Ryan Reynolds awarded 2021 Governor General’s Performing Arts Award

Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds is the recipient of the 2021 National Arts Centre Award.

The award, part of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards, recognizes work of an extraordinary nature and significance in the performing arts by an individual artist and/or company in the past performance year. Recipients are selected by the National Arts Centre.

The Vancouver native and Hollywood star tweeted a video of Canadian musician Steven Page singing a song in his honour.

“Last night, Canada honoured me with a Governor General’s Award and this video. I’m not crying. It’s just maple syrup,” Reynolds tweeted.

“Steven Page is a friend and a legend for wasting this amazing song on me,” he added, while thanking Governor General Mary May Simon and the National Arts Centre for the honour. “I’m a wreck.”

“Ryan Reynolds is one of Canada’s most beloved and widely recognized actors. In a repertoire ranging from TV sitcoms to animated and feature films, he has established himself as a versatile and engaging performer with a charismatic and quirky persona,” reads the statement announcing his receipt of the award. “Most recently, he has earned popular and critical acclaim for his portrayal of the title character in the hugely successful action movies Deadpool and Deadpool 2.”

He was congratulated on social media by many public figures, including Ottawa mayor Jim Watson.

Last year, Reynolds and his wife, Blake Lively, donated $1 million to Food Banks Canada and Feeding America. Some of the funds went to the Ottawa Food Bank, with a note from Reynolds saying he spent some of his childhood in Vanier. 

Earlier this year, he appeared as “Bruce”, Ottawa Public Health’s notorious fictional intern who was famously blamed for a widely seen tweet in which he appeared to bungle a post congratulating the winner of the Super Bowl. The health unit reacted to the award by saying “Bruce” is the this is the first member of a public health communications team to win a Governor General’s Award.

“I recommend making a list of people you appreciate, then immediately telling them,” Reynolds said in a follow-up tweet, joking that he’s glad he didn’t “have to be dead to experience something like this.”

Other recipients of Governor General’s Performing Arts awards in 2021 include actor Catherine O’Hara–best known for her roles in SCTV, Home Alone and Schitt’s Creek–composer Alexina Louie, Métis actor Tantoo Cardinal, Compagnie Danse Nyata Nyata founder Zab Maboungou, and Innu singer–songwriter and guitarist Florent Vollant, all of whom received lifetime achievement awards. Lynda Hamilton was awarded the 2021 Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Voluntarism in the Performing Arts.


Kenneth Proto

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