Classical Music

THE SCOOP | 2023 Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Laureates Have Been Announced

GGPAA Medallions struck by the Royal Canadian Mint (Photo: Sgt. Ronald Duschesne, Rideau Hall)

The Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Foundation has announced this year’s list of laureates. The Awards are given in three categories recognizing the achievements of Canadian artists on the national and international stage.

Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively will add star power to the proceedings as the Honorary Chairs of the 2023 GGPAA Gala National Committee. Reynolds received a GGPAA in 2021. The Committee will be raising funds for the gala.

GGPAA for Lifetime Artistic Achievement

This category recognizes artists “who have made an indelible contribution to cultural life in Canada and around the world”.

Michel Marc Bouchard, O.C. – Playwright, screenwriter, librettist and teacher

The celebrated writer’s works focus on human relationships through a queer lens, and have been translated into 24 different languages for performance all over the world, including many for film. E is a regular instructor at the National Theatre School of Canada.

Molly Johnson, O.C. – Singer–songwriter and humanitarian

One of Canada’s most acclaimed jazz vocalists, Johnson has toured extensively throughout Canada and Europe. Her repertoire includes classics as well as original work. Johnson is the founding artistic director of Toronto’s Kensington Market Jazz Festival, and has been involved in numerous charitable organizations.

James Kudelka, O.C. – Choreographer

Kudelka has long been recognized as one of North America’s most notable choreographers and dance artists, with a rich sense of theatricality in works that are drawn from a range of inspirations. His output has included recreations of traditional ballets like The Nutcracker and Cinderella, as well as brand new works, and made notable contributions to the repertoires of the National Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, and Toronto’s Citadel + Cie, where he is resident choreographer. He has also collaborated with many other companies internationally.

Rosemarie Landry, C.M. – Soprano and voice teacher

As a performer, soprano Rosemary Landry as sung on stages across Canada, and around the world. A noted specialist in French repertoire, she has an equally impressive resume as a pedagogue, and has given masterclasses from the US to Japan and back, along with the Juilliard School of Music in New York, and several Canadian universities. She is currently a professor at the Université de Montréal.

k.d. lang, O.C. – Singer–songwriter and activist

With her unmistakable voice and unique style, singer-songwriter k.d. lang has played a substantial role in raising the profile of Canadian pop and country music internationally, along with that of her own work. She has also taken a leadership role in advocating for LGBTQ2S+ rights, HIV/AIDS research, and animal rights.

Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Voluntarism in the Performing Arts

This category recognizes the ”outstanding contribution by an individual or group in voluntary service to the performing arts in Canada”.

John Kim Bell, O.C.

Bell is an internationally recognized leader and activist for First Nations’ rights as well as the arts. Born on the Kahnawake Reserve, he became Canada’s first Indigenous classical orchestra conductor when he was taken on as apprentice to Maestro Andrew Davis at the TSO. He is also a composer of symphonic music, and a respected philanthropist.

The National Arts Centre Award

This category recognizes “work of an extraordinary nature by an individual artist or company in the past performance year”.

Paul Sun-Hyung Lee – Actor, writer, comedian and geek

Lee is widely known for his role as the patriarch of the Korean-Canadian clan in Ins Choi’s hit play and its television adaptation. He’s also had roles in popular international series such as The Mandalorian and The Book of Bobba Fett. Through his work, he’s become a role model and inspiration.

“The arts play a vital role in our lives, which has been made powerfully evident as we faced great challenges during the pandemic,” said Douglas Knight, Chair and CEO of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Foundation (GGPAAF), and Anik Bissonnette, Co-Chair of the Foundation in a joint statement. “While we celebrate and congratulate the exceptional 2023 Awards laureates, we should also pause and be grateful to all Canadian artists, and their supporters, who have been bringing us light and a sense of community in difficult times.”

The Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Gala will take place at the National Arts Centre on May 27. Tickets for the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Gala go on sale to the public today here.


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