Get involved. Nominate!

Nominations for the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards are made by members of the general public. Nominations for the 2017 Awards are now closed. We invite you to nominate for the 2019 Awards. The deadline is September 22, 2017.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement?

The Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement is given to established Canadian artists who have made a marked contribution to the performing arts in Canada, and in some cases, internationally, and have developed a significant body of work.

The awards are conferred in the following six categories:

  • Broadcasting (radio and television)
  • Classical Music
  • Dance
  • Film
  • Popular Music
  • Theatre

Each recipient receives a cash award of $25,000 provided by the Canada Council for the Arts and a commemorative medallion provided by the Royal Canadian Mint.

Who can be nominated for Lifetime Artistic Achievement Awards?

Professional artists who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada and who have achieved a major, influential body of work can be nominated. The Foundation defines a professional artist as someone who has specialized training in the field (not necessarily obtained in academic institutions), who is recognized as such by his or her peers (artists working in the same artistic discipline), and who has a history of public presentation.

Tip: Visit the Award Recipients page to get an overview of those who have been honoured in the past. This is a good guideline to determine whether your favourite artist is eligible.

Members of the boards of the following organizations are NOT eligible to receive an award in any year during which they are actively serving on the board:

  • The Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Foundation
  • The National Arts Centre
  • The National Arts Centre Foundation
  • The Canada Council for the Arts
  • The National Film Board of Canada

Note: Candidates may not themselves apply for the Awards; they must be nominated.

How do you define “broadcasting” in the performing arts?

The Governor General's Performing Arts Awards are dedicated to celebrating Canadians who have changed the face of the performing arts in Canada or abroad. The principal assessment criterion for the Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award is the quality, extent and originality of the contribution by the nominee(s) to the performing arts in Canada, or through shining a spotlight on Canadian talent abroad.

Nominations are encouraged:

  • for producers, directors or on-air personalities of documentaries and/or radio or television series who have become models for others of their kind
  • outstanding actors or performers who have had an extensive career in television and/or radio
  • individuals who have impacted awareness and distribution of Canadian culture through broadcasting
  • individuals who have developed, championed, featured and promoted the performing arts in Canada or by shining a spotlight on Canadian talent abroad through radio or televsion.
The award is not intended for news anchors or news correspondents.

Examples may be found in the past recipients in this category:

  • Janette Bertrand
    Journalist, writer, host, actor, playwright

  • Dave Broadfoot
    Writer, actor, producer, director

  • Clémence DesRochers
    Writer, broadcaster, singer, monologist

  • Max Ferguson
    On-air host

  • Denise Filiatrault
    Actor, director

  • Peter Gzowski
    Writer, interviewer/host, journalist/reporter
     
  • Tom Jackson
    Actor, singer-songwriter, producer and humanitarian
  • Jacques Languirand
    Host, writer

  • Eugene Levy
    Actor, writer

  • Lorne Michaels
    Writer, broadcaster, producer

  • Dominique Michel
    Actor, host

  • Royal Canadian Air Farce
    Actors, writers

  • William Shatner
    Actor, director, producer, writer, spokesman and philanthropist

  • Mark Starowicz
    Journalist, producer

  • Mary Walsh
    Writer, comedian, director and political satirist
  • Moses Znaimer
    Producer, director, specialty channel pioneer
     

What is the Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Voluntarism in the Performing Arts?

The award for voluntarism in the performing arts is given to an individual or group to recognize an outstanding contribution in service to the performing arts. Voluntarism is defined as giving personal time and expertise, displaying generosity, and/or establishing a history of financial support in the service of a community, without direct or indirect financial or other compensation for the service. The prize consists of a specially commissioned artwork created by a Canadian artist and a commemorative medallion provided by the Royal Canadian Mint.

Who can be nominated for the Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award?

Recipients of the Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada and their contribution made in the service of the Canadian community.

