawa Regional Youth Choir, Ten Oaks Project, Ottawa Youth Orchestra, The Boys and Girls Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters, The Cappies, Christie Lake Kids, The Door Youth Centre, Minwaashin Lodge, Operation Come Home, Pinecrest-Queensway Community Centre, Saint Mary’s Home, Tungasuvvingat and the Youth Services Bureau.

The young people will also be encouraged to tweet about what inspired them at the Gala by using the Twitter handle @GovGPAA and the hashtag #GGPAA.

Created in 1992, the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards are Canada’s highest honour for the performing arts. This year’s laureates for Lifetime Artistic Achievement are Andrew Dawes, Daniel Lanois, Jean Pierre Lefebvre, Viola Leger, Eric Peterson and Menaka Thakkar. Two other distinguished national awards are also conferred each year as complements to the GGPAA for lifetime artistic achievement. This year Jean Pierre Desrosiers will receive the Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Voluntarism in the Performing Arts, while Sarah Polley is the recipient of the National Arts Centre Award, which recognizes exceptional achievement over the past performance year. This year’s Mentorship Program, which serves as an investment in future artistic achievement, pairs playwright and past laureate John Murrell with mid-career actress, dancer and playwright Anita Majumdar as his protégée.

The National Arts Centre is proud to produce the 2013 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.  

The GGPAA Gala is made possible in part by its many sponsors. In particular, the National Arts Centre Foundation would like to thank Associate Sponsors McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Ltd. for their support of the Inspiration Seats youth section and Manulife Financial for its support as our Dinner Sponsor. For the fifth year, Mentorship Program is supported by The Keg Spirit Foundation. National Partners are Aimia, Desjardins Group, Onex Corporation, Scotiabank, and Weber Shandwick Worldwide, and The Printing House is our official Print Sponsor. The GGPAAF also acknowledges the significant contributions of Regional Partners Accenture Canada, The Alvin Segal Family Foundation, The Banff Centre, Bell Media, BMO Financial Group, Cineplex Media, Cisco Systems Canada Inc., Globalive Communications Corp., Groupe Germain, Invesco, The Keg Steakhouse and Bar, NBC Universal Canada, Norton Rose LLP, Pearl Family, Pratt & Whitney Canada, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Rogers Communications Inc., Shangri‑La Hotels, Vale, Venture Communications Ltd and Via Rail Canada. Impresario Partners include Aecon Group Inc., Barrick Gold Corporation, Birks, Cement Association of Canada, EQ3 Furniture for Life, Holt Renfrew & Company, Jessiman Foundation, KPMG LLP, The Ledcor Group, Mackenzie Investments, Macquarie Capital Markets Canada Ltd., Mark Motors of Ottawa Ltd., PCL Constructors Canada Inc., Raymond James Ltd., Sun Life Financial, Temple Scott and Associates, and Trinity Development Group Inc.. Additional in-kind support for the Awards is received from Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP, ecentricarts, Llama Communications, The Royal Canadian Mint, The Westin Ottawa, and media partners The Globe and Mail, The Ottawa Citizen, Clear Channel, The Hill Times and Embassy Magazine, and Le Droit.

Grateful thanks also go to the GGPAA Gala’s National Committee of volunteers, led by Honorary Chair The Hon. Hilary M. Weston, CM, OOnt of Toronto; Co-Chairs Susan Glass, CM, and Arni Thorsteinson of Winnipeg;  and Vice-Chair Kate Alexander Daniels of Toronto. 

Tickets for the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Gala on Saturday, June 1, 2013 are available at the NAC Box Office and through Ticketmaster, 1-888-991-2787 or at www.ticketmaster.ca.

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