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Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards to become a CBC/Radio-Canada special

Governor General's Performing Arts Awards

The 2021 Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards will be a one-hour television special on CBC/Radio-Canada. Produced by the NAC in partnership with the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Foundation and Vérité Films, the special will celebrate the 2021 laureates of Canada’s highest honour in the performing arts. The exciting one-hour special can be seen on CBC Television, ICI TÉLÉ and the free CBC Gem and ICI TOU.TV streaming services on Friday, November 26 at 7 p.m. ET.

Normally an annual highlight of the Canadian performing arts calendar, the 2020 Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards gala at the NAC was postponed due to the pandemic. The 2020 laureates now become the 2021 laureates.

The laureates for Lifetime Achievement are:

Tantoo Cardinal (film, television and stage actor, and activist)
Alexina Louie (composer)
Zab Maboungou (choreographer, dancer, instructor, philosopher and writer)
Catherine O’Hara (actor and writer)
Florent Vollant (singer-songwriter and guitarist)

The recipient of the National Arts Awards is the actor, producer, screenwriter, entrepreneur and activist Ryan Reynolds. The recipient of the Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Voluntarism in the Performing Arts is Lynda Hamilton.

The bilingual show, complete with moving tributes, exciting performances, and music by the National Arts Centre Orchestra, will celebrate the extraordinary achievements of the laureates, who are some of Canada’s greatest artists. The broadcast will be led by a stellar artistic team that includes the award-winning Executive Producer Virginia Thompson, and the highly acclaimed Director Joel Ivany, co-creator of Messiah/Complex. The broadcast will be filmed in locations across the country and internationally, following all necessary health and safety protocols as required.

“Pride in national heroes, like Olympic Gold Medalists, unites the country,” said Douglas Knight, Chair and CEO of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Foundation, and Anik Bissonnette, Co-chair of the Foundation. “Our 2021 laureates are national heroes whose art inspires, informs and delights.”

“This past year demonstrated just how important artists are to our lives and to our well-being,” said NAC President and CEO Christopher Deacon. “We are honoured to pay tribute to some of our country’s most extraordinary artists and performing arts volunteers, and grateful to our partners at the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Foundation and to CBC/Radio-Canada for making this national broadcast a wonderful celebration that all Canadians can enjoy, in English and French.”

“This has been a challenging year for artists and performers,” said CBC/Radio-Canada President and CEO Catherine Tait. “We’re delighted to be working with the National Arts Centre and the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Foundation to honour this year’s recipients and to celebrate their outstanding creative talent. Congratulations to each and every one of them!”

In addition to the CBC/Radio-Canada broadcast:

The National Film Board of Canada is a partner of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards. Every year, the NFB creates incomparable short films that capture the essence of the laureates. This year’s short films will be released to the public on November 26. They will also be shared on social media and can be enjoyed online at NFB.ca, along with over 90 short films of past GGPAA laureates.

The Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards also includes a Mentorship Program, generously supported by The Keg Spirit Foundation. It provides a way for past GGPAA recipients to inspire the next generation by offering guidance to talented, mid-career Canadian artists. The participants are the playwright Suzanne Lebeau (mentor) and the theatre artist Marie-Eve Huot (protegee).

Thank you to our partners

We wish to thank the sponsors and donors who make the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards possible, including La Fondation Emmanuelle Gattuso, The Keg Spirit Foundation, Amazon, Gail Asper and Martha Lou Henley

The Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Foundation recognizes Broadcast Partner CBC/Radio-Canada, whose leading role in supporting Canadian culture will include celebrating the richness and diversity of GGPAA laureates’ achievements and sharing their stories with Canadians from coast to coast to coast. This year the GGPAA celebration will be broadcast on CBC Television, ICI TÉLÉ and the free CBC Gem and ICI TOU.TV streaming services on Friday, November 26 at 7 p.m. ET. The program will also be available on-demand for a limited time on both CBC Gem and ICI TOU.TV.

These awards would not be possible without the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canada Council for the Arts. Earnscliffe Strategy Group is proud to serve as official communications partner for a fourth consecutive year.


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