Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Governor General's Awards in Visual and Media Arts 2013 – winners

Montreal, March 12, 2013 – The Canada Council for the Arts announced today the winners of the 2013 Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts at the Cinémathèque québécoise in Montreal.

The winners are:
  • Marcel Barbeau, Painter and sculptor, Montreal
  • Rebecca Belmore, Visual artist, Winnipeg
  • William D. MacGillivray, Filmmaker and director, Rose Bay, N.S.
  • Gordon Monahan, Sound artist, composer and media artist, Meaford, Ont.
  • Greg Payce, Artist-potter (Saidye Bronfman Award), Calgary
  • Chantal Pontbriand, Exhibitions and events curator, art critic (Outstanding contribution), Montreal/Paris
  • Colette Whiten, Sculpture installation artist, Toronto/Haliburton, Ont.
The chosen artists’ work is as vast and diverse as the artists themselves and includes documentaries about life in the East coast; larger-than-life-size vases and First-Nations performance art in the West; public sculptures and experimental music composition in Ontario and Montreal-based curating and abstract painting.

For the first time, in partnership with the Independent Media Arts Alliance, the Canada Council commissioned artists to create short video profiles of each Award recipient that are featured on the Canada Council website.

“The 2013 laureates embody Canadian art at its best,” said Robert Sirman, Director and CEO of the CanadaCouncil for the Arts. “Not only are they expanding the boundaries of their art forms and addressing the big questions of our time, their work creates new shapes, sounds and perspectives that change the way we perceive the world around us.”

“Canada has long been renowned for excellence in the visual and media arts, and the recipients of these awards are among our finest contemporary artists and artistic contributors,” said His Excellency the Right Honourable DavidJohnston, Governor General of Canada. “I am pleased to honour each of the laureates with these awards, and encourage audiences everywhere to view and appreciate their vision and creativity.”

Exhibition and film screenings

The National Gallery of Canada exhibition held in conjunction with these awards will run from March 22 to June 23. In addition to the exhibition, the National Gallery will hold a screenings of William MacGillivray’s work throughout the month of April.

Awards ceremony

The Governor General of Canada will present the 2013 Awards at a ceremony at Rideau Hall on Wednesday, March 20 at 6 pm. 

Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts

The Awards, funded and administered by the Canada Council for the Arts, are in their 14th year and recognize distinguished career achievements in the visual and media arts by Canadian artists, as well as outstanding contributions through voluntarism, philanthropy, board governance, community outreach or professional activities. In addition to a $25,000 prize from the Canada Council, each winner will receive a special issue medallion produced in partnership with the Royal Canadian Mint. The Canada Council Art Bank has in its collection many works by the 100+ artists who have won the Awards through the years, works that are available for rent or for loan.

The Saidye Bronfman Award recognizes excellence in fine crafts, and is funded from the proceeds of a $1.5 million endowment given to the Canada Council by The Samuel and Saidye Bronfman Family Foundation in 2006. The support of the Foundation to the Canadian Museum of Civilization has also helped the Museum acquire works by recipients of the Saidye Bronfman Award.

Peer committees

This year’s independent peer assessment committee for the Awards consisted of Marlene Creates (Portugal Cove, N.L.), Kenneth Gregory (Winnipeg), Mary Longman (Saskatoon), Annette Mangaard (Toronto), Jana Sterbak (Montreal) and Ian Wallace (Vancouver).

The peer assessment committee members for the Saidye Bronfman Award were Chantal Gilbert (Quebec City), Harlan House (Marysville, Ont.) and Jane Kidd (Salt Spring Island, B.C.).

Canada Council for the Arts

The Canada Council for the Arts is Canada’s national arts funder. Its grants and payments to artists and arts organizations benefit Canadians by ensuring a vibrant arts sector in Canada. Its awards celebrate creativity by recognizing exceptional Canadians in the arts, humanities and sciences. The Canada Council Art Bank is a national collection of over 17,000 Canadian contemporary artworks – all accessible to the public through rental, loan and outreach programs. The Canadian Commission for UNESCO operates under the general authority of the Canada Council.

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