“You don’t go to the theatre to see the theatre. You go the theatre to experience life.”
This is just one of the priceless words of wisdom that I found to be true during the very prestigious 2014 GOVERNOR GENERAL’S PERFORMING ARTS AWARDS GALA. From walking on the red carpet, to meeting and greeting the who’s who not just in Ottawa but in Canada in the fields of business, government, politics, philanthropy and of course, the performing arts to the actual ceremony and to the beautiful reception to cap the night, the experience was beyond wonderful.
The National Arts Centre was once again host of the Awards Ceremony, which honoured this year’s recipients of the Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award:
• Anik Bissonnette, Dancer, teacher and artistic director
• Rock band Blue Rodeo
• Actor and singer Brent Carver
• Actor, singer-songwriter, producer and humanitarian Tom Jackson
• Dancer and choreographer Louise Lecavalier
• Actress and teacher Janine Sutto
As I mentioned here at Twenty York Street and in real life many times before, the 2014 GOVERNOR GENERAL’S PERFORMING ARTS AWARDS is definitely one event that I look forward to every year. I’ve been to many prominent award ceremonies, one of which for example is the Forty Under 40 Awards for exemplary business leaders, an evening that proved very inspiring in many ways – to achieve the highest level in professional excellence, to become successful financially and at the same time, to be deeply involved in the community and give back.
All this may also prove be true with the #GGPAAwards but there’s something more to it. Because it is in the realm of performance arts, it speaks more about the recipients’ passion for the arts, music, culture and creativity and thus, inspires the viewers in a different way. I think it inspire us to be more human, to keep pursuing interests that may or may not become economically profitable but that they simply feed the soul.
I attended the awards with a few of my friends and E, who, in their own very respectable way, are successful in their fields. In the fields of Business, Science and Technology, with two of them being Mechanical Engineers (E and Fadi) by training. As I saw between them, I wondered at many times during the awards ceremony and at one time specifically during a contemporary dance interpretation by Governor General Laureate Louise Lecavalier, have I lost them in this world of performing arts, where nothing is a precise science or calculation or measurement, it just is. There was not a tangible product in the end but a fleeting moment of dance but I think it nourish the spirit and reminds us (and I know I may be going off on a tangent here but bear with me, the party is just getting started) of our own talents, desires, longings and life.
Turns out, like it does every year, the 2014 GOVERNOR GENERAL’S PERFORMING ARTS AWARDS GALA hosted by the Gov. Gen. David Johnston and his wife, Sharon and emceed by the dashing Colm Feore was one night to remember for a long time. The red carpet was a surreal experience on being so close to so many inspiring Canadians, celebrities in their own right. The cocktail affair was in a constant state of buzzing excitement fuelled by the delicious food and drinks prepared by the Le Café, headed by Executive Chef John Morris and the never ending parade of beautiful people clad in gorgeous outfits.
The ceremony was filled with awe inspiring moments, including the rousing standing ovation for the obviously revered 93 year old Janine Sutto and surprise live performances by Tom Jackson, Kathleen Edwards and of course, the Blue Rodeo, who clearly were rock stars to this day.
Rubbing shoulders amongst the winners – Brett Carver, Anik Bissonette, Janine Sutto, the Blue Rodeo and former Governor General Madam Michael Jean during the reception was absolutely incredible. Amongst those who came out to toast the winners were Dragon Den’s Arlene Dickinson and Jim Treliving, past GG Award Winners, film maker Deepa Mehta and many a media personality including Jian Gomeshi and Rick Mercer.
Though I had a bit of panic on what to wear to the red carpet, E made the executive decision on buying me a last minute black mini/maxi dress but I think what made the look a stunner was the thoughtful combination of the ALDO statement necklace (The necklace was a showstopper literally! Women and men actually stop to compliment and touch the necklace!) and ALDO suede caged booties and the brilliant addition of NELLA BELLA by TAREK’s Capella clutch from their summer collection. BIG thank you to NELLA BELLA, the most proficient and professional Ms. Sarah Claude of ALDO in Montréal and the ALDO Bayshore Team headed by the fabulous Ms. Anna Fisher for taking the time to get me and E red carpet ready! And with not very much advance notice at that.
Photos courtesy of Mr. Arne Berg, AB Star Photos. #GGPAAwards at the NAC, Ottawa
Editor’s Note: Thank you to the National Arts Centre, to Ms. Jennifer Covert especially, for extending the invitation to such esteemed event to the Twenty York Street team and for also hosting a very exciting #GGAAwards give-away.