Songwriter David Foster, author of Tomson Highway wins performing arts award

By The Canadian Press on February 23, 2022.

David Foster arrives for the Gala Premiere of the film “David Foster: Off The Record” at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto, Monday, September 9, 2019. Foster and writer Tomson Highway are among the artists who will be running for the Governor-General for the Performing Arts Award. PRESS CANADA/Andrew Lahodynskyj

OTTAWA – Songwriter and composer David Foster and writer Tomson Highway are among the recipients of Canada’s highest honors in the performing arts.

Foster and Highway are among the winners registered for the 2022 Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for lifetime achievement, which recognizes those who have made an indelible contribution to cultural life in Canada and around the world.

The list also includes film and television screenwriter, director and producer Fernand Dansereau; broadcaster, theater artist, scholar and activist Rita Shelton Deverell; and dancer, teacher and choreographer Linda Rabin.

Foster helped launch the careers of music superstars including Celine Dion, Michael Bublé and Josh Groban.

Highway is one of Canada’s most celebrated writers and artists, whose work highlights Indigenous people and culture.

Her award-winning dramas include “The Rez Sisters” and “Dry Lips Should Have Moved to Kapuskasing.”

The 2022 winners will be honored at two events in Ottawa, culminating in a gala at the National Arts Center on May 28.

The National Center for the Arts Award for outstanding work by an individual artist or company goes to choreographer Crystal Pite, the Governor-General’s Performing Arts Awards Foundation added in a release Wednesday evening.

Pite is the founding artistic director of the Vancouver-based company Kidd Pivot and is known for his works that address challenging and complex themes such as trauma, addiction and conflict.

Meanwhile, the Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Volunteering, which recognizes outstanding contributions by individuals or groups to the performing arts, goes to Michelle Smith for her support of the many francophone communities and arts organizations in Manitoba.

Nominations for the annual award are submitted by members of the public to recognize artists who have made a lifelong commitment and contribution to the performing arts in Canada.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on 23 February 2022.

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