William Shatner to be honoured with Governor General’s Performing Arts Award (no, really)
This May, William Shatner is getting a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award honouring his “lifetime artistic achievement.” The Globe and Mail calls it “the ultimate recognition—from Canadians for Canadians whose accomplishments have inspired and enriched the cultural life of our country.” Shatner, who is turning 80 later this month, joked, “One lives many lifetimes in a lifetime…This is just one lifetime award—I expect to be back to get another in a few years.” Some of the lifetimes to which he is referring include his iconic stint on Star Trek, his youth at the Stratford Festival and now the sitcom $#*! My Dad Says.
Despite the fact that Shatner has spent much of his life residing in America, he says he’s still a Canadian at the core. The soon-to-be octogenarian may not have been familiar with this particular Governor General’s honour before earning it himself, but he says he’s excited to receive the award nonetheless. “To be honoured in my native country is to hark back to my youth and the joy I felt as I prepared for my life, prepared to be whatever I am now—which is apparently worthy of the honour Canada is giving me,” he told the Globe. “I owe it to Canada.”
Shatner’s body of work will be honoured at a National Arts Centre gala on May 14 alongside dancer Margie Gillis, Oscar-winning composer Howard Shore, Theatre Passe Muraille co-founder Paul Thompson, monologist Yvan Deschamps and artistic director of the Manitoba Theatre for Young People Leslee Silverman. Filmmaker Denis Villeneuve will also receive the $25,000 National Arts Centre Award.