The Canada Council for the Arts Announces the 2022 Winners of the Governor General's Awards in Visual and Media Arts

March 2, 2022

Ottawa, March 2, 2022 – The Canada Council for the Arts today revealed the winners of the 2022 Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts. This year, nine artists are being honoured in recognition of their exceptional careers and their remarkable contribution to the visual and media arts and fine crafts.

A peer committee selected the winners, who will each receive a $25,000 prize and a special-edition bronze medallion in recognition of their exceptional work. Video portraits featuring each of the artists have been created in their honour.

“My congratulations and heartfelt thanks to each one these nine remarkable artists for their extensive contributions to the arts and culture scene in Canada. It is through their work and careers that generations have celebrated and will continue to celebrate the vibrancy, potency and enduring relevance inherent in visual and media arts and fine craft.”

– Simon Brault, Director and CEO, Canada Council of the Arts

2022 Governor General’s Awards winners

Saidye Bronfman Award

  • Brigitte Clavette, jeweller and metalsmith (Fredericton, New Brunswick)

“Clavette’s work is especially innovative and memorable thanks to her ability to pull away from traditional methods of fabrication of one object to complete compositions of parts. The work, which she sometimes refers to as functionless, crosses cultural and economic divides to create larger narratives.

Brigitte Clavette generously leads while advocating for others to succeed. Through her art and her lifelong involvement in mentorships, collectives and committee and board work, she has left an undeniably deep mark.”

– Maegen Black, Director, on behalf of the Canadian Crafts Federation, and Ann Manuel, visual artist (nominators)

Outstanding Contribution Award

  • Gerald McMaster, curator, artist and writer (Toronto, Ontario)

“Gerald McMaster has curated numerous exhibitions that have been pivotal in changing opportunities for Indigenous artists in this country and abroad, and he has changed the intellectual and creative spaces for Indigenous art within institutions. He has written texts that are essential resources for teachers and students, and he has developed exceptional collaborative models of dialogue and research for contemporary Indigenous art.

McMaster has played a critical role in transforming the presentation of institutional collections of Indigenous art and in bringing together the historical and the contemporary to change the conversation around permanent collections.”

– Sara Angel, founder and Executive Director (with Jocelyn Anderson, Deputy Director), The Art Canada Institute and Aileen Burns, Co-Executive Director & CEO (with Johan Lundh), Remai Modern (nominators)

Artistic Achievement Award

Media Arts

  • Moyra Frances Davey, visual artist (New York City, New York)

“Davey’s expansive body of work represents the never-ending, deeply thoughtful considerations of an artist—where it’s such a pleasurable experience to witness and to listen to the connections Davey makes to other artists, writers, colleagues, family, old boyfriends and her much-loved pets.

Moyra Frances Davey has had an extraordinary career as a senior artist, teacher and mentor to young MFA students. She is also a lecturer—so articulate in communicating the complexities of her video and photography practices to audiences—and a writer, whose texts are beautifully and eloquently composed and whose scripts are so vivid when spoken in front of the camera. She is an intensely engaged and influential participant in the art scene, both in Canada and abroad, whose works reside in public collections in major museums around the world. Davey is actively producing new work, enduring as an influential force as a brilliant, dedicated and productive Canadian artist.

– John Goodwin, goodwater gallery (nominator)

  • Jocelyn Robert, artist (Québec City, Quebec)

“The respect that Jocelyn has garnered among both the artistic and academic community is nothing short of exceptional and entirely well-deserved. In short, with unwavering commitment and integrity, he plays a key role in developing the next generations of Quebec artists—that is an immeasurable contribution to the community. He is a foundation, a support beam, a pillar—my hyperbolic architectural metaphors are designed to make explicit the extent to which he is a well-rounded foundational constituent of the artistic community.

Jocelyn is, without question, a singular artist, researcher, writer, teacher, academic, instigator, deviser, programmer and administrator. He integrates his multivalent talents and myriad research streams in unparalleled ways, always steadfastly making connections and building bridges.”

– Christof Migone, associate professor, Department of Visual Arts, Western University (nominator)

Visual arts

  • Pierre Bourgault, visual artist (Saint-Jean-Port-Joli, Quebec)

“Bourgault’s artistic practice springs from his total commitment to the artistic ecosystem. He is a generous soul whose convictions are as prominent in his practice as they are in his social life, and his works—huge, radical and outspoken—reflect a voice that both carries and rejects the status quo. He is not content to stay within his comfort zone—he has a need to provoke and to rethink the world through art.

As one of the most brilliant and prolific exponents of public art, Bourgault opened up vital prospects for the development of the form. He persists in pushing sculpture off-centre, particularly with recurrent symbols (the megaphone and the tangle of string), which invite the eye to follow the trajectory of a word or a thread…”

– Gentiane Lafrance, art historian, and Anne-Marie Proulx, artist, Est-Nord-Est, résidence d’artistes (nominators)

  • Carole Condé + Karl Beveridge, visual artists (Toronto, Ontario)

“Drawing on the visual languages of montage, tableau and staged documentary, Condé and Beverage have developed a unique approach to photography through using actors, fabricated sets and props, found objects and images and text. Conceptually and contextually, they are visual storytellers, combining archival research, oral history and references to art history and popular culture to address a wide range of local and global issues concerning the environment, climate change, health care, mass media, workers’ rights and immigration.

