Arts coun­cil hands out more than $80,000 for artis­tic ex­cel­lence

Indige­nous chore­og­ra­pher wins $50K, con­duc­tor $25K, lo­cal com­poser $7.5K

Ottawa Citizen - - City - LYNN SAXBERG lsaxberg@post­

The Canada Coun­cil for the Arts this week an­nounced three prizes, worth more than $80,000 in to­tal, to be awarded to three Cana­dian artists.

Indige­nous chore­og­ra­pher Mar­garet Gre­nier, who pre­miered her com­pany's lat­est work in Ot­tawa at the Na­tional Arts Cen­tre last year, is $50,000 richer as this year's win­ner of the Wal­ter Carsen Prize for Ex­cel­lence in the Per­form­ing Arts. It rec­og­nizes the high­est level of artis­tic ex­cel­lence by a pro­fes­sional Cana­dian artist in mu­sic, the­atre or dance.

Gre­nier is the ex­ec­u­tive and artis­tic direc­tor of the B.C.-based

Dancers of Dame­la­hamid, a com­pany that adapts Indige­nous cul­tural prac­tices for con­tem­po­rary venues and au­di­ences. Their re­cent mul­ti­me­dia piece, Mînowin, tells a story of trans­for­ma­tion, em­ploy­ing an­cient wis­dom to pre­pare for the fu­ture.

“Mînowin means to clar­ify di­rec­tion,” Gre­nier said in an in­ter­view with this news­pa­per last year, “and I think that it tells a story beyond just what we have worked through, and what other Indige­nous Peoples have as well. You go back to the ori­gin sto­ries and they help us nav­i­gate the way for­ward be­cause we draw from their an­ces­tral wis­dom. For me, Mînowin is re­ally a piece about re­silience.”

An­other $25,000 in prize money is headed to Mis­sis­sauga-raised con­duc­tor Jor­dan de Souza as the win­ner of the Vir­ginia Parker Prize, which is awarded an­nu­ally to an out­stand­ing clas­si­cal mu­si­cian or con­duc­tor un­der the age of 32. The young maestro's work with Komis­che Oper Ber­lin prompted The New York Times to de­scribe him as part of the new gen­er­a­tion

of lead­ers in Ber­lin's clas­si­cal scene.

Fi­nally, the Jules Léger Prize for New Cham­ber Mu­sic, worth $7,500, was awarded to Ot­tawa-based com­poser Kelly-Marie Mur­phy for her 2018 com­po­si­tion, Cof­fee Will Be Served in the Liv­ing Room. It's a 10-minute piece for eight cel­los com­mis­sioned by the Women's Mu­si­cal Club of Toronto.


Chore­og­ra­pher Mar­garet Gre­nier has been awarded the $50,000 Wal­ter Carsen Prize for Ex­cel­lence in the Per­form­ing Arts.

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