Photographer Edward Burtynsky, painter and video artist Wanda Koop and film installation artist Mark Lewis are newest winners of the Governor General's Awards in Visual and Media Arts.

The Canada Council, which administers the $25,000 career achievement honour, announced the winners for 2016 in Ottawa early Monday morning.

"These artists have achieved an exceptional level of mastery of their art forms, to the point where they influence the way we Canadians understand our world and its challenges," council CEO Simon Brault said in a statement.

"They participate with passion and creativity in some of the most pressing debates of our times, including discussions on sustainable development, the environment, identity and gender."

Along with Toronto's Burtynsky, Winnipeg's Koop and London-based Lewis (originally from Hamilton, Ont.), the latest winners include:

  • Filmmaker Philip Hoffman (Mount Forest, Ont.)
  • Visual artist Suzy Lake (Toronto)
  • Visual artist William Vazan (Montreal)
  • Textile artist Jane Kidd (Salt Spring Island, B.C.), winner of the Saidye Bronfman Award for fine craft.
  • Curator Marnie Fleming (Toronto), winner of the outstanding contribution award.

Governor General David Johnston will celebrate the 2016 winners at a ceremony at Rideau Hall on March 23.

Established in 1999 by the Canada Council and former governor general Adrienne Clarkson, the awards recognize the excellence in Canadians who are working in a variety of artistic disciplines — from fine arts such as painting, drawing, photography, sculpture and 3D installations to applied arts such as architecture and craft to film, video, audio and digital arts. 

Each year, the prize also recognizes an individual working in the arts sector who has made an outstanding contribution in a professional or volunteer capacity.

Each recipient receives $25,000 and a medallion. The winners are also featured in an exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada.

Past GG visual and media arts winners have included painter Alex Colville, architect Raymond Moriyama, performance and installation artist Rebecca Belmore, sculptor Kim Adams, painter, installation and video artist Michael Snow, filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin, video artist Paul Wong and printmaker, illustrator and sculptor Kenojuak Ashevak.