Margie Gillis will mentor Anne Plamondon as part of the 2023 GGPAA Mentoring Program (2023)

NEW AWARDS: Ralph Escamillan has been named the recipient of RBC's inaugural Emerging Artist Award and becomes a sponsor of the GGPAA Gala 2023.

Ottawa——The National Arts Center (NAC) is pleased to announce the internationally renowned choreographer and dancerMaggie GillisSelect Choreographer and DancersAnne PlamondonAs her protégé as part of the 2023 Governor General's Award for the Performing Arts (GGPAA) Mentorship Program.

Additionally, RBC, a sponsor of the 2023 GGPAA Gala, announced the inaugural winners of its RBC Emerging Artist Awards. Based on its commitment to artists in the early stages of their careers, RBC has launched a new award to honor an emerging Canadian artist. With the support of RBC, and to complement GGPAAgala 2023, the winners of this new award will be selected by the NAC Council.

2023 GGPAA Mentor Matching
The program, made possible with the support of TheKeg Spirit Foundation, allows former recipients of the Governor General's Award for the Performing Arts, Canada's highest honor in the performing arts, to give back to the next generation. During this mentorship, Maggie will help Anne develop her creative vision for the arts.

“I was a teenager when I first saw Margie Gillis dance at the Opera de la Québec. Her performance opened my eyes to the uncanny power of dance to tell stories and move people,” said Anne Plamondon. "Later, Margie inspired me to try solo. She was a role model of strength and inspiration. I am honored and excited to be adding this dance legend to the Governor's Performing Arts Awards Mentoring Program."

"I chose Annie because of her talent, which I recognized the moment I first met her," Maggie Gillis said. "Like me, she dances solo; like me, she choreographs for other people; like me, she works on femininity in society. She thinks a lot about what the future might hold, not just for herself but for For others. We don't have much time together, but every time we see each other we lose track of time. So I'm excited to support Anne in developing her ideas for her next creation."

"Through the Keg Spirit Foundation, we are proud to support mentorship programs that encourage personal and professional growth and strengthen the broader community," said David Aisenstat, Chairman and Founder of the Keg Spirit Foundation. "We are delighted that next year, renowned choreographer and dancer Maggie Gillis will share her extensive knowledge with her protégé Anne Plamondon as part of the Governor's Performing Arts Award Mentorship Program."

RALPH ESCAMILLAN, First-Time RBC Emerging Artist Award Winner

The winners of the inaugural RBC Emerging Artist Awards in 2023 areRalph Escamillon, a Filipino-Canadian actor, choreographer, teacher, and queer community leader living in Vancouver, British Columbia. RBC commissioned ceramic artist Paula Murray to design the award, which will be presented to Ralph Escamillan along with a $25,000 cash prize.

Ralph Escamillan said: "Success in the arts is largely determined by the wealth, resources and cultural capital available to individuals, and receiving this award honors artists who do not have these opportunities Recognition of hard work." "By passing on the continued support I receive to the community that has poured into me, I hope to remind and empower queer and racially motivated artists of our value and necessity to the arts environment."

“RBC has long supported the arts and the important role they play in our communities,” said Andrea Barrack, RBC senior vice president of citizenship and ESG. "The National Arts Center is key to bringing important artistic voices to Canadians. Congratulations to Ralph Escamillan on being the inaugural recipient of the RBC Emerging Artist Award! Your work continues to shape a bright future for the arts."


Maggie Gillis– GGPAA-Mentor 2023

Internationally renowned dancer and choreographer Maggie Gillis (GGPAA2011) is one of Canada's most influential and prolific dance artists. She was a bold and unrestrained pioneer of modern dance, whose unique naturalistic style influenced a generation of artists. She has authored more than 150 works on themes of female consciousness, the natural world, and the process of transformation. Teaching, mentoring, and sharing her creative story are integral to Margie's vision and have been the driving force behind her LegacyProject. She has received numerous awards and honors and will celebrate her 50th career in 2023.

