Ottawa’s Sandra Oh, Rick Mercer and Colm Feore named as laureates for GG’s performing arts awards

Ottawa native Sandra Oh, comic Rick Mercer and actor Colm Feore are among the many seven Canadians named this yr as laureates of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards, the nation’s highest honour for artists.

Mercer and Feore — together with pianist Louise Bessette, director Lorraine Pintal and dancer/educator Mavis Staines — are being feted for lifetime achievement within the arts, whereas Oh earns the National Arts Centre award in recognition of a stellar efficiency yr. The Korean-Canadian made historical past in January as the primary Asian host of the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards, and the primary lady of Asian descent to win a number of Golden Globes.

Host and Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series Drama “for Killing Eve” winner Sandra Oh poses with the trophy throughout the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards on January 6, 2019, on the Beverly Hilton resort in Beverly Hills, California.


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For Feore, who has hosted the GGPA awards gala eight instances since 2010, being among the many laureates as a substitute of the ringleader of the festivities is pushing him out of his consolation zone.

“It’s a very funny feeling,” the Stratford-based actor mentioned in an interview. “I knew how to respond when I was hosting. I knew what the job was. I was very comfortable. Having turned the camera around, I’m not entirely sure how to behave. I think, ‘Wow, it seems a bit soon.’ But I’m trying to put it into some sort of perspective.”

As host of the annual gala from 2010 to 2017, he felt his job was to introduce Canadians to the laureates’ work, which isn’t at all times well known.

“I saw myself essentially as the host of an enormously large cocktail party where I want to introduce people who are utter strangers to each other, and knew that after being introduced, they would be best of friends and huge admirers and fans of each other’s work,” he mentioned. “Let me present you what they’ve been doing for 40 years, and let’s have fun them.

“That made absolute sense as a result of for me, it’s simpler to speak about different individuals and promote different individuals, and be the agent for different individuals’s success and reward.”

With the tables now turned, it’s time to take inventory of his personal 40-year profession, which has ranged from classical theatre to movie, tv and Netflix. Soon after graduating from the National Theatre School in Montreal, Feore landed on the Stratford Festival, the place he had the prospect to play many of the main Shakespeare characters, together with Romeo, Hamlet, Macbeth, Iago and extra.

“It’s a remarkable place for the development of actors because you are thrown into a repertory system, which means you are not just doing one play at a time, you could be doing two, three or four,” he mentioned. “I’ve done as many as five. It’s wonderful. It’s the best exercise in the world. It’s an enormously athletic way to learn how to do this stuff properly with some of the best writers in the English language.”

His movie breakthrough got here when he gained the starring position within the critically acclaimed 1993 biopic, Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould. “That film had a huge impact in my being taken seriously as I tried to introduce myself to people in film and TV,” mentioned Feore, who believes the important thing to success as a Canadian actor is to be adaptable and versatile.

Colm Feore.

Frank Gunn /


Feore can also be recognized for his Gemini-winning portrayal of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau within the 2002 tv miniseries Trudeau, and for taking part in the anglophone OPP detective within the 2006 darkish comedy, Bon Cop, Bad Cop.

In latest years, he performed General Ted Brockhart on the Netflix collection, House of Cards, and the physician on the American horror tv collection, Lore. His newest position is Sir Reginald Hargreeves, the billionaire industrialist on the favored new Netflix collection, The Umbrella Academy.

When requested if he prefers appearing for the digicam or a reside viewers, he mentioned he enjoys each. “It’s always seemed to me that they nourish each other and cross-pollinate,” he mentioned.

Feore additionally has some recommendation for Heather Hiscox, the broadcaster who’s internet hosting her second GGPAA gala, which takes place on the National Arts Centre on April 27. Tickets go on sale at 11 a.m. March eight, accessible on the NAC field workplace and by Ticketmaster, 1-888-991-2787 or

“Simply, know that the job is really the biggest cocktail party in the country and by the end of it, everybody has to be introduced to everybody else, and know why they’re all wonderful. The most important aspect to it is you become an advocate for each and every laureate.”

This yr, that features Feore himself.

Here’s extra on every laureate:

Sandra Oh: The versatile actor and achieved producer is a passionate advocate for range and inclusion in casting. She is the co-executive producer and star of the hit BBC America spy collection “Killing Eve,” for which she gained a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Critics’ Choice Award for finest actress in a drama collection.

Louise Bessette: The Montreal live performance pianist is acknowledged worldwide as an excellent performer and promoter of 20th- and 21st-century music. She has launched the works of Quebec and Canadian composers to audiences throughout North America, Europe and Asia.

Colm Feore: The fluently bilingual stage and display actor often seems on the Stratford Festival and has greater than 140 movie and TV credit to his title. He and his spouse, theatre director Donna Feore, make their house in Stratford, the place they’ve raised three kids.

Rick Mercer: The satirist, comic, screenwriter, actor and humanitarian is taken into account one among Canada’s main political and social commentators, finest recognized for the satirical TV exhibits “This Hour Has 22 Minutes,” “Talking to Americans,” “Made in Canada,” and “Rick Mercer Report.”

Lorraine Pintal: Over a 45-year profession, the actor, director, and arts advocate has directed greater than 150 stage productions, produced a number of TV collection, hosted a literary radio present and served on the boards of quite a few arts organizations. As creative director and basic supervisor of Montréal’s Théâtre du Nouveau Monde (TNM) since 1992, she has revitalized the group.

Mavis Staines: An revolutionary dance educator and collaborator who has revolutionized the way in which we train and perceive classical ballet. Under her management, Canada’s National Ballet School has reshaped the panorama of ballet in Canada.

E. Noël Spinelli: The Montreal-area enterprise chief has supported the performing arts, particularly music, for over 5 a long time. He will obtain the Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Voluntarism within the Performing Arts, which acknowledges excellent voluntary service to the performing arts in Canada.

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