Glitzy Governor General Awards Gala 2016

On June 11, The National Arts Centre played host to the 24th Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Gala (GGPAA), a star studded evening full of glitz and glam in celebration of an extraordinary group of Canadian artists.

The prestigious tribute was led by returning host, actor Colm Feore and the laureates sat front and center in the mezzanine balcony. During the gala show, friends, family and colleagues of the laureates voiced their praises and the crowd of 2,000 gave numerous standing ovations to those receiving top honours.

Governor General David Johnston summarized the evening best when he took to the podium to say “the performing arts are a great way to tell the story of Canada.”

Ahead of the gala show, the red carpet lit up with a swarm of photographers hoping to catch some of Canada’s cultural community, style and media celebrities.

Style maven Suzanne Rogers arrived to the gala wearing a custom designed gown by Canadian designer Greta Constantine, Jessica Mulroney wore a strapless gown by Erdem and Suzanne Timmins wore a graphic print Emilio Pucci gown. Editor-in-Chief of Zoomer Magazine’s Suzanne Boyd wore a Zuhair Murad gown, political reporter Mercedes Stephenson wore a shimmering gold Aidan Mattox gown from Canadian company Rent Frock Repeat and singer Chantal Kreviazuk opted for menswear on the red carpet with a structured white blazer.

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An obvious fit for Fashion Partner of the glamourous gala was The Hudson’s Bay Company. Liz Rodbell, President of The Hudson’s Bay was in attendance wearing a sleek gown from The Room at HBC. Rodbell, who has spent her entire career in fashion, said the gala was a natural fit to partner with. “Hudson’s Bay is proud to be the exclusive fashion partner of the GGPAA’s.  As with any event, fashion plays an important role. It helps to set the tone for the evening and it provides a perfect opportunity for attendees to show off their personal sense of style. I saw so many great looks throughout the evening – Ottawa has great style!”

The 2016 laureates of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards were:

  • Susan Aglukark- Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award
  • Michael Bublé- National Arts Centre Award
  • Marie Chouinard- Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award
  • Ben Heppner- Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award
  • John D McKellar- Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Voluntarism in the Performing Arts
  • Robert Lantos- Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award
  • Suzanne Lebeau- Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award

Created in 1992 by the late Right Honourable Ramon John Hnatyshyn (1934–2002), then Governor General of Canada, and his wife Gerda, these awards are the ultimate recognition of Canadians whose accomplishments have inspired and enriched the cultural life of our country and showcased Canadian talent abroad.

Each year, five Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards for Lifetime Artistic Achievement are presented for outstanding achievement in the fields of theatre, dance, classical music, popular music, radio and television broadcasting, and film. Each award is accompanied by a $25,000 cash prize contributed by the Canada Council for the Arts, and a commemorative medallion.

Previous Galas have featured appearances by such stars as Measha Brueggergosman, Blue Rodeo, Diane Dufresne, Colm Feore, The Guess Who, Angela Hewitt, Guy Nadon, Michel Pagliaro, Christopher Plummer, Walter Boudreau, Serena Ryder, Martin Short, Veronica Tennant and Bryan Adams.

For more information on the GGPAA, please visit