Adams, Sainte-Marie win Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards
Singers Bryan Adams and Buffy Sainte-Marie are among six Canadians to win this year’s Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards.
The honour recognizes “outstanding lifetime contribution to Canada’s cultural life.”
The other winners, announced in Montreal Tuesday, are:
Quebec theatre actress FranÁoise Faucher.
Montreal choreographer Edouard Lock.
Theatre actor and director Robin Phillips.
Former Toronto Symphony Orchestra director Walter Homburger.
Each winner receives $25,000 and will be honoured at a gala at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa on May 1. Governor General MichaÎlle Jean will present the awards April 30 at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.
At the same announcement in Montreal, superstar conductor Yannick NÈzet-SÈguin was named winner of the 2010 National Arts Centre Award.
Mohammed and Yulanda Faris, philanthropists and volunteers who have been active in the Vancouver arts community for close to 40 years, were awarded the 2010 Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for volunteerism in the performing arts.
Earlier this month, Sainte-Marie and Adams performed as part of the 2010 Winter Olympics celebrations in Vancouver.
Adams, who is touring internationally with his Bare Bones solo acoustic show, performed his song Bang the Drum with Nelly Furtado at the Olympic opening ceremony. The rock singer is one of Canada’s top recording artists, known for songs such as Straight from the Heart, Cuts Like a Knife, Run to You and Summer of ’69.
He won a Grammy Award for best motion picture soundtrack song for Everything I Do I Do It for You.
Adams was born in Kingston, Ont., and raised in Vancouver. He is known for his involvement with humanitarian causes, including Live Aid and his own Bryan Adams Foundation. He’ll be honoured with a humanitarian award at the 2010 Juno Awards ceremony in St. John’s, N.L., and is an officer of the Order of Canada.
Sainte-Marie emerged as a singer-songwriter and activist in the 1960s, with songs such as Until It’s Time for You to Go, Universal Soldier and Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.
Born on the Piapot reserve in Saskatchewan, she has been an outspoken advocate for aboriginal rights throughout her career. She continues her work to improve education for aboriginal children through her own foundation.
In 1981, she won a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for the song Up Where We Belong, written for the film An Officer and a Gentleman.
In 2009, she released Running for the Drum, which won a Juno and four Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards. She is an officer of the Order of Canada, among her many other awards and honours.
Faucher blazed a trail in Quebec theatre
Faucher is an actor, director and broadcaster who blazed a trail for women in Quebec theatre. Born in France, she moved to Canada at age 21 and graced Montreal stages in roles such as Marthe in L’…change, Sarah Bernhardt in Sarah et le cri de la langouste, Winnie in Oh les beaux jours and Prospero in La TempÍte.
“A pleasure, a great great pleasure, an honour. I’m very proud,” Faucher said in Montreal on Tuesday.
She hosted several popular radio and television shows, among them the groundbreaking Femme d’aujourd’hui (1966-81). She also was a director of works such as Racine’s Andromaque and MoliËre’s Le Misanthrope.
Faucher told CBC News she is retired from the stage but now enjoys public speaking on issues such as the Holocaust, violence against women and palliative care.
ìI have great pleasure now in presenting readings in front of the public, just words,” she said, adding she was thrilled to share a stage with NÈzet-SÈguin, whom she called a great artist.
Lock is the founder of dance company La La La Human Steps and his choreography combines classical ballet with contemporary dance.
He created works for some of the world’s foremost dance companies, including the Paris Opera and the Netherlands Dance Theater. His collaborations include being artistic director for a David Bowie world tour and for Frank Zappa on the Yellow Shark concert.
Phillips known for work in Stratford, Edmonton
British-born Phillips is well known in Canada as former artistic director of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, where he served 1975 to 1980. There he directed actors such as Martha Henry, William Hutt and Brian Bedford. He also directed Stratford’s Young Company in 1987-88.
Phillips was also artistic director of The Grand Theatre, in London, Ont. (1983-84) and director general of Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre (1990-95.) In 1998, he helped establish Toronto’s Soulpepper Theatre Company and directed its first two productions.
Phillips’ directing credits also include Long Day’s Journey Into Night, starring Jessica Lange, in London’s West End; The Marriage of Figaro for the Canadian Opera Company; the film adaptation of Timothy Findley’s novel The Wars; and the Broadway musical Jekyll and Hyde.
Homburger was managing director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for 25 years, beginning in 1962. He is recognized for bringing recognition to the TSO and attracting international soloists and conductors to Toronto.
Born in Germany, he moved to Canada in 1940 and founded International Artists Concert Agency, which brought many artists to Canada and fostered recital series. He continues to manage Canadian artists and advise music organizations in Canada.
NÈzet-SÈguin’s award recognizes a year of accomplishment for the Montreal conductor, who is music director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and artistic director of Orchestre MÈtropolitain du Grand MontrÈal.
Currently touring Canada with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, he is in demand as a conductor around the world.
NÈzet-SÈguin told CBC News he thinks this kind of award focuses attention on classical music and shows it is not just for an elite.
“We are not searching for those awards, but when they come, it is with a realization that we have an impact on the lives of Canadians, whether we are in Canada or not,” he said.
The young conductor said his international career is a “dream come true,” but he feels very attached to the music scene in Montreal.
“Itís the same act of sharing music and emotions with people and itís just more international. I feel very privileged so far,” he said.
The Faris family has supported numerous Vancouver arts organizations, including the Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver Opera, Vancouver International Writers’ Festival, Bard on the Beach, Vancouver Symphony, Vancouver Children’s Festival and Downtown Women’s Eastside Centre.
Mohammed Faris, an engineer and real estate developer, helped establish the $11-million Scotiabank Dance Centre opened in 2001. Yulanda Faris chairs the Vancouver Opera Foundation and serves on the dean’s advisory board, UBC faculty of arts.
The awards are given by the Governor General’s Performing Arts Foundation in association with the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.
Adams, Sainte-Marie win Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards