Ten Award Nominees Announced by ACTRA Toronto
Gordon Pinsent to Receive Award of Excellence

For Immediate Release: Toronto, Ontario, February 3, 2003 – Richard Hardacre, President of ACTRA Toronto Performers, is pleased to announce the return of the ACTRA Awards to be presented by ACTRA Toronto at The Royal Ontario Museum on February 27th as part of ACTRA’s 60th Anniversary celebrations.

Three awards will be presented: Gordon Pinsent will receive ACTRA Toronto’s inaugural Award of Excellence, and two ACTRA Awards will be presented to ACTRA Toronto members for Outstanding Performance – one male and one female.

Nominations for the ACTRA Awards in Toronto - Outstanding Performance – were solicited from the ACTRA Toronto membership. Eligible nominations were for performances by ACTRA Toronto members in film or television productions shot in Toronto and aired or released in 2002.

The Nominees for the two ACTRA Awards in Toronto are (click on names for bios):

Outstanding Performance – Female:

Wendy Crewson
- Perfect Pie (feature film)
Thea Gill - Queer As Folk – (television series)
Michelle Nolden - Men With Brooms –(feature film)
Kari Matchett - Nero Wolfe (television series)
Kristen Thomson - I Shout Love (short film)

Outstanding Performance - Male:

Maury Chaykin - Nero Wolfe (television series)
Shawn Doyle - The Eleventh Hour (television series)
Matthew Ferguson - I Shout Love (short film)
Paul Gross - Men With Brooms – (feature film)
Rick Roberts - An American in Canada – (television pilot)

“Our jury, all award-winning actors themselves, rose to the challenge of judging across genres with integrity and insight,” said Jackie Laidlaw, ACTRA Awards Chair. The finalists are from all different types of production - Canadian feature films, a Canadian television pilot, service productions, and a low-budget short film – recognizing the outstanding work of our members in all genres.”

The Award of Excellence recipient was selected by ACTRA Toronto’s governing council. “Gordon is a natural choice to inaugurate the Award of Excellence for ACTRA’s Anniversary celebrating 60 years. He is inspiring in his dedication to the acting profession, and to Canada. He continues to be a prolific actor and writer in demand, yet always has time for his fellow actors, and time to contribute to the union at a moment’s notice,” said ACTRA Toronto President Richard Hardacre.

Gordon Pinsent (click on name for bio) is well known to audiences across Canada and the U.S. for his work in theatre, film, television and radio, as an actor, playwright, author and director. He starred in many television series, including The Forest Rangers; Quentin Durgens, MP; A Gift to Last (which he also wrote); Due South; and Power Play. Gordon can be seen on the Red Green Show, recently played Billy Pretty in the critically-acclaimed feature The Shipping News and Morley Callaghan in the recently wrapped mini-series Hemingway and Callaghan..

Gordon has received two ACTRA Awards, ACTRA’s John Drainie Award, three Genie Awards, five Gemini Awards, as well as honourary doctorates at Queen’s University, P.E.I. University and Memorial University, Newfoundland. He became an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1979, and was promoted to Companion within the Order in 1999.

This year Gordon has worked with ACTRA Toronto’s Political Action Committee to lobby Cabinet Ministers on saving Canadian television drama. At our June 2002 members’ conference, Gordon served as a delightful participant and will do so again at our February 2003 conference.

The Awards Gala evening event will be hosted by Peter Keleghan and scripted by David Huband, with Paul Gross presenting the Award of Excellence to Gordon Pinsent. Event sponsors include ACTRA National, Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc., CTV Inc., Command Post & Transfer Corporation, Dufferin Gate/Temple Street Productions, Goodmans LLP, Pebblehut Too Inc. and Shaftesbury Films.

ACTRA Toronto Performers is the largest organization within ACTRA, representing over 13,000 of Canada’s 20,000 professional performers working in the English-language recorded media in Canada. As an advocate for Canadian culture since 1943, ACTRA is a member-driven organization that secures the rights and promotes respect for the work of professional performers.

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For media inquiries please contact:
Carol Taverner, Public Relations Officer, ACTRA Toronto Performers
Dir: (416) 642-6751