Winners announced for the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts

The Canada Council for the Arts today announced the names of the seven winners of the 2006 Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts. Mowry Baden, Micheline Beauchemin, Vera Frenkel, Kenneth Lochhead, Arnaud Maggs and Peter Wintonick will receive awards for artistic achievement, while curator and critic Peggy Gale will receive the outstanding contribution award.

The winners will be presented with their awards by Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michalle Jean, Governor General of Canada, at a ceremony at Rideau Hall on Wednesday, March 22 at 6:00pm. Canada Council Chair Karen Kain will also speak at the ceremony. In addition to a $15,000 prize, the winners will be presented with original artworks created by Saskatchewan wood turner Michael Hosaluk, winner of the 2005 Saidye Bronfman Award in Fine Crafts.

The Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts, funded and administered by the Canada Council for the Arts, 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. 2006 marks the seventh annual presentation of these prestigious awards, and this year’s awards will bring the total number of recipients to 50.

“Through the multitude of images streaming across our television, computer and film screens, along our roads, adorning the buildings in our neighbourhoods and the walls of our galleries, visual and media artists are asking us to take a moment to stop, look, and see the world through their eyes,” said the Governor General. “They juxtapose the world in which we live with their own, enriching our visual landscape with their imagination and perspectives. I applaud the winners of the 2006 Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts who, through their work and achievements, lay bare to us the invisible, the intangible, the essential.”

The winners of the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts were chosen by an independent peer jury of visual and media artists and arts professionals from across Canada, and included textile artist Kai Chan (Toronto); painters Suzanne Funnell (Halifax) and Jane Ash Poitras (Edmonton); sculptors Carole Itter (Vancouver) and Roland Poulin (Sainte-Angle-de-Monnoir, QC); video artist/curator Anne Golden (Montreal); and critic/educator Robert Enright (Winnipeg/Guelph, ON). In selecting the winners for 2006, the jury made the following statement:

“The seven winners of the 2006 Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts are as versatile and diverse as the artistic disciplines they represent. Sculptor Mowry Baden, textile artist-weaver Micheline Beauchemin, multidisciplinary artist Vera Frenkel, curator/critic Peggy Gale, painter Kenneth Lochhead, photographer Arnaud Maggs and documentary filmmaker Peter Wintonick have provided innovative directions for their art, as well as unique artistic and social visions. They have opened up our minds to new perspectives and possibilities – of seeing, visualizing and appreciating art, and the world we inhabit. All are masters, and eminently worthy of these prestigious national honours.”

Images of the winners and their works can be downloaded from the Canada Council website at

To be nominated for one of the six artistic awards, candidates must have created an outstanding body of work and have made a significant contribution to the development of the visual or media arts over a significant period of time. Professional artists are eligible for nominations in the following four categories: fine arts (painting and drawing, photography and print-making, and sculpture, including installation and other three-dimensional work); applied arts (architecture and fine crafts); independent film and video; and audio and new media.