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A Weekend in Ottawa: The Governor General’s Arts Awards 2015

Andrea (@missfish) and I posing for the paparazzi (i.e. our husbands).

Andrea (@missfish) and I posing for the paparazzi (i.e. our husbands).

Last weekend, the Hubby and I dusted off some fancy-pants clothes and headed out to Canada’s National Arts Centre to attend the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards. I had been invited as a member of the media last year, and was thrilled to be invited again this year because this event is just spec-tac-u-lar.

Fancy Pogo Sticks for the Win

Fancy Pogo Sticks for the Win

In addition to the actual show, there are some pre- and post-show activities to book-end the experience. Before the show starts, there are drinks and appetizers while the Laureates arrive on a red carpet to a nice fanfare.

Atom Egoyan, a 2015 laureate, arrives on the red carpet.

Atom Egoyan, a 2015 laureate, arrives on the red carpet.

The catering is really nothing to write home about, but the people-watching is fabulous. It’s so rare to get to see people all dressed up! Some of the women really go all out, which I truly appreciate. I love seeing the fashion.

Ottawa Fashion Blogger Marilou Moles Never Fails to Impress

Ottawa Fashion Blogger Marilou Moles Never Fails to Impress

The laureates, as guests of honour, are seated in first row of the Southam Hall balcony. Other VIPs sit on either side, including the Governor General himself, and this year, former Prime Minister Jean Chretien and his wife Aline were also in attendance.

A not-very-good shot of the VIP seating area. I was too star-struck by Sarah McLachlan! I love her!

A not-very-good shot of the VIP seating area. I was too star-struck by Sarah McLachlan! I love her!

The event rolls out in such a way as that each laureate is honoured one by one, with a speech or presentation from a colleague and a short film that highlights that artist’s work. It might sound dull — like a bunch of wedding speeches one after another — but it’s not. It’s really fascinating and each film is uniquely produced and clever in its own way. Sometimes, the laureates will surprise the audience and perform live for us too.

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Walter Boudreau, a composer and conductor, performs with an other-worldly backdrop of stars.

One of my favourite of the films produced this year, which are created by the National Film Board, took a particularly unique angle. I just have to share it with you:

让-马克 (Jean-Marc) by Annie St-Pierre, National Film Board of Canada

All of these films are available for public consumption on the event’s website. In fact, it’s important to note that the event itself is driven by the Canadian public — nominations are made by the general public, not industry folks or insiders’ club.

All in all, I think this is a “must do” event for every Ottawa arts lover. It is a celebration of art from start to finish, and I always leave feeling proud to be Canadian and inspired to take in more of our country’s artistic creations.

A page from of #GGAwards Program 2015

A page from the beautifully produced event program.

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Comments

  1. Chantal says:

    Can anyone go?

    • Hi Chantal – oh, sorry if I didn’t make that clear! Yes, it’s an event that the NAC sells tickets for each year. I only mentioned that I had been invited as media because readers usually like me to disclose these things. It’s a very cool event.

  2. Hi Julie! It was so great to see you at the GGPAA Gala! it really was a fun event. I agree, the Jean-Marc Vallee film was the best and the most out-of-the-box movie made for that evening! I am glad you had a fabulous time!

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