Artists receive honour from Governor General

The 2019 Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts (GGAVMA) were recently presented by Governor General Julie Payette during a ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.

The awards are Canada’s foremost honour for excellence in visual and media arts. The prizes are awarded annually to artists for distinguished career achievement in a broad spectrum of fields, including photography, performance art, experimental film and video, new media and metalwork.

The awards also include the Saidye Bronfman Award for excellence in the fine crafts as well as a prize for outstanding contributions to the visual or media arts in a volunteer or professional capacity.


All winners receive special-edition bronze medallions produced by the Royal Canadian Mint.

Measuring 75 millimetres in diameter, the medallions depict a maple tree flanked by two crowned lion’s heads. The maple is the symbol used to represent the Canada Council while the lions represent the vice-regal emblem of the governor-general; their crowns represent Canada; and their number, the two disciplines recognized by the award. The motto “Excellentiae in artibus causa” (“For excellence in the arts”) adorns the face of the medallion, and the name “Canada Council for the Arts” is engraved on the edge.

The name of the award, the year of its attribution and the name of the laureate are engraved on the back of the medallion.

This year’s laureates include:

  • Lee-Ann Martin, an independent curator from Carp, Ont.;
  • Stephen Andrews, a visual artist from Toronto;
  • Yvon Cozic and Monic Brassard, visual artists from Sainte-Anne-de-la-Rochelle, Qué.;
  • Marlene Creates, a visual artist from Portugal Cove, N.L.;
  • Ali Kazimi, a filmmaker and media artist from Toronto;
  • Andrew James Paterson, a media artist from Toronto;
  • Jeff Thomas, a photo-based storyteller and photographer from Ottawa; and
  • Susan Edgerley, a glass artist from Val-Morin, Qué.

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