May 27, 2023

Check against delivery


I would like to begin by acknowledging that we are gathered on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinabe people who have lived on and cared for this land for thousands of years.

Congratulations to all the recipients of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award.

I hope you are all enjoying the evening thus far. We have already seen so much talent, with so much more still to come.

Tonight is a celebration of art, but it is more than that. Tonight, we get a glimpse of what the future of performing arts looks like in Canada. Take for instance the OrKidstra and the Urban Science Brass Band. What a wonderful way to be welcomed onstage—by talented groups who are showing us the pure joy of playing music.

We have many young people performing for us tonight. Who knows what the future holds for your careers? You may find yourself on this stage many times, perhaps even at this very event. Perhaps one day as an honouree. We’re all excited to see what you do.

You just need to look to our recipients for a glimpse of how to create and craft a career in the performing arts. Each of them has contributed not only on stage and on screen, but behind the scenes as well. Each one has given back. They inspire and create new opportunities for emerging and young artists. And they are telling diverse stories, both in their creations and performances, and with their success.

Diversity in storytelling is a strength in our country and our artists. It’s important that we can see ourselves reflected in the stories we tell, whether it’s an epic space adventure, a musical number, a choreographed spectacle or an intimate story told by two people on a stage. Wherever these artists have taken us, we have followed, inspired by their passion for storytelling and by their commitment to the next generation of Canadian artists.

Once again, congratulations. This is a well-deserved honour for all of you.

Thank you.