The Governor General’s awards are a visual representation celebrating superior Canadian artists. This year’s winners were announced today at the Tiff Bell Lightbox in Toronto. Over $25,000 will be awarded to Canadian artists to recognize their career achievements as well as outstanding contributors in the arts field. The Saidye Bronfman Award will be appointed to the Canadian artist who exceeds the expectations in recognizing excellence in fine crafts.
Ottawa is honoured to have Brydon Smith and Carol Wainio representing us proudly as winners of this competition.
Brydon Smith is a curator who was born in Hamilton, Ontario and now lives in Ottawa. Smith has built an impressive collection of international contemporary art with desire, precision and clarity for over 30 years. He was the assistant curator of the Art Gallery of Ontario from 1964-67. He exhibited and purchased profound work by Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, George Segal, Les Levine and Robert Rauschenberg. From 1979-94 Smith worked as the Curator of Contemporary and Modern Art at the National Gallery of Canada as well as the Curator of Modern Art until 1999. He captured nearly 100 works of art by such modern artists including Jackson Pollock, Agnes Martin, Piet Mondrian, Mark Rothko, and Barnett Newman’s Voice of Fire. Smith also played a crucial role in managing the mammoth project’s technical and financial aspects and the installation of the national collection in building the new National Gallery.
Carol Waino is a painter who grew up in Kitchener-Waterloo and is currently living in Ottawa. She has achieved an extraordinary place in Canadian painting. Waino’s canvases deliver diverse layers to analyze. Viewers have extracted both deep and poetic messages, the distinctions of history, narrative representation and the changing nature of human experience. Wainio has had diverse experience including solo and group exhibitions at the National Gallery of Canada, The Art Gallery of Ontario, The D’art Contemporain de Montréal, The Stedelijk Musiem, The Venice Biennale, the Galeria Comunale D’Arte Moderna in Bologna as well as throughout the United States and China. She has been extremely successful as she is recognized worldwide through her unique creativity. Waino’s paintings can be viewed at the NGC, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montreal, AGO and The Glenbow Museum. On top of receiving numerous awards, she has taught at many universities including our own University of Ottawa.
Both Smith and Waino are candidates who deserve this significant recognition from the Governor General. They are making Ottawa citizens proud. It is remarkable for them to share their talent through galleries worldwide and to be providing people with their creative company. Both artists are indefinite inspirations to dream big and always do what you are passionate about.