Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Gala at NAC Ottawa

The Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Gala has been a tradition in Canada for twenty-one years. To receive this award is the highest honour in the performing arts. The Gala Awards aim to recognize, celebrate and inspire Canadian talent from across the country.


To celebrate the growing excitement of the 2014 Gala,  the National Arts Centre (NAC)  held a cocktail reception to share details about the Gala from executive producer Kari Cullen. Kari spoke with passion about this year’s Gala, sharing how much the awards mean to recipients and how we as Canadians can support the Gala through social media and by attending the event in May.

nac-9044Executive Producer of the Gala, Kari Cullen with Fadi Ghaby of SKYFALL BLUE

The location for the reception couldn’t have been better chosen. The Gallery of Honour is a red walled room where guests were surrounded by pictures of past recipients. The walls told stories of Canada’s rich culture and drew the attendees in as they slowly recognized more and more of Canadian’s finest talent.  The walls served as both a conversation piece and a reminder of why the Gala is so important. Recipients of this year’s awards, and soon to join the red walls, include the famed band Blue Rodeo, the founding director of Toronto’s Soulpepper Theatre Albert Schultz and Canadian ballet dancer Anik Bissonnette, just to name a few.

nac-8975John Morris, Executive Chef at the NAC with a sampling of his Gala menu

Guests of the reception were treated to a delicious menu of hor-d’oeuvres from the NAC’s executive chef John Morris.  John shared some insider secrets from his kitchen. He anticipates feeding 600 people at the Gala, which, with the three course meal, will equal 1600 plates. In just one hour and fifteen minutes, John and his team will serve all three courses to 600 guests.

When discussing the Gala’s menu, John explained that as a chef you always have to be thinking ahead. Since the Gala is in May, John and his team are aiming to bring a fresh, spring menu to the guests’ palettes. Attendees of the reception were lucky enough to sample some bite sized versions of some items that may be served at the Gala in May.

If you unable to sample John’s fare at this spring’s Gala, he is the head chef at Le Cafe, the restaurant at the NAC. Their patio boasts one of the best views of the canal and their menu is focused on local, seasonal ingredients.


Fadi Ghaby of SKYFALL BLUE, Rosemary Thompson, Director of Communications and Public Affairs at the NAC, John Morris, Executive Chef at the NAC, Tracey Tabone of Just a Trace
The Gala will be held on May 10, 2014 at the NAC. It’s sure to be a night jam packed with pomp and circumstance, performances and pure talent. Anyone is welcome to attend the Gala. It’s a great excuse to get dressed up, enjoy live music and performances and support Canadian culture. For more details and to purchase tickets visit the NAC website. Make sure to keep up to date with all the Gala’s latest news by following them on Twitter at @GovGPAA or search the hashtag #GGAwards.



Editor’s Note: SKYFALL Blue, Twenty York Street and Just a Trace would like to extend a sincere thank you to the NAC for inviting us to this gorgeous reception. This Gala has a huge impact on Canadian talent and we were honoured to have been in attendance.

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