Martin Short Accepts the Applause

Dancers from Canada's National Ballet School perform in honour of Mavis Staines (Dance 2019)
Photo: George Pimentel

Susan Aglukark and Beverley McLachlin, Deputy Governor General

Her Excellency Julie Payette and Rick Mercer (Broadcasting 2019) at Rideau Hall
Photo: LS Anne-Marie Brisson, Rideau Hall © OSGG, 2019

Marc Jordan performs with the NAC Orchestra in tribute to John D McKellar

Sandra Oh (NAC Award 2019) Photo: George Pimentel Photography


Join us for a fun and elegant evening celebrating Canada’s highest honour in the performing arts!  The event starts with a pre-show reception including complimentary wine and light canapés while you await the red carpet arrivals. 

Your ticket includes:

6:30pm: Wine and light canapés
7:00pm: Red carpet arrivals
8:00pm: Tribute performance



The Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Gala is a rare opportunity to rub elbows with some of Canada’s most accomplished performing artists. The glittering gala is a star-studded event featuring moving tributes and spectacular performances by some of Canada’s leading artists. 

From the pre-show reception with complimentary culinary creations and Canadian wines, to the pomp and circumstance around the arrival of the Governor General, to the champagne after-party, you will quickly understand why this is THE event of the spring season.  Come to see the stars. Come to experience the show. Come to savour the best of the performing arts in Canada.

The Award recipients are celebrated at an exclusive event preceding the Gala. The evening before, recipients receive their award medallions, struck by the Royal Canadian Mint, from the Governor General at a special Awards ceremony and dinner at Rideau Hall. It’s a warm and prestigious celebration of their achievements in the performing arts.

Medallions struck by the Royal Canadian Mint. Photo: Sgt. Ronald Duschesne, Rideau Hall


Photo by Felix Yuen

The laureate of the first-ever 2023 RBC Emerging Artist Award is Ralph Escamillan, a Filipino-Canadian performer, choreographer, teacher and queer community leader based in Vancouver, British Columbia. RBC commissioned ceramic artist Paula Murray to create the Award that will be presented to Ralph Escamillan along with a $25,000 prize.   
“Success in the arts is heavily influenced by the wealth, resources, and cultural capital an individual has access to, and receiving this award uplifts the hard work of artists who don’t have that same access,” said Ralph Escamillan. “By paying forward the continued support I’ve received to the communities who pour into me, I hope to remind and empower queer and racialized artists of our value and necessity to the artistic milieu.”  
“RBC is a long-standing supporter of the arts and the important role that it plays in our community,” said Andrea Barrack, Senior Vice President Corporate Citizenship & ESG, RBC. “The National Arts Centre is key to bringing important artistic voices to Canadians. A huge congratulations to Ralph Escamillan as the inaugural recipient of the RBC Emerging Artist award! Your work will continue to build a strong future for the arts.”