Video Portraits of the 2021 winners of the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts

The Canada Council for the Arts has announced the eight recipients of the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts. Up to eight awards are distributed every year: six awards recognize artistic achievements, one award recognizes excellence in the fine crafts (Saidye Bronfman Award) and one award recognizes an outstanding contribution to contemporary visual arts, media arts or fine crafts. The winners receive a medallion and a cash prize of $25,000 each.

Since 2013, the Canada Council for the Arts and the Independent Media Arts Alliance have put out a call to professional Canadian filmmakers to create video portraits of the award winners. The following are the directors and the GG Award winners they have profiled.

Maya Bastian profiles Visual Artist and Curator Bryce Kanbara
Katrina Beatty profiles Interdisciplinary Artist Cheryl L’Hirondelle
Amy Bohigian profiles Visual Artist Lou Lynn
Storm Carroll profiles Artist, Sculptor Dempsey Bob
Patrick Péris profiles Media Artist Luc Courchesne
Alexander Seltzer profiles Visual Artist Bonnie Devine
Amos Scott profiles Visual Artist Germaine Arnaktauyok
Rhayne Vermette profiles Visual Artist Lori Blondeau

IMAA salutes the outstanding work of each of these GG Award winners, and especially acknowledge the artistic achievement award given to Luc Courchesne (Media Artist)and Cheryl L’Hirondelle (Interdisciplinary Artist).

Luc Courchesne is a pioneer in media art and design. From interactive portraiture to immersive experience apparatuses, he has developed innovative approaches that have earned him prestigious awards […]”. Read more

“Of Cree/Halfbreed and German/Polish ancestry, Cheryl L’Hirondelle is an interdisciplinary, community-engaged artist, a singer/songwriter and a critical thinker whose family roots are from Papaschase First Nation, amiskwaciy wâskahikan (Edmonton, Alberta) and Kikino Metis Settlement, Alberta. Her work critically investigates and articulates a dynamism of nêhiyawin (Cree worldview) in contemporary time-place with a practice that incorporates Indigenous language(s), audio, video, virtual reality, the olfactory, sewn objects, music and audience/user participation to create immersive environments towards ‘radical inclusion.[…]’”. Read more

>> Video portraits of the winners will be available on Air Canada’s domestic and international flights from May 1 to October 31, 2021.