Socially engaged and politically grounded, their work is exemplary of the shift to the decolonial and the participatory in contemporary art. At the core of their artistic practice is a steadfast commitment to represent and give voice to a diversity of class, race, gender, community and labour perspectives.

– Dot Tuer, writer, curator and professor, OCAD University (nominator)

  • Monique Régimbald‐Zeiber, visual artist (Montréal, Quebec)

“I have always felt that we were faced with an urgent need to ensure the dissemination of work such as Régimbald-Zeiber’s, because it is feminist, because it addresses large areas of inclusive thought and because it addresses groups ‘invisibilized’ by history, language and the dominant power.

Régimbald-Zeiber is a challenge to painting, active thinking and the constantly reinvented quest for the meaning of art in society. Let me emphasize that Monique Régimbald-Zeiber’s painting and writing, with their unique tone and impressive potential for thought development, occupy a very important space in the meaning we give to our visual culture.

– Louise Déry, Director, Galerie de l’Université du Québec à Montréal (nominator)

  • David Ruben Piqtoukun, sculptor/artist (Plainfield, Ontario)

“Since the early 1970s, Piqtoukun has consistently retained the most important element in his work by focussing on his Inuit heritage. His visual storytelling incorporates diverse materials of various stones, bone, wood and, occasionally, feathers. He is a leader, with progressive innovations of contemporary works incorporating Brazilian soapstone, Italian alabaster, marble, steel and bronze.

In exploring the human condition, his work speaks of and to people’s resilience. Through his work, Piqtoukun inspires, mentoring the younger generation with poignant narratives.”

– Judi Michelle Young, President, Sculptors Society of Canada (SSC), and Director, Canadian Sculpture Centre (on behalf of the SSC) (nominator)

Composition of peer assessment committees for 2022

Saidye Bronfman Award

- Brendan L.S. Tang MFA, RCA, visual artist, assistant professor (Vancouver, British Columbia)

- Sarah Quinton, Curatorial Director, Textile Museum of Canada (Toronto, Ontario)

- Chantal Gilbert, metalwork artist (Québec City, Quebec)

Artistic Achievement Award and Outstanding Contribution Award

- Bonnie Sherr Klein, OC; documentary filmmaker/disability arts activist (Sunshine Coast, British Columbia)

- Simon Hughes, visual artist (Winnipeg, Manitoba) 

- Walter Scott, visual artist and graphic novelist (Toronto, Ontario)

- Claude Bélanger, Executive and Artistic Director, Manif d’art – La biennale de Québec (Québec City, Quebec)

- Raymonde April, photographer and visual artist (Montréal, Quebec)

- Lani Maestro, visual artist (Dartmouth, Nova Scotia)

Saidye Bronfman Award

The Saidye Bronfman Award is the highest distinction in Canadian fine craft artistry. Created in 1977 by the Bronfman family, the prize is awarded annually to an exceptional fine craft artist. Every year, the Canadian Museum of History acquires one of the award winner’s works.

Outstanding Contribution

The Outstanding Contribution Award is given to artists who have made an outstanding contribution to the visual arts, the media arts or fine craft, in a volunteer or professional capacity.

Artistic Achievement Award

The Artistic Achievement Award is given to artists in recognition of their body of work. It honours their contribution to contemporary visual or media arts.

Video portraits

You can now watch the original video portraits featuring each of the winners. Commissioned by the Canada Council for the Arts in partnership with the Independent Media Arts Alliance and created by Canadian filmmakers, the shorts are available online as well as on Air Canada’s in-flight entertainment system (from May to October 2022).

Exhibition of the works

The Canada Council for the Arts is grateful to partner with the National Gallery of Canada to celebrate the winners of the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts. The Gallery shines a light on the work of these outstanding artists and arts professionals through a series of activities and initiatives.

About the Canada Council for the Arts

The Canada Council for the Arts contributes to the vibrancy of a creative and diverse arts and literary scene and supports its presence across Canada and around the world. The Council is Canada’s public arts funder.

Its grants, services, initiatives, prizes, and payments support Canadian artists, authors, and arts groups and organizations. This support allows them to pursue artistic expression, create works of art, and promote and disseminate the arts.

Through its arts funding, communications, research, and promotion activities, the Council fosters ever-growing engagement of Canadians and international audiences in the arts.

The Council’s Public Lending Right (PLR) Program makes annual payments to creators whose works are held in Canadian public libraries.

The Council’s Art Bank provides the broader public with a collection of over 17,000 Canadian contemporary art works to enjoy through its rental, loan, and dissemination programs.

The Canadian Commission for UNESCO operates under the authority of the Council. It shares a common history and future with the Council in terms of sustainable development characterized by the arts, science, culture, equality, and peace.

To book interviews with the winners:

Charlene Coy

C2C Communications

Canada Council for the Arts

Communications and Engagement
1-800-263-5588, ext. 5151