Thursday October 12, 2000

Stompin' Tom to get Governor General's Award

MONTREAL (CP) -- Folk-country singer Stompin' Tom Connors and actor Donald Sutherland are among this year's recipients of the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards.

The list of award winners for 2000 was announced Thursday.

Connors and Sutherland will get the award for lifetime artistic achievement along with journalist and actress Janette Bertrand and Fernand Nault, a dancer and choreographer.

Stage director Christopher Newton, who is currently artistic director of the Shaw Festival, and opera singer Teresa Stratas are also recognized for their lifetime achievement.

The awards are handed out to Canadian performing artists of "extraordinary talent and accomplishment who have dedicated their lives to enriching the cultural life of Canada."

The Cirque du Soleil circus troupe will receive the National Arts Centre Award for its "exceptional achievement over the past performance season" and its role as a cultural ambassador for Canada.

All recipients receive $15,000 and a commemorative medallion.

Gov. Gen. Adrienne Clarkson will present the awards Nov. 3 at a ceremony in Ottawa.

"Our artists make life richer for all of us," Clarkson said in a statement.

"They make us laugh and cry and sing. We know what joy is because they make every moment meaningful for us when we watch or hear them.

"They are our source of celebration."

Also honoured this year is Walter Carsen, a philanthropist who has supported the National Ballet of Canada and the Art Gallery of Ontario. He is this year's recipient of the Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Volunteerism in the Performing Arts.

The awards, which are in their ninth year, were announced by the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards Foundation. The foundation is a non-governmental, not-for-profit, charitable organization that administers the awards.

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