Catherine O’Hara, Ryan Reynolds top list of 2020 GGPA Awards

The 2020 Governor Genereal's Performing Arts Awards were announced this morning. The list includes actors Catherine O'Hara and Ryan Reynolds.

This year’s list of lifetime laureates of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards includes a major Indigenous actor, a Chinese Canadian composer and a comedian known for her work in the hit comedy series Schitt’s Creek. 

There is more Hollywood glamour with the winner of the 2020 National Arts Centre Award — the actor Ryan Reynolds.

Here’s the lineup for the annual gala on April 27 in the NAC’s Southam Hall.

Tantoo Cardinal is seen here in a video statement released by the GGPAA committee.

Tantoo Cardinal: Over 50 years she has appeared in more than 120 different film, television and theatre roles. Cardinal is Métis and she has become one of the leading First Nations actors of her generation appearing in films such as Dances With Wolves and Black Robe, TV series such as North of 60 and theatre such as the all-Indigenous production of King Lear at the NAC. She is also an activist and environmentalist. 

Alexina Louie

Alexina Louie: is a versatile, imaginative and prolific composer who has written for many musical genres, from piano, voice and orchestra to opera and film. Her orchestral works have been performed by international ensembles including the National Arts Centre Orchestra. In an interview with ARTSFLE, she said, “I write the music and I don’t really think about what category the music fits in. I write music that suits the situation and the players.”


Zab Maboungou

Zab Maboungou: is a choreographer, dancer, instructor, philosopher and writer. She is the founding artistic director of Zab Maboungou / Compagnie Danse Nyata Nyata, a Montréal-based contemporary dance company. This dance pioneer is known for intensely physical, dynamic works that explore she calls “our situation in the world.” She has created an approach to dance called Loketo which draws on the rhythms of traditional Central African music and dance.


Catherine O’Hara

Catherine O’Hara is one of the leading actors and comedians of her generation. She is best known for her work with the SCTV sketch comedy series to roles in Christopher Guest’s mockumentaries such as best in Show and her work on the CBC TV comedy Schitt’s Creek. 


Florent Vollant

Florent Vollant is an Innu singer-sngwriter who broke onto the Canadian music scene in the duo Kashtin. These days he performs as a solo artist. He has recorded six albums, founded a recording studio for Indigenous musicians and created a songwriting circle for Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth. 

Lynda Hamilton is the winner of the Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Voluntarism in the Performing Arts for her work providing performing artists with the support they need in an industry often fraught with financial hardship. She has worked with organizations such as the Dancer Transition Resource Centre (DTRC), the Artists’ Health Alliance, the Artists’ Health Centre at Toronto Western Hospital, the University of British Columbia (UBC), the Canadian Senior Artists Resource Network and the Valleyview Artist Retreat in Caledon, Ontario.

Ryan Reynolds

Ryan Reynolds is the winner of the 2020 National Arts Centre Award. one of this country’s most recognized actors in feature films, such as popular Deadpool and Deadpool 2, television and animated films. 

As well the GGPAA announced the annual mentorship program participants. The Quebec playwright and co-founder of Quebec’s Le Carrousel theatre company, Suzanne Lebeau will mentor Marie-Eve Huot who took over from Lebeau as artistic co-director (alongside Gervais Gaudreault) of Le Carrousel.

 Tickets for the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Gala on April 25 are now on sale at

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Peter Robb began his connection with the arts community in Ottawa in the mid-1980s when he was the administrator and public relations director of the Great Canadian Theatre Company. After a long career in journalism with the Ottawa Citizen where he served in a number of different posts he returned to the arts when he became the Citizen's arts editor.