Ryan Reynolds among 2020 Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards winners

Other 2020 lifetime artistic achievement winners include Vancouver-born composer Alexina Louie

Ryan Reynolds returned to San Diego Comic-Con to promote the release of a ‘Deadpoll’ extended cut. (Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Ryan Reynolds returned to San Diego Comic-Con to promote the release of a ‘Deadpoll’ extended cut. (Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

This year’s Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards will be a star-studded affair, with internationally renowned actors Ryan Reynolds, Catherine O’Hara and Tantoo Cardinal among the laureates.

Vancouver-born Reynolds, whose big-screen credits include “The Proposal,” “Green Lantern” and “Deadpool,” will receive the National Arts Centre Award, which recognizes work by an artist or company in the past performance year.

Meanwhile, Toronto-born comedy great O’Hara of “Schitt’s Creek” and “SCTV” fame will get a lifetime artistic achievement award at the ceremony in April.

Getting the same honour is First Nations actress Tantoo Cardinal, who was born in Fort McMurray, Alta., and stars in the series “Stumptown.”

Other 2020 lifetime artistic achievement winners include Vancouver-born composer Alexina Louie, who has written for the stage and screen, and Quebec-based Innu singer-songwriter Florent Vollant, who has worked extensively with Indigenous musicians.

Vollant has lived a life largely on the road, performing concerts and blazing a trail for Indigenous musicians, and said he’s happy the honour gives him a chance to thank those around him who have supported his nomadic lifestyle.

“I can’t do it alone,” the father of five said in a phone interview from a Montreal airport while on his way to Sept-Iles, Que., where he grew up on the Maliotenam reserve.

“I need my family, I need my children. And when people said, ‘We’ll give you something to help you to continue,’ I say: ‘Thank you to my family — thank you to all of them who spent time on the road with me.’”

READ MORE: Victoria hotel trashes Channing Tatum in favour of B.C.’s Ryan Reynolds

But while he was excited about the honour, Vollant’s thoughts were also on the divide between Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and federal and provincial leaders over the Coastal GasLink pipeline.

“Do we choose economy or life — for our children, for the next generation? It’s what I’m thinking about. It makes me sad,” said Vollant, whose songs touch on themes including diversity and inclusion.

“I’m happy when they give me a chance to say thank you,” Vollant added. “But I’m also thinking about the tensions we have, actually. I’m thinking about my brothers and my sisters and all the people across the country.”

Vollant’s four-decade career has seen him perform in the Juno Award-winning First Nations folk-rock duo Kashtin, with fellow Innu musician Claude McKenzie, and then as a solo artist.

He’s recorded six albums, founded a recording studio for Indigenous musicians, created a songwriting circle for Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth, and collaborated with artists including Robbie Robertson.

He’s also a passionate advocate for the preservation of Quebec’s waterways.

The lifetime artistic achievement list is rounded out by Montreal-based dancer-choreographer Zab Maboungou, who pioneered a contemporary movement technique that draws on the rhythms of traditional Central African music and dance.

The recipient of the 2020 Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for voluntarism in the performing arts is ballroom dancer/human resources consultant Lynda Hamilton, who hails from British Columbia.

The awards also include a mentorship program in which past recipients offer guidance to Canadian artists in mid-career.

This year’s participants are playwright Suzanne Lebeau as the mentor and theatre artist Marie-Eve Huot as the protege.

The 2020 laureates will be honoured at three events in Ottawa, culminating in the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Gala at the National Arts Centre on April 25.

“Our 2020 laureates are national heroes whose art inspires, informs and delights,” said a statement from Douglas Knight, chair and CEO of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Foundation, and Anik Bissonnette, co-chair of the foundation.

Created in 1992, the awards are presented annually to “Canadians whose accomplishments have inspired and enriched the cultural life of our country,” says a news release.

Nominations are submitted by members of the public.

Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Entertainment

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5. (Black Press Files)
Interior Health reports 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5

Over 300,000 vaccine doses have been administered provincewide.

A lawyer wears a face mask and gloves to curb the spread of COVID-19 while waiting to enter B.C. Supreme Court, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. British Columbia’s highest court has sided with the land owner in a dispute over public access to public land. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. high court finds in favour of large landowner in fight over access to Stoney and Minnie lakes

The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club launched legal action after the cattle company blocked road and trail access

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
36 new cases of COVID-19, one death in Interior Health

The number of active cases in the region is at 366

Clearwater his home to many animals, large and small. A community vet is sorely needed, according to a new coalition that is getting the wheels turning in a recruitment campaign for Clearwater. (Claire Hanna photo)
Locals band together to recruit veterinarian to community

A recruitment campaign is in the works as current vet to retire in June

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
43 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

368 cases in the region remain active

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C. on the COVID-19 situation. (B.C. government)
Dr. Bonnie Henry predicts a ‘post-pandemic world’ for B.C. this summer

‘Extending this second dose provides very high real-world protection to more people, sooner’

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

Chief Don Tom of the Tsartlip First Nation was outraged after Green MLA Adam Olsen revealed on social media that the community had been experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak – a fact the First Nation had chosen to keep private to avoid racist backlash as experienced by the Cowichan Tribes when an outbreak was declared there in January. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation ‘outraged’ after Green MLA reveals COVID-19 outbreak

Tsartlip First Nation chief shares concerns about racist backlash, MLA apologizes

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa Friday, March 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau holds firm on premiers’ health-care funding demands, COVID-19 aid comes first

Premiers argue that the current amount doesn’t keep pace with yearly cost increases of about five per cent

Free Reformed Church is seen as people attend service, in Chilliwack, B.C., on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021. Lawyers for the British Columbia government and the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms are back in B.C. Supreme Court today, squaring off over the legality of COVID-19 rules that prohibit in-person religious services. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. top doctor has power to restrict access to a place during health hazard: lawyer

Under B.C.’s Public Health Act, Jacqueline Hughes says, Henry can restrict or prevent entry to a place

Most Read