TORONTO (April 18, 2024) — The Glenn Gould Foundation proudly announces that it has been designated in the 2024 Canadian budget to receive $12 million in Federal funding over the next five years, aimed at extending the organization’s international footprint through its signature initiative The Glenn Gould Prize. This significant support will empower the Foundation to amplify its mission of celebrating excellence in the arts and promoting cultural enrichment on a global scale.

“As we reflect on 40 years of The Glenn Gould Foundation, we are immensely proud to have served as a cultural ambassador for Canada, following in the footsteps of the visionary Glenn Gould,” said Brian Levine, CEO and Executive Director of The Glenn Gould Foundation. “The Glenn Gould Prize has symbolized our commitment to excellence, innovation, and humanitarianism in the arts on a global scale. This generous support from the Government of Canada reaffirms our belief in Canada’s role as a beacon of creativity and inclusivity. With this vote of confidence, we are emboldened to further elevate our cultural prominence among the community of nations and enrich the lives of Canadians through the arts, and the celebration of artistic heroes like Gould. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Hon. Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Heritage, the Hon. Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Finance and the Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada for their unwavering support, which paves the way for a future brimming with possibility.”

“The impact this funding will have on The Glenn Gould Prize and our Foundation’s domestic and international initiatives cannot be overstated. Glenn Gould was a brilliant futurist, whose impact on the world raises Canada’s cultural profile uniquely,” said Brendan Calder, Chairman of the Board of Directors, The Glenn Gould Foundation. “This endowment will allow us to foster collaborations with diverse artists, scholars, and innovators worldwide, celebrating Gould’s legacy while pushing boundaries in music, technology, and education.”

Since 1983, The Glenn Gould Foundation is renowned for bestowing the prestigious biennial Glenn Gould Prize, often hailed as the “Nobel Prize of the Arts,” honouring individuals whose lifetime contributions have enriched humanity through the arts. Recognized for its representation of excellence across diverse fields, The Glenn Gould Prize recognizes individuals in the arts, communications, technology, and humanitarian endeavours, with a particular emphasis on game-changing innovators like Gould. Guided by the belief that the arts are catalysts for human development and social progress, the Foundation seeks to highlight the transformative power of creativity, and the innate human capacity to dream of a better world, which lies at the heart of all artistic enterprise.

Now, with expanded resources, the Foundation is poised to elevate its global presence and enhance its outreach efforts.

Nominees for The Glenn Gould Prize are submitted by the public in a biennial “call for nominations,” and span a broad spectrum of artistic domains, including music, film, literature, technology, visual art, theatre and design. The selection process involves an international jury of distinguished artists and professionals, ensuring a diverse and inclusive representation.

Each Glenn Gould Prize Laureate is awarded a cash prize of $100,000, acknowledging their exceptional contributions. Additionally, since 1993, the Foundation has bestowed The Glenn Gould Protégé Prize, recognizing promising young artists selected personally by the Laureate with a $25,000 cash award.

The Glenn Gould Prize celebrations to honour the Laureates are festivals showcasing their artistic accomplishments, core values, societal contributions, and public impact. With the aim of instigating forward-thinking endeavours inspired by the Laureates’ exemplary influence; the distinctive motto of this esteemed award is: “Celebration – Inspiration – Transformation.”

The Foundation continues to extend awareness of Gould’s multi-faceted genius and promote his enduring influence through various projects and programs. From educational initiatives benefiting children, youth, and adults, to ground-breaking projects celebrating diverse cultural expressions, the Foundation’s impact resonates worldwide. Recent endeavours include site-specific presentations honouring one of Canada’s greatest Indigenous artists, Alanis Obomsawin, educational workshops for young artists, and initiatives exploring the intersection of music and mental health. Instrumental: Music and Mental Health stands as a pioneering digital resource providing vital support for youth struggling with mental health issues, to aid them in harnessing the healing power of music. In collaboration with esteemed partners including numerous scientists, mental health professionals and the Canadian Association of Music Therapists, the Foundation continues to spearhead initiatives that promote well-being and resilience through artistic expression.

Other impacts of The Glenn Gould Prize have included contributions to the funding of Toronto waterfront’s Music Garden (Laureate Yo-Yo Ma), the Canada Council for the Arts (Laureate Leonard Cohen), national promotion of the El Sistema movement of free music education to at-risk children and youth (Laureate Dr. José Antonio Abreu), celebrations of Black History Month (Laureate Jessye Norman) and on-line master classes for young Indigenous filmmakers (Laureate Alanis Obomsawin).  The newest Laureate of The Glenn Gould Prize is superstar conductor Gustavo Dudamel (music director designate of the New York Philharmonic, and current music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic). Dudamel, himself a product of El Sistema, is inspiring the Foundation to mount a global initiative celebrating the social impacts of music, the specifics of which will be announced to the public later this year.

The Boston Consulting Group’s September 2023 report underscores the profound significance of global arts prizes, particularly in the context of Canada’s cultural landscape. Highlighting economic and social impacts, educational benefits, innovative catalysts, and instruments of national pride and cultural diplomacy, the report emphasizes the pivotal role of such prizes in shaping societal narratives and fostering creativity. With Canada’s hosting of the Glenn Gould Prize, the nation not only celebrates artistic excellence but also positions itself as a global hub for cultural exchange and invention – principles that Gould himself championed. By recognizing the transformative power of the arts, these prizes serve as shining examples of inspiration, uniting diverse communities and catalyzing positive change on both local and international scales.

About The Glenn Gould Foundation:

The Glenn Gould Foundation, established in 1983, is a registered Canadian charitable organization dedicated to celebrating excellence in the arts and promoting cultural enrichment globally. As a beacon of excellence across multiple arts disciplines, The Glenn Gould Foundation continues to pave the way for a more enlightened world, dedicated to fostering cultural understanding and inspiring creativity worldwide.

Through tentpole initiatives such as The Glenn Gould Prize and Instrumental: Music and Mental Health, in addition to myriad programs, presentations, collaborations and co-presentations with arts organizations, artists and scholars worldwide, the Foundation honours Glenn Gould’s legacy through cultural diplomacy.

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For media inquiries:

Naomi Strasser
Aerial Communications Group