Stage Door News

Ottawa: The 2021 Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards are available to view on CBC Gem

Saturday, November 27, 2021

The National Arts Centre (NAC), in partnership with the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Foundation (GGPAAF) and Vérité Films, is delighted to announce the star-studded lineup and new details about the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards one-hour television special that will be available on demand for a limited time on both CBC Gem and ICI TOU.TV.

The bilingual show, shot in spectacular outdoor locations across Canada, celebrates the extraordinary achievements of the 2021 laureates – film, television and stage actor and activist Tantoo Cardinal; philanthropist Lynda Hamilton; composer Alexina Louie; choreographer, dancer, instructor, philosopher and writer Zab Maboungou; actor and writer Catherine O’Hara; actor, producer, screenwriter, entrepreneur and activist Ryan Reynolds; and singer–songwriter and guitarist Florent Vollant. The special is hosted by the highly acclaimed television and radio host Isabelle Racicot. The National Arts Centre Orchestra, conducted by Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, will offer musical accompaniment throughout. The NAC and the GGPAAF are particularly honoured that Her Excellency the Governor General Mary May Simon is a central figure in the television special, personally thanking each laureate for their contribution to the arts in Canada.


The many special guests paying tribute to the laureates are a remarkable group who represent the diversity, breadth and excellence of the performing arts in Canada. They include:

For Tantoo Cardinal: actor, producer and director LorneCardinal; actor, producer and politician Tina Keeper; and actor, playwright and NAC Indigenous Theatre Artistic Director Kevin Loring; with a performance by singer-songwriter Pura Fé;

For Lynda Hamilton: Dance icons Peggy Baker, Guillaume Côté, Karen Kain, Joysanne Sidimus and Veronica Tennant; with a performance by Tango Soul and Jonathan Goldman;

For Alexina Louie: Radio host, author and musician Tom Allen; composer David Henry Hwang; pianist Jon Kimura Parker; composer and conductor Alex Pauk; radio host, producer, writer and musician PaoloPietropaolo; and writer and actor DanRedican and film director LarryWeinstein; with a performance by Vania Chan and Justin Cho;

For Zab Maboungou: Vivine Scarlett of dance Immersion; Nathalie Maille of the Conseil des arts de Montréal; and Guy Mushagalusa Chigoho of Afromusée; with a performance by dancers from Zab Maboungou’s internationally acclaimed company Nyata Nyata;

For Catherine O’Hara: Actor and writer Dan Levy, actor and writer Eugene Levy, and actors Annie Murphy and Dave Thomas; and actors and singers Andrea Martin and Martin Short; with a performance by musician and actor Noah Reid;

For Ryan Reynolds: Actors Morena Baccarin, Michael J. Fox, Hugh Jackman and Blake Lively; film producer and director Shawn Levy; and Deadpool comic character creator Rob Liefeld and comic book writer Gail Simone; with a performance by Steven Page;

For Florent Vollant: Singer-songwriter Elisapie; writer, director, filmmaker and actor Yves Sioui Durand; author, storyteller, singer and director Michel Faubert; and singer-songwriter and poet Zachary Richard; with a performance by the band Maten.


Produced by the National Arts Centre in partnership with the GGPAA Foundation and Vérité Films, the special is directed by Joel Ivany, co-creator of the internationally acclaimed film Messiah/Complex, and led by award-winning executive producer Virginia Thompson. To celebrate not only the laureates but also the beauty of Canada, the special was filmed largely outdoors in spectacular locations across the country, including Vancouver, Northern Saskatchewan, Winnipeg, Caledon, Ontario, Toronto, the Muskoka Lakes, Montreal and Mani-Utenam, Quebec. Tributes from some guest artists were sent from other international locations, including New York and Los Angeles.


The NAC and the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Foundation encourage Canadians to join in the excitement by engaging online with the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards on the night of the special – Friday, November 26 at 7 p.m. | 7:30 NT on CBC Television, ICI TÉLÉ and the free CBC Gem and ICI TOU.TV streaming services.


The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is a partner of the GGPAA. Every year, the NFB creates incomparable short films that capture the essence of the laureates. This year’s short films will be released to the public on November 26 and will be on available on CBC Gem and ICI TOU.TV., on social media, and online at, which also has more than 90 short films of past GGPAA laureates.