The Governor General's Performing Arts Awards Foundation

Registered Name: The Governor General's Performing Arts Awards Foundation/La Fondation des Prix d

Business Number: 133732800RR0001

The Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards (GGPAA) are Canada’s highest honour in the performing arts. The awards recognize a stellar array of artists and arts volunteers for their outstanding contribution to culture in Canada and abroad.The Governor General's Performing Arts Awards were created in 1992 under the patronage of the Right Honourable Ramon John Hnatyshyn (1934-2002), then Governor General of Canada, and his wife Gerda. Today, we are honoured to have Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette as our patron.

Each year, Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards are presented for Lifetime Artistic Achievement in the categories of theatre, dance, classical music, popular music, film, and broadcasting. These awards recognize artists who have made an indelible contribution to Canada and the world’s cultural life. Recipients of these awards are nominated by the general public.Two complementary awards are also conferred each year. 

The Ramon John Hnatyshyn (RJH) Award for Voluntarism in the Performing Arts, which recognizes outstanding contribution by an individual or group in voluntary service to the performing arts in Canada. This Award is also nominated by the general public.

The National Arts Centre Award, which recognizes the work of an extraordinary nature by an individual artist or company in the past performance year. Recipients are selected by the NAC Board of Trustees from a list of candidates proposed by a nominating committee of NAC artistic programmers.

The Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards are administered by the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Foundation, an Ottawa-based, not-for-profit charitable organization governed by a Board of Directors and administered by a small professional staff. The GGPAAF enjoys a dynamic partnership with the National Arts Centre (NAC) which has responsibility for the production of the annual gala performance and the event's fundraising activities.The Foundation was created and incorporated in 1992 under the patronage of the late Right Honourable Ramon John Hnatyshyn (1934-2002). Its mandate is:

  • To honour and celebrate the lifetime artistic achievement of Canada’s outstanding performing artists

  • To foster cross-cultural awareness of Anglophone artists in French Canada and of Francophone artists in English Canada
  • To foster awareness of Canada’s diverse linguistic and cultural groups
  • To foster awareness of indigenous performing artists
  • To raise profile among Canadians of the achievements and contributions of Canadian performing artists at home and abroad

  • To inspire future performing artists

The GGPAA Foundation is responsible for coordinating the nomination and selection processes; organizing all special events related to the awards presentation including ceremonies in the House of Commons, at Rideau Hall and the National Arts Centre; and cultivating partnerships to enhance the profile of the awards.The Foundation is federally incorporated as a registered charity. The Foundation's Board of Directors oversees policy, the allocation of funds and the final selection of recipients.

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