The Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts awards were created in 1999 by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Governor General of Canada. Since then, they have celebrated the vibrant arts community in Canada and recognized remarkable careers in the visual and media arts.

Up to eight awards are distributed every year: six awards recognize artistic achievements, one award recognizes an exceptional fine craft artist (Saidye Bronfman Award) and one award recognizes an outstanding contribution to contemporary visual arts, media arts or fine crafts. The winners all receive a medallion and a cash prize of $25,000 each.

The GGArts awards are part of the Canada Council’s suite of prizes recognizing artistic merit and outstanding contribution to the arts.

Discover the 2024 winners

Saidye Bronfman Award
Celebrating exceptional fine craft
artists since 1977

The Saidye Bronfman Award (originally created in 1977) joined the prestigious family of the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts in 2007. The award gives Canada’s outstanding craft artists national recognition alongside their peers in the visual and media arts.

The Canadian Museum of History is a valuable, long-standing partner that acquires a work or a series of works from the winning artist for its collection every year.

Peer Assessment

GGArts winners are selected by independent peer assessment committees.

The peers who adjudicated the 2024 awards are:


Saidye Bronfman Award

  • Lisa Hageman Yahgujanaas, fibre artist (Massett, British Columbia)
  • Susan Low-Beer, ceramic and multimedia sculptor (Toronto, Ontario)
  • Thierry Plante-Dubé, Chief Executive Officer for Centre Materia, the Maison des métiers d’art de Québec (MMAQ) and the Institut québécois d’ébénisterie (IQE) (Québec City, Quebec)

Artistic Achievement Award and Outstanding Contribution Award 

  • Mario Doucette, visual artist (Moncton, New Brunswick)
  • Dominique Fontaine, curator (Montréal, Quebec)
  • Kay Higgins, artist and cultural worker (Vancouver, British Columbia)
  • Kevin McKenzie, visual artist and assistant professor at Brandon University (Brandon, Manitoba)
  • Midi Onodera, moving image artist (Toronto, Ontario)

Celebrating the winners

The Canada Council for the Arts is grateful to the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General for its continued engagement and ongoing support of the award ceremony. The ceremony is a unique opportunity for winners to be celebrated by their peers and members of the arts community from across the country.

Reideau Hall

The medallion

All the winners receive special-edition medallions produced by the Royal Canadian Mint.

The bronze medallions are 75 mm (three inches) in diameter and bear the emblem of a maple tree flanked by two crowned lion’s heads. The maple is the symbol used to represent the Canada Council. The lions represent the vice-regal emblem of the Governor General; their crowns represent Canada; and their number, the two disciplines recognized by the award. The motto, “Excellentiae in artibus causa” [for excellence in the arts] adorns the face of the medallion, while “Canada Council for the Arts” is engraved on the edge. The name of the award, the year it is awarded and the name of the winner are engraved on the back of the medallions.

Royal Canadian Mint Bronze Medallion

The artwork

The Canada Council for the Arts is grateful to partner with the National Gallery of Canada to celebrate the winners of the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts. The Gallery highlights the work of these outstanding artists through a series of activities and initiatives. An exhibition featuring the works of these outstanding artists will be held at the Gallery from November 15, 2024, to March 23, 2025.