Winners of Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts announced

Thursday, February 20th, 2020 11:29am


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Ruth Cuthand and Dana Claxton are 2020 winners of the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts


Seven artists and one arts professional are being honoured in recognition of their exceptional careers and contributions to the visual arts, media arts and fine craft.

The winners of the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts will each receive a $25,000 prize and a special-edition bronze medallion in recognition of their work. The winners’ works will also be displayed at the Art Gallery of Alberta in Edmonton this summer. Short films featuring the artists have been created to honour them.

It’s the 20th anniversary of the awards, with a total of 170 artists and arts professionals having been recognized for their excellence over those two decades.

Among the 2020 winners are:

Dana Claxton, a Hunkpapa Lakota filmmaker, photographer, and performance artist based in Vancouver,

“She is a restless artist who continues to expand the representational and relational possibilities of each medium and format that she takes up, as she works to redress, provoke and expand the visual arts landscape of this country—and beyond,” said nominator Denise Ryner, director/durator of Or Gallery. The Dana Claxton video can be seen above.


Ruth Cuthand is a visual artist from Saskatoon (Plains Cree and Scottish ancestry). Nominators describe her influence, mentorship, and support of many, past and present, has been “an important component in the building of an infrastructure for contemporary Indigenous art in Canada.” The Ruth Cuthand video can be seen here: 

The other winners are Anna Torma, visual artist of Baie Verte, N.B.; Zainub Verjee, cultural administrator, arts advocate, art centre/gallery director and artist  of Mississauga, Ont.; Deanna Bowen, Interdisciplinary Artist of Toronto; Michael Fernandes, visual artist of East Dover, N.S.; Kenneth Robert Lum, visual artist of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Jorge Lozano Lorza, filmmaker of Toronto.