OTTAWA — Songwriter and composer David Foster and author Tomson Highway are among the recipients of Canada’s highest honour in the performing arts.

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

The roster also includes film and television screenwriter, director and producer Fernand Dansereau; broadcaster, theatre 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 acclaimed writers and performers, whose work spotlights Indigenous people and culture. 

His award-winning plays include “The Rez Sisters” and “Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing.”

The 2022 laureates will be honoured at two events in Ottawa, culminating in a gala at the National Arts Centre on May 28.

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

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

Meanwhile, the Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for voluntarism, which recognizes outstanding contributions by an individual or group to the performing arts, goes to Michelle Smith for her support of many francophone community and arts organizations in Manitoba.

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

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 23, 2022.

The Canadian Press