The three-time Oscar nominee will accept the prestigious prize at a special ceremony on 31 January (13).
The trophy, which has previously been given to Nicole Kidman, Vera Farmiga, Christoph Waltz and Peter Sarsgaard, recognises stars who take artistic risks and make a significant contribution to film.
SBIFF executive director Roger Durling says, "Adams is one of the gutsiest and most gifted actors working today. She embodies what the Cinema Vanguard Award is all about, and, after her performance in The Master, the time has come to recognise her talent and versatility."
The 28th annual festival runs from 24 January (13) to 3 February (13).