Sask. artist receives Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts

Cheryl L’Hirondelle is one of eight 2021 recipients of the prestigious Canada Council for the Arts award.

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An artist from Saskatoon has been chosen to receive one of Canada’s highest artistic honors in 2021.

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Multidisciplinary artist Cheryl L’Hirondelle received a Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts from the Canada Council for the Arts. Eight artists were named award recipients on Tuesday.

“I cried,” said L’Hirondelle. “To have that kind of recognition from your peers… it was really, really meaningful. “

L’Hirondelle’s art has spanned a wide variety of mediums, including physical installations, audio and video projects, singing, and songwriting. His heritage includes both Cree and European ancestors, and much of his work reflects Indigenous ideologies or cultural values ​​in a contemporary way.

“It is this notion of, we continue to disseminate and transmit and amplify that we are still here,” she said. “And even more than being a heritage or an ancestry, it is very present… I hope that it gives hope to the younger generations of artists, to know that it is important to express your unique identity. . “

The Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts were established in 1999. Up to eight awards are presented each year. Each winner receives a cash prize of $ 25,000 and a bronze medallion in recognition of their accomplishments.

L’Hirondelle was one of six recipients of one of the Artistic Excellence Awards, “intended to honor the individual achievements” of artists who have both maintained their artistic practice for an extended period and acquired a Renowned both in Canada and abroad, according to award guidelines.

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In a statement posted on the award’s website, L’Hirondelle’s nominators, which include artists and researchers from across the country, praised her work for teaching people around her to cross borders.

“In these times of political, cultural and environmental upheaval, the world is in desperate need of artists like Cheryl L’Hirondelle, who can help us create new social formations and bring together knowledge, communities and histories,” says the press release.

The Hirondelle is not the only representative of Saskatchewan in this year’s awards. Lori Blondeau, an artist currently based in Winnipeg, studied at the University of Saskatchewan and was previously based in Saskatoon.

“I hope Saskatchewan is proud and I know there is a lot of important work going on in this province,” said L’Hirondelle.

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