Lieutenant-Governor's Award for High Achievement in Performing Arts
One of the most sought after set and costume designers in Canada, Patrick Clark is a designer sans frontières. He has created award-winning designs for new work in small, experimental spaces, for Shakespearean and classical theatre, and for huge musicals in vast performance spaces. He is a theatre artist of the highest quality; one who sees and truly understands the art form. His designs are clean and spare with nothing to distract the eye. He strives for containment at all times, fashioning sets and costumes that support the actors, rather than compete for attention. Known as an actor's designer, Clark embraces a specific ethos, what the playwright Tennessee Williams described as "the color, the grace and levitation, the structural pattern in motion, the quick interplay of live beings, suspended like fitful lightning in a cloud."
He began his career as an assistant in the Properties department at Theatre New Brunswick. "I am eternally grateful to Theatre New Brunswick. It was a new world in the 1970s. It was the beginning of great Canadian theatre, when we started telling our own stories." TNB's Sheila Toye, a leading designer in Canada and Europe at the time, was an early mentor. Having had an excellent mentor, Clark, in turn, has mentored many others, something in which he believes, passionately.
Clark's wealth of experience and expert eye make him an invaluable resource on any creative team. His fully realized sets, from images to clothing and from furniture to props, bring entire worlds to life for audiences. His body of work is now approaching legendary status in the theatre world. For over thirty years, Clark has practiced his art to its highest level, taught many students, mentored numerous assistants, and made a tremendous contribution to theatre design in this province, all the while working extensively in the United States and in Europe. In such high demand, he can and does work in many places, but this world class New Brunswick designer still takes on theatre work at home, because this is where his heart lies. He is currently Resident Designer at TNB, while working on as many three other projects at any given time.
Lieutenant-Governor's Award for High Achievement in French-Language Literary Arts
France Daigle has been part of the New Brunswick literary milieu for more than thirty years. Born in Dieppe, she is one of the most prominent Acadian authors, with a reputation extending far beyond her native region. Her work is studied not only in Canada, but also in countries that are particularly interested in Acadian history and culture, such as the United States, France, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, and Belgium. She is also featured in several literary anthologies, and her novels have been praised by the public and critics alike.
Since emerging on the literary scene in the 1980s, Daigle's brilliant body of work has continued to astonish and challenge readers, mirroring our journey as individuals and as a society. She possesses that rare quality of connecting the local to the global, and the personal to the collective. Complex, yet laced with subtle humour, Daigle's captivating tales reveal her lighthearted look on life and her characters' foibles, capturing both the tragedy and the comedy of life.
She began to seriously pursue her literary career in 1981. Her style — shaped by her enthusiasm for cinema, song, theatre, and photography — would change with each publication, ranging from the poetic to the romantic.
Daigle has published a dozen titles since her début in 1983 with Sans jamais parler du vent (Éditions d'Acadie). She had a number of her poems published in magazines, wrote seven original plays, all produced in Moncton, and took part in several scripting projects. Her last five novels were translated into English and published by Toronto based House of Anansi. One of them, Just Fine (original title Pas pire), won the Governor General's Award for translation in 2000.
Lieutenant-Governor's Award for High Achievement in Visual Arts
A marvelous storyteller with a tremendous appetite for life, painter and engraver Yvon Gallant has managed, throughout the years, to preserve a sense of wonder that infuses each of his works. A tribute to joy and to life, his paintings depict tales in much the same manner as authors write them.
As early as 1972, Gallant has made his mark by creating paintings that are both innovative and disconcerting, inspired by scenes from everyday life. A true archaeologist of Acadian culture, he renders — in his own inimitable style — childhood memories, family rituals, humorous anecdotes, and social events, either his own or those of others. His visual narratives can be fantastical, dramatic, amusing, or even ironic, depending on the message Gallant intends to convey. He shows that which all can see, but fail to notice. His world is one of human experience.
Gallant's vivid pictorial imagery is immediately recognizable: blocks of bright colours, objects and figures outlined in black, featureless blank faces, and exaggerated hands. Besides contributing to the revival of contemporary art's imagery, his works have the merit of being universally understood. He will say that he found his style rather quickly, his major influences being the great masters such as Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, and Andy Warhol.
His artistic work has been featured in more than eighty solo and group exhibitions in Atlantic Canada, across Canada, and abroad. In 1994, a retrospective exhibition entitled Yvon Gallant: Based on a True Story, showing more than one hundred of the artist's paintings, was curated by Terry Graff, then director of the Confederation Centre Art Gallery and Museum, in Charlottetown. The exhibition was later shown at the Galerie d'art de l'Université de Moncton in 1995. These paintings are now part of many public and private collections at home and throughout the world. Yvon Gallant received various grants and awards from the Canada Council for the Arts, the New Brunswick Arts Board, and the Government of New Brunswick, including the Miller Brittain Award for Excellence in Visual Arts in 1992.