Herrndorf, Hewitt, McLauchlan, Bujold to get 2018 Governor General Performing Arts Awards

Angela Hewitt. Photo: Bernd Eberle

The man who hepled to start it all in the first place 26 years ago was one of the recipients of the 2018 Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards (GGPAA) for a lifetime of achievement in the arts. 

The outgoing CEO of the National Arts Centre Peter Herrndorf joined Ottawa native and world famous solo pianist, Angela Hewitt; theatre, film and TV producer Andrew Alexander; the film star Geneviève Bujold; dancer-choreographer Ginette Laurin and the singer-songwriter Murray McLauchlan as laureates.

Two other awards were handed out Thursday morning. The winner of the Ramon J. Hnatyshyn Award for Voluntarism in the Performing Arts is Quebecer Florence Junca Adenot

And the 2018 National Arts Centre award goes to the Calgary born sister act Tegan and Sara

Here’s more about each of the laureates and winners:

Andrew Alexander.

Andrew Alexander is the producer behind The Second City improv comedy club, theatre and school and comedy show SCTV. He has led Second City for 40 years and built it into an internattional comedy empire. 

• In more than 50 years of work, Geneviève Bujold has appeared in more than 70 films in English and French. She was Anne Boleyn in Anne of the Thousand Days (directed by Charles Jarrott, 1969) and Élisabeth in Kamouraska (Claude Jutra, 1973); more recently Still Mine (Michael McGowan, 2012) and Chorus (François Delisle, 2015).

• Peter Herrndorf has been a journalist, broadcaster and arts administrator. He has led the National Arts Centre since 2000 Under his leadership the NAC has established the National Arts Centre Foundation, the NAC’s Indigenous Theatre Department and a $25 million creation fund that will aims to take new works to the world stage. He also oversaw a major $225.4 million renewal of the NAC building itself.

Peter Herrndorf. Photo: David Kawai

Angela Hewitt is considered to be the leading interpreter Bach’s piano music. She has performed around the world with major orchestras and in recital. She will be in Ottawa on March 20 to play the third of a 12-concert series of all of Bach’s piano repertoire. She’s also recorded Couperin, Rameau, Scarlatti, Beethoven, Chopin, Schumann, Liszt, Chabrier, Granados, Fauré, Debussy, Ravel and Messiaen, as well as concertos by Mozart and Schumann. 

Ginette Laurin is acknowledged as one of Canada’s foremost choreographers, with more than 50 works to her credit, and she is a pioneer of contemporary dance in Quebec. She is the founding artistic director of O Vertigo, and worked with the company for over 30 years. She has also hosted numerous dance workshops and taught at several universities and theatre schools in Canada and internationally.

Murray McLauchlan

Murray McLauchlan joined the pantheon of Canadian singer–songwriters in the early 1970s with his Farmer’s Song, earning the first of 11 Juno Awards. He is also a visual artist and has worked on radio and TV. He continues to tour regularly, both on his own and with the band Lunch at Allen’s.

• Over 45 years, Florence Junca Adenot has held leadership roles in arts and culture, university administration, public transit and heritage preservation. The native of Bordeaux, France was the founding chair of Agora de la danse, the first permanent venue in Quebec devoted to contemporary dance; the Centre Pierre- Péladeau creation and performance centre for music and dance and the Corporation de développement urbain du Faubourg Saint-Laurent, which laid the groundwork for the Quartier des spectacles, Montréal’s downtown culture and entertainment district.

Tegan and Sara have sold more than a million albums and performed around the world. The sisters both openly identify as queer and are advocates for equality, gender justice and progressive social change.

As in past years the laureates will be honoured at three events in Ottawa. It culminates at a gala on June 2 which will feature performances and short film profiles of the laureates created by the National Film Board of Canada.

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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.