The Tragically Hip winner of the 2008 National Arts Centre Award

MONTREAL, March 12 /CNW Telbec/ – Canada’s National Arts Centre announced today it is awarding the prestigious 2008 National Arts Centre Award to legendary rockers The Tragically Hip.

The National Arts Centre Award recognizes work of an extraordinary nature and significance in the performing arts by an individual artist and/or company in the past performance year. The award will be presented to The Hip at Rideau Hall on May 2 as part of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards. Members of the group will be on hand again on May 3 to be honoured during the awards Gala at the National Arts Centre. For the first time in its history, the Gala will be produced by the National Arts Centre.

Known for their powerful, energetic live performances and their ironic wordplay and references to quintessentially Canadian subjects from hockey to history, The Tragically Hip have sold millions of records worldwide, enjoying both mass popularity and critical acclaim.

“The Tragically Hip are one of the most influential Canadian bands of our generation,” said Peter Herrndorf, the NAC’s president and CEO. “The group represents a potent convergence of raw musical energy and rich Canadian storytelling. The National Arts Centre is delighted to bestow this honour on The Hip.”

The Tragically Hip were formed in 1983 by five friends from Kingston-Rob Baker, Gordon Downie, Johnny Fay, Paul Langlois and Gord Sinclair-taking their name from a skit from the cult classic movie Elephant Pants by Michael Nesmith.

The group released their first album, The Tragically Hip, in 1987 and have since released twelve albums, earning two diamond certifications. In 2002, The Tragically Hip met and performed for Her Majesty the Queen at a gala performance in celebration of her Golden Jubilee. The band was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2003 and the Canadian Music Hall of Fame at the Juno Awards in 2005.

The Hip have established a demanding concert itinerary. They have toured extensively in Canada, the U.S., Europe and Australia. Most recently the band has finished a 2006-07 tour to promote their platinum selling album World Container where they continue to sell out arenas across Canada.

The Tragically Hip continue to support numerous charitable organizations, lending their name to help raise and donate millions of dollars for various social and environmental causes, including the Special Olympics, The Waterkeeper Alliance, the David Suzuki Foundation, the Stephen Lewis Foundation, and Camp Trillium.

The Tragically Hip are currently recording a new studio album.

Previous winners of the National Arts Centre Award include Richard Bradshaw, k.d. lang, Rick Mercer, Marie Chouinard, Angela Hewitt, La La La Human Steps and its artistic director Edouard Lock, Cirque du Soleil, Mario Bernardi, Denis Marleau, Karen Kain, Jon Kimura Parker, Ben Heppner, Robert Lepage, Michel-Marc Bouchard and Les Deux Mondes, and Gilles Maheu and CARBONE 14.

The National Art Centre’s Board of Trustees chooses the recipient of the award from recommendations submitted by a selection committee. The recipient of the National Arts Centre Award receives a cash prize of $25,000, an original work of art, and a commemorative medallion.