Tantoo Cardinal, Ryan Reynolds and Catherine O’Hara receive their Governor General’s Award

Actors Tantoo Cardinal, Ryan Reynolds and Catherine O’Hara were among the winners who received their Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards after an almost two-year delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The awards show, which aired Friday on CBC, featured recorded segments and performances from across the country.

Cardinal, one of Canada’s best-known Indigenous actors, was one of the recipients of an award for artistic excellence. His resume, which spans decades, includes roles in films such as Dance with the wolves, Legends of the Fall and Smoke signals, as well as television roles on North of 60, Moccasins Flats and Stumptown.

Comedy icon O’Hara also received an award for artistic excellence. A member of the original cast of SCTV, O’Hara’s movie credits include Alone at home and beetle juice – but many fans will likely cite her award-winning role as Moira Rose in Schitt Creek as a favorite.

In a recorded segment, Canadian actor and musician Noah Reid sang a tribute to the Toronto-born actor – with several wig changes nodding to her Schitt’s Stream character. Reid, who appeared on the show as Patrick Brewer, starred A case of you by Joni Mitchell.

Reynolds, the star of dead Pool of which other credits include van Wilder, Proposal and Pokémon Detective Pikachu, received the National Arts Center Award. Musician Steven Page performed in a recorded tribute to the Vancouver-born actor, who also highlighted his charitable work.

“Well I guess I pulled it off,” Reynolds said in tears after watching the performance.

Other Lifetime Achievement recipients include Vancouver-born composer Alexina Louie, who has written for stage and screen, and Quebec Innu singer-songwriter Florent Vollant, who has worked extensively with native musicians.

The list of lifelong artistic achievements has been completed by Montreal dancer-choreographer Zab Maboungou, who pioneered a contemporary movement technique that draws on the rhythms of traditional Central African music and dance.

The recipient of the Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Volunteering in the Performing Arts was ballroom dancer and human resources consultant Lynda Hamilton from British Columbia.

Created in 1992, the awards are presented annually to “Canadians whose achievements have inspired and enriched the cultural life of our country,” according to a statement. Nominations are submitted by members of the public.

This cohort of winners was originally announced in February 2020, but the ceremony was delayed due to the pandemic.

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