Renaming "The Governor-General Awards" to reflect a Postcolonial Canada
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PETITION TO REPLACE THE NAME "THE GOVERNOR GENERAL AWARDS" WITH ONE THAT REFLECTS THE HISTORY, THE FUTURE AND THE INTEGRITY OF THE CANADIAN PEOPLE
The Queen of England is also the Queen of Canada. The Queen of Canada is the personification of the Canadian state and is Canada as a matter of constitutional law. Canada is a constitutional monarchy — and that monarch lives in England over 6000 kilometers away.
The Federal viceregal representative of the Canadian monarch is the Governor General of Canada. Millions of Canadian tax dollars, Canadian resources are spent propping up this system of patronage, inheritance, ideological propaganda and influence and on top of maintaining the Governor General in luxurious surroundings there are 10 "Lieutenant Governors" spread out to the different provinces who are also paid, housed in mansions and pampered well by you the Canadian taxpayer. (Interestingly Australia manages to get by with only two Lieutenant Governors!)
In Canada the major awards for the arts, in the visual arts, in media arts, in literary arts and numerous other awards of creative merit are named after this system of inherited hierarchy and politically instituted patronage — "The Governor General Awards".
It is past due to rid Canada of "Her Majesty", her troop of sycophant PR Generals and the honoring of such a system of repurposed colonial authority.
As a start I petition that we rename the "Governor General Awards" to something more evocative of what we wish our country to exemplify or to remember about itself. Possibly a First Nations leaders name? If acceptable to the family and community — the "Chief Dan George" awards? Or maybe it would be in appreciation of the revolutionaries of 1837/38 — the ones who were hanged by the Crown of England for fighting for an egalitarian Republican future for Canada? Maybe after the patriote movement leaders— say the "Jean Olivier Chénier Awards"? or the "Samuel Lount Awards"? Or maybe it should be honoring the Kwakwaka’wakw leader "Ga’axstal’as, Jane Constance Cook Awards"? Or Shanawdithit — who was the last of the Beothuks of Newfoundland? Or how about "Amor De Cosmos (Lover of the Cosmos) Awards" — after the colorful (and quite flawed) Premiere of BC and belated Father of The Confederation?
What the new name of the awards would be is not the point of the petition — the intention is to voice a concern, to receive your suggestions and begin a dialogue to replace the name of the Art and Literary Awards in Canada so that the name reflects the ideals of a sovereign nation rather than dominion of the decrepit, exorbitant yet highly dispensable House of Windsor.
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