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February 11, 2020

Celebrating 20 Years of #GGArts Awards

February 11, 2020

Marcel Barbeau, Edward Burtynsky, Alex Colville, Louise Déry, Alex Janvier, Suzy Lake, Rita Letendre, Liz Magor, Paul Wong—if these names sound familiar, it’s because they are a guarantee of excellence in the visual and media arts. They are also among the 170 artists whose exceptional careers and contributions have been recognized with a Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts over the past two decades.

The awards

The Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts are turning 20 in 2020. The Awards—Canada’s foremost distinctions for excellence in visual and media arts—were created to celebrate our vibrant arts community and recognize remarkable careers in the visual and media arts, and so they have for the past 20 years.

Up to eight awards are handed out every year—up to six awards for distinguished artistic achievement, one award for excellence in the fine crafts (the Saidye Bronfman Award), and one award in recognition of outstanding contributions to the visual arts, media arts or fine craft by individuals or groups in a volunteer or professional capacity.

The Awards consist of a $25,000 cheque and a special-edition, personalized bronze medallion.

Their impact

The Awards contribute to highlighting the work of remarkable artists whose output constantly shapes and enhances Canada’s artistic landscape, helping to write Canadian contemporary art history one work of art at a time.

Receiving a Governor General’s Award means increased visibility for Canadian artists and their works both in Canada and around the world. Not only are the selected works by each winning artist featured in a major art gallery exhibition, the works of the winners of the Saidye Bronfman Award are acquired by the Canadian Museum of History and added to its permanent collection. Commissioned video portraits of the winners are also a unique opportunity for the public to discover the best in Canadian visual and media arts and fine craft. Not to be missed, these insightful presentations of artists and their works offer privileged access to the artists’ studios, practices and visions.

Says Simon Brault, Director and CEO of the Canada Council for the Arts, about the Awards, “By recognizing the work of Canada’s best visual and media artists and craftspeople, the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts serve as a hallmark of excellence and innovation, attesting to the high quality and diversity of Canadian artists’ work. What beautiful, challenging, thoughtful and significant art the Awards have shone a spotlight on over the past 20 years! I look forward to seeing what the next 20 have in store for us.”

Tagged As Prize Winners