Voluntarism is defined as:

  • giving personal time and expertise;
  • displaying generosity; or
  • establishing a history of financial support in the service of a community, without direct or indirect financial or other compensation for the service.

Tip: Visit Award Recipients to get an overview of those who have been honoured in the past. This is a good guideline to determine whether your favourite volunteer is eligible.

Members of the boards of the following organizations are NOT eligible to receive an award in any year during which they are actively serving on the board:

  • The Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Foundation
  • The National Arts Centre
  • The National Arts Centre Foundation
  • The Canada Council for the Arts
  • The National Film Board of Canada 

Note: Candidates may not themselves apply for the Awards; they must be nominated.

Who can submit a nomination?

Anyone can make a nomination. We are delighted to receive nominations from engaged Canadians who enjoy and take an interest in Canada's performing arts.

How do I make a nomination?

A complete nomination must be submitted to the Foundation on or before the deadline by completing the online form, by mail, email or fax. If submitting your nomination by email, please forward all required documents as attachments with your cover message by the deadline date. A complete nomination package consists of three parts:

  1. The nomination form. You must fully complete the proper nomination form and include it in your package. If you do not have contact information for the nominee, please leave the line blank.

  2. The supporting statement. OPTIONAL. You may provide a description of why you are nominating this individual or group.

  3. The biography. Please provide biographical details about the nominee. Materials sourced online are acceptable. Sample biography.

Additional letters of support are not required and will not be submitted to the juries.

Submissions provided in both official languages (English and French) are greatly appreciated.

Important to note: Incomplete nominations will not be submitted for consideration. Materials must not be bound (e.g., stapled, Cerlox or spiral bound) to ensure ease of copying. Please note that the Foundation will not return any submitted materials.

All Award nomination documentation submitted becomes the property of the Foundation and, except for personal information protected by the Privacy Act, may be used in any publicity or promotion accompanying the Awards.

How many people can I nominate?

You may submit multiple nominations. A complete package must be prepared for each nomination.

How are the nominees selected?

All eligible nominations will be reviewed by peer assessment juries selected each year by the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards Foundation.

The juries are composed of experienced performing arts professionals—performing artists, managers, impresarios, directors, teachers, critics, producers, and other appropriate peers—selected by the Foundation for their expertise in each discipline. Members are also chosen to ensure fair representation of the two official languages, gender and the various regions and cultures of Canada, as well as the various disciplines and artistic practices within the performing arts.

Each jury makes recommendations for the final selection of the recipients. The Board of Directors of the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards Foundation makes the final selection of the recipients. All decisions of the Board are final.

What are the criteria for selection of the recipients?

Juries and Foundation Board members will have the following points in mind when reviewing the nominations for Lifetime Artistic Achievement Awards:

  • The excellence of the nominee's work, covering all aspects of artistic quality, creativity, innovation, and technical mastery.
  • The quality and extent of the candidate's lifetime contribution to the development of the performing arts in Canada and to the cultural life of Canada, and, where appropriate, international recognition.

The principal criterion for assessing nominations for the Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Voluntarism in the Performing Arts is:

  • The quality and scope of the voluntary contribution made by the nominee(s) to the performing arts in Canada over an extended period.

How are the recipients notified?

The Foundation contacts the recipients privately to confirm their acceptance. The names of the recipients are kept strictly confidential until the official announcement ceremony in the spring.

The recipients are required to participate fully in all Award activities, including ceremonies, receptions, and other related events, and to make themselves available to the media for interviews.

Recipients must allow photographs and public information about themselves to be used in promoting the Awards and in other Foundation/ National Arts Centre promotional initiatives. Portraits of the recipients may be displayed at the National Arts Centre and elsewhere.

How are the recipients recognized and celebrated?

Recipients are honoured first through the announcement event at which their selection is revealed to the media and the general public. They are also honoured throughout a special Gala Awards weekend, held in May or June. See Celebrations for details.