About the Awards
Photos of artists: Martin Lipman
The Governor General's Awards in Visual and Media Arts, Canada's foremost distinctions for excellence in these artistic disciplines, were created in 1999 by the Governor General of Canada and the Canada Council for the Arts. The Canada Council funds and administers the awards. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the awards.
The prizes are awarded annually to visual and media artists for distinguished career achievement in visual arts, architecture, independent film and video, or audio and new media. They include the Saidye Bronfman Award for excellence in the fine crafts. One prize is also awarded annually for outstanding contribution to the visual and / or media arts in a volunteer or professional capacity. Each prize is valued at $25,000.
The Canada Council for the Arts acknowledges the valued roles played by The Samuel and Saidye Bronfman Family Foundation, the National Gallery of Canada and the Canadian Museum of Civilization in the celebration of these awards.
This year's independent peer jury for the awards consisted of artists and arts professionals Eric Cameron (Calgary), Donigan Cumming (Montreal), Vera Frenkel (Toronto), Thaddeus Holownia (Jolicure, N.B.), Shirley Thomson (Ottawa), Gu Xiong (Vancouver) and Ricardo Castro (Montreal—in the architecture discipline only). Dr. Thomson also served on the jury for the Saidye Bronfman Award, along with Louise Lemieux-Bérubé (Montreal), Charles Lewton-Brain (Calgary) and Peter Powning (Markhamville, N.B.).
Work of art offered to laureates
In addition to their monetary award, winners receive an original work of art, presented at the awards ceremony at Rideau Hall. In 2009, the winners will receive a print by Kenojuak Ashevak, an artist based in Cape Dorset, Nunavut, and a winner of the 2008 award.
Owls Enveloped, 2004, stonecut & stencil, 62 x 81,5 cm. Reproduced with permission from Dorset Fine Arts