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Six National Film Board of Canada short films celebrate laureates at the 25th-anniversary Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards


March 9, 2017 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is bringing together acclaimed Canadian filmmakers to create short cinematic tributes to Canadian performing arts legends, as the 2017 Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards (GGPAA) gets set to honour laureates at its 25th-anniversary gala.

The NFB’s GGPAA film collection is produced by the NFB in collaboration with the National Arts Centre and the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Foundation. The NFB has been a partner of the GGPAA since 2008.

Unique film portraits of Canadian performing arts excellence

Lifetime Artistic Achievement laureates:

In Teskenonkweronne, Montreal filmmaker Carlos Ferrand, recipient of the Bourse de carrière Michel-Brault from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, works with laureate Yves Sioui Durand, pioneer of Indigenous film and theatre, to present masks created for Durand’s plays over the past 30-plus years, bringing to life the memory of the First Peoples of the Americas.

Nominated for a 2017 Canadian Screen Award (Baroness Von Sketch Show), Toronto-based comedy director Aleysa Young pays tribute to acclaimed actor and comedian Martin Short.

In Michael J. Fox, Vancouver director John Bolton (Aim for the Roses) explores the Edmonton-born, Vancouver-raised actor’s dedication to the craft of acting over the course of an illustrious career. Fox candidly and charmingly shares stories about some of his best-loved characters and the process of bringing them to life, shedding light on what drives him as a performer and writer.

Born in Calgary, raised in Vancouver and now based in Montreal, where she works increasingly in French, screenwriter and director Tara Johns (The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom) pays tribute to Jean Beaudin. Set in a boxing ring, For the Love of the Fight features the legendary Quebec filmmaker talking about his life and his love of cinema―with friend and colleague Marcel Sabourin in his corner, armed with advice and reminders of key moments in Beaudin’s career.

Known for her dazzlingly original, avant-garde theatre productions and her thoughtful and poetic approach, Brigitte Haentjens, currently artistic director of French Theatre at the National Arts Centre, talks about what inspires her work in An Overwhelming Passion, a profile directed by Claude Guilmain, himself a veteran of both stage and screen.

Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Voluntarism in the Performing Arts:

Winnipeg filmmaker Mike Maryniuk (Home Cooked Music) sets documentary against experimental animation and a unique musical score to profile entrepreneur and philanthropist William H. (Bill) Loewen, who has provided leadership, direction and financial support to the performing arts in Manitoba for more than three decades.

Quick facts

The NFB has produced 76 GGPAA films to date, which can be streamed free of charge at: nfb.ca/channels/governor_generals_awards.

The 2017 Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards will take place on June 29 at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.


Associated Links

2017 Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards

National Arts Centre

NFB GGPAA channel

Media Relations

  • Lily Robert
    Director, Communications and Public Affairs, NFB
    C.: 514-296-8261

  • About the NFB

    The NFB is Canada’s public producer and distributor of award-winning documentaries, auteur animation, interactive stories and participatory experiences, working with talented creators across the country. The NFB is taking action to combat systemic racism and become a more open and diverse organization, while working to strengthen Indigenous-led production and gender equity in film and digital media. NFB productions have won more than 7,000 awards, including 12 Oscars. To access this unique content, visit NFB.ca.