2017 Governor Generals Awards in Visual and Media Arts Winners Announced

February 15, 2017

Ottawa, February 15, 2017 – The Canada Council for the Arts announced today the winners of the 2017 Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts.

The awards carry a $25,000 cash prize and recognize outstanding career achievement. They are funded and administered by the Canada Council for the Arts, and include categories for artistic achievement in visual and media arts, fine craft and outstanding contribution. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Saidye Bronfman Award for Excellence in Fine Crafts.

The awards ceremony and a presentation of the medallions by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada will take place at Rideau Hall on March 1 at 6 pm.

The 2017 winners are:

How Canadians can learn more about this year’s winners and their work:

  • Watch original short films on each of the winners, commissioned by the Canada Council in partnership with the Independent Media Arts Alliance and directed by award-winning Canadian filmmakers, available online now and on Air Canada’s in-flight entertainment system, spring 2017.
  • Explore 40 years of Canadian fine craft on the Canada Council’s new saidyebronfmanaward.ca launched today in partnership with The Samuel and Saidye Bronfman Family Foundation and the Canadian Museum of History.
  • Attend the National Gallery of Canada on February 28th from 6 - 8 pm for a conversation between 2017 GGArts winners and Rhiannon Vogl, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art, followed by a meet-the-artist reception in the Gallery’s Watercourt Foyer from 8 - 9 pm.
  • Visit the Winnipeg Art Gallery from April 8th to September 4th, 2017 for an exhibition featuring selected works by this year’s winners.
  • These men and women have made tremendous contributions to the arts and society over their rich careers. Celebrating their exceptional work in 2017, as the Council turns 60, reinforces the importance of investing in artistic creation today to grow the impact of the arts in the future.

    Simon Brault, Director and CEO, Canada Council for the Arts

    Our finest artists challenge us to ask questions and to look deeper into our surroundings, to think more critically and to better appreciate beauty. I’m delighted to recognize this outstanding group of Canadian artists in this, Canada’s 150th anniversary year.

    His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston

    About the Saidye Bronfman Award

    The Saidye Bronfman Award is Canada’s foremost distinction for excellence in fine crafts. Created in 1977 by the Bronfman family to honor their mother on her 80th birthday, the prize is awarded annually to an exceptional fine craft artist. In addition, works by the winners are acquired by the Canadian Museum of History for its permanent collection.

    About the Outstanding Contribution Award

    The Outstanding Contribution Award is given to an individual or a group of individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the visual arts (including architecture and photography), the media arts or fine craft, in a volunteer or professional capacity.

    Canada Council for the Arts

    The Canada Council for the Arts is Canada’s national public arts funder. We champion and invest in artistic excellence so that Canadians may enjoy and participate in a rich cultural life. In 2015-16 we allocated $157.4 million dollars towards artistic creation and innovation through our grants, prizes and payments. We also conduct research, convene activities and work with partners to advance the sector and help embed the arts more deeply in communities across the country. We are responsible for the Canadian Commission for UNESCO which promotes the values and programs of UNESCO to contribute to a more peaceful, equitable and sustainable future for Canadians. The Canada Council Art Bank operates art rental programs and helps further public engagement with contemporary arts.

    Learn more:

    Media Contact

    Canada Council for the Arts:

    Mireille Allaire

    Manager, Community and Digital Engagement​

    150 Elgin St. P.O. Box 1047

    Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5V8

    E-mail: Mireille.Allaire@canadacouncil.ca

    613-566-4414, ext. 5151

    Toll free: 1-800-263-5533, ext. 5151

    Cell: 613-295-3208

    TTY: 1-866-585-5559

    To arrange interviews with the winners:

    Amélie Forcier

    National PR

    E-mail: Aforcier@national.ca


    or 514-799-7011 

    To attend the event at the National Gallery on February 28th at 6 pm:

    Josée-Britanie Mallet

    National Gallery of Canada

    E-mail: BMallet@gallery.ca


    To attend the Rideau Hall Ceremony on March 1 at 6 pm: 

    Julie Rocheleau

    Rideau Hall Press Office

    E-mail: Julie.Rocheleau@gg.ca