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Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards 2016 | Watch 6 Short Docs Celebrating the Laureates

Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards 2016 | Watch 6 Short Docs Celebrating the Laureates

Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards 2016 | Watch 6 Short Docs Celebrating the Laureates

This past Saturday, six of the country’s greatest performing arts stars and champions were awarded a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award, a prestigious annual distinction presented in collaboration with the National Arts Center.

As is now tradition, we produced for the occasion a series of short documentary films profiling and honouring the laureates.

More than your average biographical doc, the films are a testament to the talent both in front of and behind the camera. Indeed, some of our finest Canadian filmmakers and producers contributed to creating these thoughtful portraits.

Enjoy the short docs for free below:


“The North is the place where I feel I’m completely myself.” In this evocative documentary short, Inuit singer-songwriter and humanitarian Susan Aglukark weaves together stories of artistry, family, and belonging as she explores the complex cultural shifts of the last 50 years of Inuit life. Turning her lens on the turbulence of colonial transition, director Nyla Innuksuk examines the forces that shaped Aglukark’s voice and how that voice is now being translated for a new generation of Inuit artists.

BreathsNyla Innuksuk,National Film Board of Canada

Marie Chouinard | A Portrait

In this short film, Marie Chouinard reveals to us the deepest wellsprings of her creative work. She tells us of the impetus that drives her to pursue an idea to the point of total harmony. Between heaven and earth, between dark and light, this complete artist brings to life ecstatic beings who vibrate with the pure joy of living.

Marie Chouinard | A PortraitOana Suteu Khintirian,National Film Board of Canada

Ben Heppner: Moving Through Music

This short documentary gives us insight into the singing prowess of renowned tenor Ben Heppner, one of Canada’s pre-eminent musical ambassadors. Revealing his intimate connection to the power of performance, the film plays with scale and layers of sound, revisiting the architectural and sonic spaces that Heppner’s voice has inhabited throughout his remarkable career—from country churches to the major opera houses of the world.

Ben Heppner: Moving Through MusicRandall Lloyd Okita,National Film Board of Canada

Robert Lantos: A Meta Narrative, Abridged

In this short collage-like documentary that celebrates Robert Lantos’ career, memory, dream and story collide in a flickering state of imagination. Scenes from Lantos’ landmark films are playfully re-purposed to underscore a few of the key moments that have motivated him to be a producer.

Robert Lantos: A Meta Narrative, AbridgedJill Sharpe,National Film Board of Canada

Suzanne Lebeau

In this documentary short, two actresses pay tribute to Suzanne Lebeau on the set of one of her many plays. One of them is Isabelle Miquelon, who brought this great woman of the theatre’s words to life on stage in Le bruit des os qui craquent. The other is a young actress who tells us about the passion for telling truth to children that has driven Suzanne Lebeau throughout her career.

Suzanne LebeauSophie Dupuis,National Film Board of Canada

Dancer of the Board

For more than half a century, John D McKellar has been an active volunteer, generous donor, and pro bono legal advisor for dozens of performing artists and arts organizations. Now in his eighties, he has facilitated and witnessed first-hand the enrichment of society by the arts. This short documentary profiles Mr. McKellar as he takes on a more involved creative role, as the producer of a large-scale, original musical theatre production. We come to know a man who is not only tirelessly in service to the arts, but who can also do a nimble soft-shoe!

Dancer of the BoardMary Lewis,National Film Board of Canada

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