The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Gala

Ottawa, Saturday, May 5, 2012


One of the great privileges of this office comes in recognizing the outstanding contributions of Canadian artists through the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards, and my wife, Sharon, and I are delighted to be here tonight for this 20th anniversary celebration.

Let me begin by recalling the motto of these awards: The arts engage and inspire us.

Through their achievements and dedication to theatre, dance, film, broadcasting and music, the past and present recipients of these awards have engaged and inspired countless audiences in Canada and around the world.

Our performing artists delight and entertain us, stirring our emotions and our intellects and reflecting our changing world. They stimulate new ideas and inspire our imaginations with a sense of possibility.

Onstage, many things are possible, and this sense stays with us, long after the show is over.

In many ways, the performing arts provide a model for our society as a whole. Whether onstage or onscreen, performance is by nature collaborative, and creativity is enriched by dialogue and by diverse perspectives.

And yet, when the curtain rises, our performing artists remind us above all of how much we have in common—as Canadians and as citizens of the world.

The recipients of these awards have done so much to enrich our lives and to inspire and support new generations of artists. Collectively, they represent the wonderful depth and diversity of the performing arts in Canada, as well as the volunteer spirit that animates it. Their work spans generations and transcends borders and languages.

Indeed, audiences worldwide know Canada by the brilliant light of our performing artists. And like these awards, they recognize excellence when they see it. 

I want to thank the many supporters of the performing arts who are here with us this evening, including a number of former governors general and their spouses who have done so much to promote the arts in Canada.

And on behalf of all Canadians, allow me to congratulate this year’s laureates on their remarkable artistic and volunteer achievements. We are truly fortunate to have such talented and dedicated artists and mentors in our midst.

Bravo and encore to you all!