Anne Plamondon– 2023 GGPAA Protection

Choreographer, dancer, teacher and curator Anne Plamondon made her choreography debut in 2012 and founded her company AnnePlamondon Productions in 2018. She has danced for major companies in Canada and internationally, including LesGrands Ballets Canadiens, KiddPivot and Nederlands Dans Theater2, and Gulbenkian Ballet. She has also worked with renowned choreographers and directors including Marie Chouinard, James Kudelka, Serge Denoncourt, Marcos Morau and InaChristelJohannessen. In 2002, she joined Victor Quijada's RUBBERBANDance company as co-art director (2006-15), where she helped create a dozen productions and was instrumental in the development of the RUBBERBAND method.

Ralph Escamillon– 2023 RBC Emerging Artist Award Winner

Ralph Escamillan's company FakeKnot creates integrated performance works that seek to understand the complexities of identity and culture through clothing, sound, technology and the body. As Artistic Director, Ralph combines his extensive experience as a street, commercial and contemporary dancer to create a truly unique choreographic perspective while challenging his queer identity as a person of color. In his latest work, Piña, which premiered earlier this month, Ralph explores the parallels between the body and piña, a traditional Filipino fiber made from pineapple leaves.

About the GGPAA Mentorship Program

The GGPAA Mentorship Program is a unique partnership between the Governor's Awards for the Performing Arts Foundation, the National Arts Center, and the Keg Spirit Foundation, designed since 2008 to provide creative mentorship to talented mid-career artists and serve as a peer Investing in the future of Canadian art. Each year, past Lifetime Artistic Achievement recipients are invited to select one or more professional artists to share, learn and grow with the experiences and insights of their mentors. In addition to artistic direction and fees, each protégé will be honored at GGPAA celebrations in Ottawa, including a star-studded GGPAA Gala at the NAC.

About the Governor's Performing Arts Awards

Established in 1992, the Governor General's Awards for the Performing Arts (GGPAA) is Canada's highest performing arts award. This year's Lifetime Achievement Award recipients are Michel Marc Bouchard, Molly Johnson, James Kudelka, Rosemarie Landry, k.d. Long. John Kim Bell received the Ramon John Hnatyshyn Performing Arts Voluntary Award and Paul Sun-Hyung Lee received the National Arts Center Award. Winners will be honored at a special ceremony and reception at Rideau Hall on Friday, May 26. Then, on Saturday, May 27, the NAC will host a star-studded evening where the National Film Board of Canada will deliver stellar performances and impressive cinematic portraits.

thanks to our partners

Thanks also to the many sponsors and donors who made the Governor's Performing Arts Awards Gala possible, including sponsor RBC, major donors Donald K. Johnson, O.C., Boston Pizza International Inc., Labatt Breweries Canada, Manulife and TheKeg Spirit Foundation , The Azrieli Foundation, Bonnie & John Buhler, Margaret Fountain, C.M., DFA(h.c.), DHL(h.c.) & David Fountain, C.M., Ann, John and Roxanne McCaig, the Honorable Bill Morneau & Nancy McCain, Rogers Communications and TelefilmCanada.

The National Arts Center is proud to partner with the Governor's Performing Arts Awards Foundation for the 2023 Governor's Performing Arts Awards Gala. The award is presented with the support of Canadian Heritage and the Canada Council for the Arts. CompassRose is our communication partner. In addition, each year the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) produces a masterpiece short film that captures the essence of the winners, which will premiere at the NAC's Awards Gala on May 27 and online at

The Governor's Award for the Performing Arts and the National Arts Center Foundation would like to express their profound gratitude to TheKeg Spirit Foundation, which has generously supported the Mentorship Program since 2009. Established in 2001, TheKeg Spirit Foundation supports organizations that reflect TheKeg Steakhouse + Bar's mentoring of hundreds of thousands of young associates for over 50 years. During that time, the foundation has donated more than $11 million to more than 400 charities in North America.

About the National Arts Center

The National Arts Center is Canada's home to bilingual, multidisciplinary performing arts. In partnership with Black Theater Workshop, FrenchTheatre, IndigenousTheatre and PopularMusic and Variety, NAC presents, creates, produces and co-produces performing arts programming across all genres - NACorchestra, Dance, EnglishTheatre and develops the next generation of audiences and artists from across Canada. The NAC is located in the National Capital Region, on the unceeded territory of the Anishinabe Algonquin Nation.



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