Calgary indie pop duo Tegan and Sara are receiving this year’s National Arts Centre Award, as part of the 2018 Governor General’s Performing Art Awards.
Actor Geneviève Bujold, concert pianist Angela Hewitt and producer Andrew Alexander are among this year’s six laureates for the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award (GGPAA) for lifetime artistic achievement, the foundation behind the Canadian culture honour announced Thursday in Ottawa.
The annual awards recognize the excellence and career achievement of Canadian performing artists, including actors, filmmakers, dancers and musicians.
With major hits like Closer and Boyfriend, Tegan and Sara are an international sensation. Their catchy, popular songs have regularly been showcased in movies and TV shows, while the pair have performed high-profile gigs worldwide, from the 2015 Oscars to major festivals such as Coachella and Glastonbury.
The foundation praised the sibling performers as “outspoken advocates for equality, gender justice, and progressive social change,” with a strong fan base in both the straight and LGBTQ community.
After appearing in more than 70 films in both French and English, Montreal-born Bujold has earned acclaim and recognition for movies such as Anne of the Thousand Days, for which she won a Golden Globe, and the sweeping historical tale Kamouraska, based on the classic French-Canadian novel.
‘Their talent enriches us all, and through their art, they allow each and every one of us to sparkle with happiness.’ – Anik Bissonnette, GGPAA Foundation
Hewitt, considered one of the world’s greatest Bach pianists, has amassed a devoted international fan base. Ottawa-born and now based in London, Hewitt has performed in recitals and with top orchestras worldwide and is also renowned for her recordings of Bach as well as of Beethoven, Chopin, Schumann and more.
Chicago-based CEO and executive producer of The Second City, Alexander has had a prolific career as a producer of theatre, film and TV, including for the groundbreaking ’70s and ’80s sketch show SCTV.
Rounding out the 2018 laureates are Winnipeg-raised cultural leader Peter A. Herrndorf, who steps down as National Arts Centre president this summer after serving nearly two decades in the role, Quebec contemporary dance choreographer and teacher Ginette Laurin and Toronto singer-songwriter Murray McLauchlan.
“Our artists are among our nation’s greatest assets. The laureates we honour with the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards are true gems,” Anik Bissonnette, co-chair of the GGPAA Foundation, said in a statement.
“Their talent enriches us all, and through their art, they allow each and every one of us to sparkle with happiness.”
The awards were established in 1992 by former governor general Ray Hnatyshyn, after whom an award for voluntarism was named. This year’s recipient is Montreal academic and cultural champion Florence Junca-Adenot.
This year’s laureates will be honoured at multiple events in Ottawa, with special guests set to pay tribute at the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Gala at the National Arts Centre on June 2.