Michael Snow
Clothed Woman (In Memory of my Father) 1963
oil and lucite on canvas
152 x 386.2 cm
Purchased 1966
National Gallery of Canada

The National Gallery of Canada celebrates the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts with winners’ exhibition

Ottawa - March 27, 2008

In collaboration with the Canada Council for the Arts, the National Gallery of Canada (NGC) opens an exhibition today devoted to the eight winners of the 2008 Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts (GGAVMA), which are organized by the Canada Council. Representing the practices of some of Canada’s leading artists working in painting, performance, video, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, fine craft and film, a selection of some twenty-five works will be showcased in the Upper Contemporary Galleries until June 15, 2008.

This year’s winners for artistic achievement are drawn from across the country, including British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and Nunavut. They are:
· Kenojuak Ashevak, 
· Serge Giguère, 
· Chantal Gilbert, 
· Michel Goulet, 
· Alex Janvier, 
· Tanya Mars, and
· Eric Metcalfe.

Dr. Shirley Thomson, former director of the National Gallery of Canada, is also being honoured with a Governor General’s Award for her contributions to the visual and media arts during her long and distinguished career in arts museums’ governance and her key role in Canadian cultural organizations.

 “These awards are an important forum for Canada’s leading contemporary artists and present them on a national and international stage,” said Mr. Pierre Théberge, Director of the National Gallery of Canada. “The Gallery is honoured to celebrate their achievements. We also congratulate Dr. Shirley Thomson who has devoted so much of her career to raising the profile of Canada’s visual and media arts.”

“This year’s winners reflect the diversity of Canadian contemporary artists,” said Josée Drouin-Brisebois, Curator of Contemporary Art at the NGC. “The works selected in this exhibition are a remarkable testament to their innovative vision and multidisciplinary approach.”

The Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts, which are funded and administered by the Canada Council, were first presented in March 2000 and have been hosted from the outset by the Gallery. The Canada Council is responsible for the awards and selects the winning artists. The Saidye Bronfman Award, which recognizes excellence in the fine crafts, is now incorporated into the Governor General’s Awards and is funded by proceeds of a $1.5 million endowment given to the Canada Council by the Samuel and Saidye Bronfman Family Foundation in 2006.

Admission to this exhibition is free with the purchase of a ticket to the NGC Collection which costs $9 for adults, $7 for seniors and full-time students, $4 for youths aged 12 to 19 years, and $18 for families (two adults and three children). Admission is free of charge for children under 12 and for Friends of the Gallery. Free admission on Thursdays after 5 pm. Tickets are available by telephone at 613-998-8888 or

NGC Hours
Until April 30 the Gallery is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm; Thursday until 8 pm. Closed Mondays. From May 1 it will be open daily from 10 am to 5 pm, Thursdays until 8 pm.

Special Screening of GGAVMA Winner for Film - Serge Giguère
On March 30, 2008 at 2 pm, a special screening of Serge Giguère’s film À force de rêves will be screened in French with English subtitles in the NGC’s Lecture Hall. The artist, who is one of Quebec’s foremost documentary filmmakers and the recipient of the 2007 Jutra Award for Best Documentary, will be present to introduce the film and to answer questions following the performance. Admission is free.

About the National Gallery of Canada
The National Gallery of Canada is home to one of the most important collections of historical and contemporary art in the world. In addition, it has pre-eminent collections of Inuit, Western and European Art from the 14th to the 20th century, as well as American and Asian Art. Created in 1880, it is among the oldest of Canada’s national cultural institutions. For more information, visit www.gallery.ca.

About the Canada Council for the Arts
In addition to its principal role of promoting and fostering the arts in Canada, the Canada Council for the Arts administers awards and fellowships to over 200 artists and scholars annually in the arts, humanities, social sciences, natural and health sciences, and engineering. Among these are the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts, the Killam Prizes, the Killam Research Fellowships, the Canada Council for the Arts Molson Prizes, the Governor General’s Literary Awards and the Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts.

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For more information and to set an up interview with Josée Drouin-Brisebois, Curator of Contemporary Art, or Heather Anderson, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art, at the National Gallery of Canada, please contact:

Josée-Britanie Mallet
Senior Media and Public Relations Officer
National Gallery of Canada

Claire Schofield
Manager, Communications and Public Relations
National Gallery of Canada

To arrange interviews with the GGAVMA winners, please contact:

Diane Chaperon-Lore

Canada Council National Publicist