Adrienne Clarkson Prize for Global Citizenship
Margaret Atwood is the author of more than 50 books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. Her novels include The Handmaid’s Tale and Alias Grace, both of which were recently serialized for streaming; The Blind Assassin, which won the Booker Prize in 2000; Oryx and Crake, which was nominated for the Giller and Booker prizes; The Year of the Flood; the MaddAddam Trilogy; The Heart Goes Last; and Hag-Seed, a novel revisiting of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Her most recent collection of poetry is The Door. Her non-fiction works include Survival; Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth; and A Writer on Writing. Her most recent graphic series is Angel Catbird.
She has served in various capacities with several organizations, including PEN International and BirdLife International. In 2017, she was awarded the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, the Franz Kafka Prize, and PEN Center USA’s Lifetime Achievement Award. She continues to be surprised by human behaviour, both noble and not.
See Margaret at the the Adrienne Clarkson Prize for Global Citizenship.
26th Governor General of Canada & Co-founder and Co-chair of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (Canada)
The Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson arrived in Canada from Hong Kong as a refugee in 1942 and made the astonishing journey from a penniless child to accomplished broadcaster, journalist, and distinguished public servant in a multi-faceted lifetime.
During Madame Clarkson’s mandate as Governor General, her energy, enthusiasm, and passion left an indelible mark on Canada’s history. A leading figure in Canada’s cultural life, she is the bestselling author of the 2014 CBC Massey Lecture Belonging: The Paradox of Citizenship; Room for All of Us: Surprising Stories of Loss and Transformation; Heart Matters: A Memoir; and a biography of Dr. Norman Bethune.
Madame Clarkson has received numerous prestigious awards and honorary degrees in Canada and abroad. A Privy Councillor and Companion of the Order of Canada, she lives in Toronto.
Tomson Highway is a Cree writer and musician from northern Manitoba who writes plays, novels, and music that are studied in many countries around the the world. As a trained classical pianist who has since moved on to other forms of music, notably cabaret and musical theatre, he holds a Bachelor of Music Honours degree from the University of Western Ontario, as well as honorary doctorates from ten Canadian universities. In 1994, he was made a member of the Order of Canada. In his 20s, he was a social worker working with Indigenous children, inmates, artists, and activists. At the age of 30, he turned his attention to writing music, plays, and novels. His best-known works are the plays The Rez Sisters, Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing, and The (Post) Mistress, and the best-selling novel Kiss of the Fur Queen. From 1986 to 1992, he was the Artistic Director of Native Earth Performing Arts, Toronto’s first Indigenous theatre company. Among the many awards he has either won or been nominated for are the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Best New Play and Best Production, the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama, and a Juno for Aboriginal Album of the Year.
He has criss-crossed North America, Europe, and the world with his readings, lectures, performances (at the piano), and teaching engagements at universities, colleges, schools, theatres, nightclubs, concert halls, bookstores, art galleries, and other institutions. In fact, as a world traveller (“born a nomad, always a nomad”), he has circumnavigated the globe three times and been to 55 countries (and counting).
Several film and television documentaries on both his work and his background have been produced for the international market over the years, most notably Adrienne Clarkson Presents (1991), Life and Times (1997), and, most recently, Tomson Highway Gets His Trout (2003).
See Tomson at the Adrienne Clarkson Prize for Global Citizenship.
Winner of the 2017 Toronto Theatre Critics Award for Best Actress in a Musical, Patricia Cano is a Peruvian-Canadian actor and singer-songwriter originally from Sudbury, Ontario. A graduate of the University of Toronto (University College Drama Program), Cano has been collaborating with Tomson Highway since 2001. Whether it be performing Cree Cabaret alongside Highway on stages across the globe, or performing in his hit one-woman musical, The (Post) Mistress, in both English and French, or being featured on Highway’s 2015 Juno nominated album, Patricia Cano Sings Songs from The (Post) Mistress, Cano’s professional career has been intimately and powerfully shaped by Highway’s work.
Also worthy of note is the time she spent working in Paris, France. From 2002 to 2006, she lived and worked with the French theatre company, le Théâtre du Soleil, assisting on the music stage alongside Jean-Jacques Lemêtre, celebrated “musicien du theatre,” as well as working with the incomparable theatre director Ariane Mnouchkine. Those were formative years that ultimately led Cano back to Canada in search of a career in music. In 2009, she launched her debut album, This is the New World, featuring compositions in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese, written in collaboration with Carlos Bernardo, Brazilian multi-instrumentalist and composer. Since then, Cano and her band have toured extensively, and have been featured on jazz and folk festival stages across Canada. In 2017, she launched her highly anticipated sophomore album Madre Amiga Hermana, which she hopes to take on the road in 2019. For now, she is staying close to home, having just given birth to her second child.
See Patricia at the Adrienne Clarkson Prize for Global Citizenship.
Marcus Ali was born in Toronto to Trinidadian parents with a love of great music. A versatile musician who is equally at home in a wide range of genres, he has played on over 60 albums on a variety of woodwinds (saxophones, flutes, clarinets, West African flutes, tin whistles). He has performed, toured, and recorded with dozens of bands including Grand Prix de Jazz award–winner Nick Ali and Cruzao, Matt Dusk, Mr. Something Something, Orquesta Fantasia, Tomson Highway, and The Composers Collective Big Band. Currently Marcus can be heard with the Ali Bros, Grüvoria, DRUMHAND, Soldiers of Song: A tribute to the Dumbells, and multi-Juno-nominated Jason Wilson. He has toured extensively across Canada as well as throughout the U.S., the U.K., the Caribbean, and Japan. Since 2004, Marcus has also been the saxophone instructor and jazz combo director at Claude Watson School for the Arts. He teaches private woodwind lessons and regularly leads workshops and sectionals throughout the Greater Toronto Area.
See Marcus at the Adrienne Clarkson Prize for Global Citizenship.
SoundCrowd,Toronto’s first large-scale a cappella ensemble, made its concert debut in 2016 alongside former Barenaked Ladies frontman Steven Page at Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall. Since then, the ensemble has repeatedly sold out its own high-energy concerts around the city, been a featured guest on a national TV show (The Social), created viral videos, performed with other notable Toronto-based a cappella groups (Cadence, Countermeasure, Retrocity), and travelled to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall with choirs from around the world under the direction of Deke Sharon (Pitch Perfect, The Sing-Off). SoundCrowd is the brainchild of Founder and Artistic Director Scott Pietrangelo.
See SoundCrowd at the Adrienne Clarkson Prize for Global Citizenship.