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, Ontario, Thursday, June 29, 2017


Isn’t it magnificent to be here for this great celebration of artistic excellence?

In so many ways the arts are essential to our lives, to our communities. That’s true no matter where you go, right across this vast and diverse country.

Essential, too, are Canadian artists.

Today, we honour outstanding lifetime achievement in the performing arts. The laureates with us today have made extraordinary contributions.

They have given us so many stories, so many iconic memories to look back on and say: that wasn’t just an amazing moment in Canadian performing arts, that was simply an amazing moment.

We take pride in their achievements, and we’re grateful for all they give back to our communities and our country.

And as we present these Performing Arts Awards on the occasion of their 25th anniversary, we want to say thank you.

Thank you for entertaining and enlightening us, and for expressing what is meaningful to all of us.

Thank you for supporting the arts and budding artists, for your caring and compassion. 

Thank you for telling our stories, and for helping us to see ourselves and our place in the world.

For the past seven years as governor general it has been a privilege to celebrate our outstanding artists.

I’ve seen how music, dance, theatre, literature, the visual arts and film help us tell our stories and understand ourselves. I’ve seen how artists can serve as unofficial ambassadors for Canada around the world. I’ve seen the sheer number of talented and visionary artists we have, each one unique in their art.

And I’ve seen how very important the performing arts are to Canadians.

Two days from Canada Day, two days from the 150th anniversary of Confederation, I hope we continue this grand tradition of celebrating our artists for so many more years to come.

So, before I exit, stage right: I want to once again thank you for your brilliance and your creativity.

And I offer my congratulations to all of our deserving laureates.