Dancer, choreographer and teacher Margie Gillis is among six recipients of the 2011 Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards (GGPAA) for Lifetime Artistic Achievement. A veteran Canadian artist, Montreal-based Gillis has created and performed more than 100 solos in her nearly forty-year career. She has also choreographed works for companies such as Alberta Ballet and Cirque du Soleil, and has been a guest artist with The National Ballet of Canada, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal and Paul Taylor Dance Company. This is not the first time Gillis’ artistic contributions have been recognized; she has been a Member of the Order of Canada since 1988, a Knight of the Ordre National du Québec since 2009 and has been made honorary Cultural Ambassador by both the federal and Québec governments. For her most recent honour, she will receive $25,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and a commemorative plaque from the Royal Canadian Mint. The GGPAA also provide a mentorship program between former Lifetime Artistic Achivement Award winners and mid-career artists. This year, Evelyn Hart will mentor Heather Odgen, principal dancer with The National Ballet of Canada.
Montréal’s Paul-André Fortier and Margie Gillis received their insignia as Officers of the Order of Canada on September 12.