The Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards One-Hour Television Special

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This year’s Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards celebration are unique for many reasons.

Instead of a live event, it’s a television special that will air on CBC/Radio-Canada on CBC TV, ICI TÉLÉ and the free CBC Gem and ICI TOU.TV streaming services on Friday, November 26 at 7 p.m. | 7:30 NT. The program will also be available on demand for a limited time on both CBC Gem and ICI TOU.TV.

Instead of it taking place in Southam Hall, it was shot in spectacular locations across the country.

And instead of the laureates watching the action from their seats of honour in the mezzanine, this year we’ll hear from the laureates themselves about what receiving these prestigious Awards means to them.

Produced by the National Arts Centre, in partnership with the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Foundation (GGPAAF) and Vérité Films, the bilingual show celebrates the extraordinary achievements of the 2021 laureates:

The special is directed by Joel Ivany, co-creator of the internationally acclaimed film Messiah/Complex, and led by the award-winning executive producer Virginia Thompson. It’s hosted by the highly acclaimed television and radio host Isabelle Racicot.

The NAC Orchestra, conducted by Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, will offer musical accompaniment throughout.

The NAC and the GGPAAF are particularly honoured that Her Excellency the Governor General Mary May Simon is a central figure in the television special, personally thanking each laureate for their contribution to the arts in Canada.

The Lineup

The many special guests paying tribute to the laureates are a remarkable group who represent the diversity, breadth and excellence of the performing arts in Canada. They include:

For Tantoo Cardinal: actor, producer and director Lorne Cardinal; actor, producer and politician Tina Keeper; and actor, playwright and NAC Indigenous Theatre Artistic Director Kevin Loring; with a performance by singer-songwriter Pura Fé;

For Lynda Hamilton: Dance icons Peggy Baker, Guillaume Côté, Karen Kain, Joysanne Sidimus and Veronica Tennant; with a performance by Tango Soul and Jonathan Goldman;

For Alexina Louie: Radio host, author and musician Tom Allen; composer David Henry Hwang; pianist Jon Kimura Parker; composer and conductor Alex Pauk; radio host, producer, writer and musician Paolo Pietroalolo; writer and actor Dan Redican and film director Larry Weinstein; with a performance by Vania Chan and Justin Cho;

For Zab Maboungou: Vivine Scarlett of dance Immersion; Nathalie Maille of the Conseil des Arts du Montréal; Guy Mushagalusa Chigoho of Afromusée; with a performance by dancers from Zab Maboungou’s internationally acclaimed company Nyata Nyata;

For Catherine O’Hara: Actor and writer Dan Levy, actor and writer Eugene Levy, actors Annie Murphy and Dave Thomas; actors and singers Andrea Martin and Martin Short; with a performance by musician and actor Noah Reid;

For Ryan Reynolds: Actors Morena Baccarin, Michael J. Fox, Hugh Jackman and Blake Lively; film producer and director Shawn Levy; creator of the Deadpool comic character Rob Liefeld, and comic book writer Gail Simone; with a performance by Steven Page;

For Florent Vollant: Singer-songwriter Elisapie; writer, director, filmmaker and actor Yves Sioui Durand; author, storyteller, singer and director Michel Faubert; and singer-songwriter and poet Zachary Richard; with a performance by the band Maten.

Filmed across Canada

To celebrate not only the laureates but also the beauty of Canada, the special was filmed largely outdoors in spectacular locations across the country, including Vancouver, Northern Saskatchewan, Winnipeg, Caledon, Toronto, the Muskoka Lakes, Montreal and Mani-Utenam, Quebec. Tributes from some guest artists were sent from other international locations, including New York and Los Angeles.

Engage online

The NAC and the GGPAAF encourage Canadians to join in the excitement by engaging online with the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards on the night of the special – Friday, November 26 at 7 p.m. | 7:30 NT on CBC Television, ICI TÉLÉ and the free CBC Gem and ICI TOU.TV streaming services.

Twitter and Facebook

GGPAA: @GovGPAA | @PrixGGAS | |#GGAwards


In addition to the CBC/ ICI TÉLÉ special

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is a partner of the GGPAA. 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 and will be on available on CBC Gem and ICI TOU.TV., on social media, and online at, which also has more than 90 short films of past GGPAA laureates.

The Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards 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. This year’s participants are the playwright Suzanne Lebeau (mentor) and theatre artist Marie-Eve Huot (Protégée).

We wish to thank the sponsors and donors who make the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards possible, including Boston Pizza International Inc., La Fondation Emmanuelle Gattuso, The Keg Spirit Foundation, Netflix, Amazon, Christine Armstrong & Irfhan Rawji, The Gail Asper Family Foundation, The Printing House, the Martha Lou Henley Charitable Foundation, and the Royal Canadian Mint. The Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Foundation recognizes Broadcast Partner CBC/RadioCanada, 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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