The Glenn Gould Foundation celebrates the thirteenth Glenn Gould Prize Laureate, Alanis Obomsawin

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“So much history can be lost if no one tells the story – so that’s what I do.
I tell the stories. This is my way of fighting for social change.” – Alanis Obomsawin

Toronto, ON (September 14, 2021) – Member of the Abenaki Nation, legendary documentary filmmaker, singer-songwriter, visual artist, and activist Alanis Obomsawin CC, GOQ, CALQ will be awarded the thirteenth Glenn Gould Prize at a presentation on Monday, October 4, 2021 at 7:15 p.m. at the Royal Ontario Museum (100 Queen’s Park). Ms. Obomsawin will receive an award of $100,000 and the Glenn Gould Prize statue by Canadian artist Ruth Abernethy.

Obomsawin is a prolific visual artist whose engravings and prints have been exhibited internationally. The Foundation has partnered with Viggo Mortensen and Perceval Press to publish the first book celebrating her artwork, entitled Dream Visions: The Art of Alanis Obomsawin, a 90-page, large-format hardcover edited by Peter O’Brien, featuring 42 reproductions, and a preface by singer-songwriter and Oscar-winning composer Buffy Sainte-Marie. The release date for this publication is tentatively scheduled for December 2021, and it will be available through,, Amazon and selected stores.

Following the prize ceremony, the Glenn Gould Foundation presents the premiere of Seeds: The Art of Alanis Obomsawin, a spectacular sound and light show – 170 feet wide by 70 feet high — by Métis filmmaker Terril Calder that showcases Obomsawin’s powerful visual art and music. Seeds will be projected onto the massive east façade of the Royal Ontario Museum at 8 p.m. on October 4 and continue nightly to October 17, running from 8 p.m.-10 p.m. with 4 shows per hour. Attendees will access the soundtrack, featuring the vocals of Obomsawin, on their wireless devices and earbuds over local Wi-Fi. Seeds will then embark on a cross-Canada and international tour, with dates and details to be announced.

During her 54-year filmmaking career, Alanis Obomsawin has devoted herself to chronicling the lives, concerns and resilience of First Nations people. She has directed 53 films for the National Film Board of Canada, where she has worked since 1967. Now 89, she continues to make films. She recently completed a seven-film cycle devoted to the rights of Indigenous children and peoples. Her work includes landmark films Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance documenting the 1990 Mohawk uprising, which received 18 international awards, and Incident at Restigouche, a behind-the-scenes look at police raids on a Mi’gmaq reserve. As a singer-songwriter, Obomsawin has toured Canada, the United States, and Europe performing for humanitarian causes at universities, museums, prisons and festivals. Obomsawin is the recipient of numerous awards and honours, including Companion of the Order of Canada (2019), Directors Guild of Canada Honourary Life Member Award (2018), ten Lifetime Achievement awards, and 14 honourary doctorates. She has served on the boards of the NFB, the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, the Canada Council, and the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal. The 2021 Toronto International Film Festival presents “Celebrating Alanis” a retrospective of 19 films running September 14-17, 2021. From January 23 – April 18, 2022, a major retrospective entitled The Children Have to Hear Another Story: Alanis Obomsawin will be presented at the Haus der Kulturnen der Welt in Berlin.

Obomsawin has selected award-winning Ojibwe filmmaker Victoria Anderson-Gardner as the recipient of the $15,000 Glenn Gould Protégé Prize. The prize is given to an outstanding young artist who shows the promise of an exceptional lifetime contribution to enriching the human condition through the arts, such as that exhibited by the young Glenn Gould. Both Alanis Obomsawin and Victoria Anderson-Gardner will receive their awards at the October 4 presentation.

About the Glenn Gould Prize

The Glenn Gould Foundation celebrates the life, career, and enduring influence of Canadian pianist, writer and broadcaster Glenn Gould. Every two years, the Foundation convenes an international jury to award the Glenn Gould Prize to a living individual for a unique lifetime contribution that has enriched the human condition through the arts. Past laureates of the international prize include Jessye Norman (2018), Philip Glass (2015), Leonard Cohen (2011), El Sistema founder Dr. José Antonio Abreu (2008), Yo-Yo Ma (1999), and Oscar Peterson (1993). For more information visit

This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)


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