3 years ago

Volume 26 Issue 3 - November 2020

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  • Recording
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  • Choir
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  • Jazz
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  • November
Alanis Obomsawin's art of life; fifteen Exquisite Departures; UnCovered re(dis)covered; jazz in the kitchen; three takes on managing record releases in times of plague; baroque for babies; presenter directory (blue pages) part two; and, here at the WholeNote, work in progress on four brick walls (or is it five?). All this and more available in flipthrough HERE, and in print Tuesday Nov 3.

FEATURE Celebrating

FEATURE Celebrating Alanis Obomsawin 2020 Glenn Gould Prize Laureate BY PAUL ENNIS COSMOS IMAGE ANNABELLE MOREAU “No matter how difficult times are, try to remember that everywhere in the world there are a lot of good people and somehow, in the worst times, you meet someone who will help take Alanis Obamsowin you away from the danger. Do not forget that, because if you only think of the bad part, you do not have much hope for the future. But I think it is the contrary. All these years, many times I was in danger and there was always someone who would appear and help me and get me out of that danger. I want to thank all the people who helped me in my lifetime when it was difficult.” — Alanis Obomsawin Every two years, the Glenn Gould 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. Alanis Obomsawin, prolific documentary filmmaker, singer-songwriter, visual artist, activist and member of the Abenaki Nation, was chosen as the 13th Glenn Gould Prize Laureate on October 15, by a distinguished international jury chaired by groundbreaking performance artist, musician and filmmaker, Laurie Anderson. Announced in an emotionally compelling virtual press conference that stretched across the planet, from Chennai, India, to Hollywood, the Glenn Gould Foundation shone a light on the greatest Canadian filmmaker you may never have heard of. Alanis Obomsawin has directed more than 50 films for the National Film Board of Canada, where she has worked since 1967. Her body of work includes the landmark documentary, the internationally acclaimed Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance (1993), the first of four films she made about the 1990 Oka Crisis. Now 88, she continues to make films. With Jordan River Anderson, the Messenger (2019), she recently completed a film cycle devoted to the rights of Indigenous children. She received the news of winning the Glenn Gould Prize while on set making a new film about a dream she had as a young woman. The main character is a green horse. “I never expected to win such an honour,” Obomsawin said via video during the press conference. “I am in my village of Odanak in the province of Quebec. This is where I was raised. And this morning I watched the sun rise. It was like a prayer – it is the beginning of life. Our people’s name [Abenaki] means ‘people from where the sun rises, people of the East.’” At the press conference, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Beverly McLachlin, a board member of the Glenn Gould Foundation 6 | November 2020

At Le Guess Who? Festival in Utrecht, Netherlands, in November 2017: Obomsawin’s first concert in 30 years, where she sang Bush Lady in its entirety. and member of the jury of the 12th Prize Laureate in 2018, acted as master of ceremonies, describing how Glenn Gould had passionately believed in the power of music and the arts to transform lives," and how, in that spirit, the aim of the foundation today is to celebrate “artistic heroes.” Laurie Anderson introduced the jury by saying what a pleasure it had been for her, listening to the jurors’ passionate speeches and insights into the work of the 24 nominees they had to choose from. “I’d like to hear about your thought process,” she said, inviting each of them in turn to speak. Hilary Hahn – Anderson called her “the best violinist in the world, in my opinion, a very sharp juror looking at Jordan River Anderson, the Messenger (2019) COURTESY OF TIFF November 2020 | 7

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