The Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts – one of the many ways the Canada Council brings the arts to Canadians.
The Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts were created in 1999 by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Governor General of Canada. Over the past 16 years, the awards have celebrated Canada’s vibrant arts community and recognized remarkable careers in the visual and media arts.
Artistic achievements and outstanding contribution
Each year, the awards honour up to 7 artists for their artistic achievements, and 1 person for his or her outstanding contribution to contemporary visual and/or media arts. The award-winners receive a medallion and a cash prize of $25,000 each.
Saidye Bronfman Award for excellence in fine crafts
In 2007, the Saidye Bronfman Award for excellence in the fine crafts (originally created in 1977) joined this prestigious family of awards. This ensures that Canada’s outstanding craft artists receive national recognition each year alongside their peers in the visual and media arts. The Canada Council has been administering the Saidye Bronfman Award since 1997.
The Canada Council funds and administers the awards and promotes them in collaboration with its partners: the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General of Canada, the National Gallery of Canada, The Samuel and Saidye Bronfman Family Foundation, the Independent Media Arts Alliance, the Royal Canadian Mint, the Canadian Museum of History, and Air Canada.
Winners are selected by independent peer juries. In 2016, the jury for the artistic achievement and outstanding contribution awards consisted of artists Gisèle Gordon, John Greer, Serge Murphy, Lyndal Osborne, Mina Shum and Greg Staats. The jury for the Saidye Bronfman Award consisted of artists Dorothy Caldwell, Michael Massie and Gilbert Poissant.