Comedian Mary Walsh, filmmaker Deepa Mehta and rock legends Rush are among the eight honourees at the Governor General's Performing Arts Award gala Saturday night.

Canada's most prestigious performing arts awards were given out by Governor General David Johnston Friday night, with the winners celebrated at the National Arts Centre the next night.

"We've got stars on both sides of the stage, we've got our recipients that we're so excited to be honouring; Rush, (director) Des McAnuff and a long, long list behind that," said show producer Kari Cullen.

Also being honoured this year are pianist Janina Fialkowska, philanthropist Earlaine Collins, dancer and choreographer Paul-Andre Fortier and Denis Marleau.

"We're even going to take a run on a really fun take on a Rush song," Cullen said. "We're going to experiment a little bit with their music, with their permission, and see how much they enjoy it."

The awards are in their twentieth year and have previously been given to William Shatner, Bryan Adams and k.d. lang, among others.

The festivities begin with a red carper at the NAC around 6:30, with organizers saying a major superstar will be making an appearance at the gala.

With a report from CTV Ottawa's Katie Griffin