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Art Cinderella and Her Fairy Tale Week

April 2, 2012

ACCEPTANCE SPEECH by Margaret Dragu for GOVERNOR-GENERAL 2012 AWARD  in Visual Art & Media at Rideau Hall Ottawa

Je suis reconnaissante de pouvoir travailler comme artiste au Canada. And very grateful for this award so I can make more art.

(photo: Sarah Sheard) Pour moi, la création d’une œuvre d’art constitue un acte d’intimité. It is my joy and responsibility to connect – with a person, a group, a community  – and to share with them a moment of revelation — constitue pour moi non seulement une grande source de plaisir, mais aussi une responsabilité que j’assume pleinement.

(photo: Richmond Art Gallery) These transformative intimacies are what drive my practice.

I believe/Je crois : art reveals the ugly as beautiful, through compassion and the act of seeing;

(photo: Sarah Sheard)  art illuminates the lies we have accepted as gospel; Que l’art nous fait rire et pleurer jusqu’à ce que nous implorions la pitié.

L’art vit/Art lives.  I wear my history – and my work – on my body.

(photo: Sarah Sheard)  Dans mon corps se trouvent l’art classique et le néo-burlesque, la danse moderne allemande, et les écritures. My body is mothering, cleaning, fitness training, and sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll.

Mon corps est film, vidéo, et installation; mon corps est agit-prop et cabaret. My body is meditation, fasting and gorging, loving, forgiving . . . Et la gratitude/And gratitude.

(photo: Office of the Governor-General of Canada) My eternal thanks to Lynn Beavis, director of the Richmond Art Gallery, and to Paul Couillard, founder of FADO, the artist-run centre in Toronto. Je tiens également à remercier les artistes avec lesquels j’ai eu l’occasion de travailler. Ces collaborations me sont très précieuses.

(photo: Richmond Art Gallery)  Thank you to my far-flung communities: the artist-run centres; The Eternal Network; the feminist and queer communities,  and South Arm Community Centre where I work in Richmond. Enfin, je tiens à remercier le comité de sélection du Prix du Gouverneur général, et le Conseil des Arts du Canada.


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  1. Paul Couillard permalink

    I love the shot with you and the police. It looks like you are teaching them an Xs and Os dance…

  2. Eileen Kage permalink

    I love it!!!! ummah

  3. Reblogged this on Republic Of Daydreams and commented:
    pure elegance,

  4. Steve from the bog permalink

    Hey Margaret! From the photo I get the idea that there may have been a meal involved. Did they feed you at Rideau Hall? I am wondering what the food was like….

  5. what about class? The rule of property owners (The Canadian Government), and the legal sovereignty that they have imposed upon stolen land in order to create the Governor General’s Award?

  6. a beautiful speech

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