From: Josie Beamish, thenorthbaybay.ca intern
OTTAWA — With the province still reeling from the nomination of former Premier Mike Harris for the Order of Ontario, it has now come to light that Harris will also be a recipient of the coveted Sobey Art Award.
Created to honour those pushing the boundaries of Canadian art, the Sobey Art Award is one of the highest national honours that an artist can receive.
Rob Sobey, Chair of the Sobey Art Foundation, announced Harris’ win.
“Mike Harris has earned his award for the 7 year performance piece he maintained from 1995 to 2002, posing as a Progressive [sic] Conservative politician,” explains Sobey.
“No doubt an impressive improvisational piece, Harris reportedly drew inspiration from previous political actors like Ronald Reagan to ‘fumble’ his way through crises and create an air of social and intellectual oppression to the province of Ontario.”
“As a performance piece it’s unrivalled,” continues Sobey. “To create suspension of disbelief so deeply embedded throughout an entire region is absolutely an accomplishment in acting. Considering the current popularity of characters like Borat and Donald Trump, Mr. Harris was a trailblazer.”
Harris’ chilling performance as Premier is rumoured to have inspired the portrayal of some of cinema’s coldest and most sordid characters, ranging from Lord Voldemort to that really evil guy from “No Country for Old Men”.
Not everyone was as receptive to the award however, with much of the acting community criticizing Harris’ performance as one note and lacking humanity.
“It’s basically like awarding Best Actor to the guy from Weekend at Bernie’s,” says local thespian Todd Barley.
Reactions among other North Bay residents have been mixed as well, with much of the population upset and the rest still struggling to read – likely due to Harris’s education cuts.
The North Bay Bay attempted to reach Mr. Harris for a quote but were informed by his publicist that he’s currently in the midst of a long term and final performance piece entitled “Fading into Obscurity”.