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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.