OTTAWA, CANADA.- The Canada Council for the Arts today announced the names of the eight winners of the sixth annual Governor Generals Awards in Visual and Media Arts. Carl Beam, Lynne Cohen, Roland Poulin, Françoise Sullivan, Paul Wong, and the partnership of Lisa Steele and Kim Tomczak will receive awards for artistic achievement, while curator and visual art promoter Claude Gosselin will receive the outstanding contribution award. The laureates will be presented with their awards by Her Excellency the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, Governor General of Canada, at a ceremony at Rideau Hall on Wednesday, March 16 at 6 p.m. Canada Council Chair Karen Kain will also speak at the ceremony.
These exceptional individuals have matched their extraordinary talent and artistic vision with the perseverance necessary to succeed as artists in a country as vast and diverse as Canada, said the Governor General. Working in many disciplines and with a variety of media, they have created impressive bodies of work that help define who we are as Canadians and what we stand for as a society.
The winners of the Governor Generals Awards in Visual and Media Arts were chosen by an independent peer jury of visual and media artists and arts professionals from across Canada. In selecting the 2005 laureates, the jury made the following statement:
Eight remarkable Canadians are being honoured with the prestigious Governor Generals Awards in Visual and Media Arts this year not only for having enriched Canadian arts and culture, but also for having been innovators and pathfinders in their artistic and curatorial practices. In doing so, they all have brought fresh insights to their respective disciplines and to contemporary art, at times disturbing convention and accepted ideas. They have taken us beyond appearances, and renewed and reinvigorated art in the process.
The jurys decision was extremely difficult as many more than eight nominees were deserving of this award. The many excellent nominations submitted have reminded us forcefully of the rich and diverse history of Canadas visual and media arts over the past 50 years. The seven artists and one curator chosen are an important part of that history. They have been selected for the uniqueness and sustained creativity of their work, their ability to reach out beyond traditional confines, and their many contributions as leaders and mentors in the visual and media arts over many years.
Artist Carl Beam, photographer Lynne Cohen, sculptor Roland Poulin, painter, sculptor and dancer Françoise Sullivan, video artists Lisa Steele, Kim Tomczak and Paul Wong, and curator Claude Gosselin have imprinted strong visions into the fabric of our cultural life. All are worthy recipients of the countrys highest distinction in the visual and media arts.
The annual awards, funded and administered by the Canada Council for the Arts, were created in June 1999 and presented for the first time in March 2000. The awards recognize distinguished career achievement in the visual and media arts by Canadian artists, as well as outstanding contributions to the visual and media arts through voluntarism, philanthropy, board governance, community outreach or professional activities.