In the special awards area, two of the country`s most distinguished actors took the stage when Eric Peterson clearly enjoyed presenting the 2014 Award of Excellence to R.H. Thomson. In a career that began more than 35 years ago, Thomson has earned awards, recognition and the respect of his peers. The ACTRA Toronto Award of Excellence joins Genie Awards and nominations for his film work and a Dora and Gascon-Thomas Award for his work on stage. Thomson has also been a member of the Order of Canada since 2010.
The ACTRA Toronto Stunt Award, which honours those who do the dangerous bits in place of the stars, went to Marco Bianco. A little shy of 200 credits, in 2013 Bianco worked as a stunt rigger or stunt coordinator or stunt double or stunt driver on Star Trek Into Darkness, Skating to New York, and Pompeii, plus many episodes of Republic of Doyle and Saving Hope.
The three main categories are for Outstanding Performance for voice work, and for a male and female actor.
Actors Michael D. Cohen, Maxwell McCabe-Lokos, Rick Roberts, David Sutcliffe and Hugh Thompson were in the running this year. In an odd twist, Rick Roberts (pictured) got the nod for his superb portrayal or NDP Leader Jack Layton in the made-for-television feature, Jack. But Roberts wasn’t at the awards ceremony. He was on stage in Victoria, British Columbia playing another political leader, Stephen Harper, in Michael Healey`s new play Proud. Roberts, by the way, is nominated for the same role at the Canadian Screen Awards, which Northernstars.ca will cover in early March.
Actresses Amanda Brugel, Tatiana Maslany, Jennifer Podemski, Meg Tilly and Helen Shaver, who is celebrating a birthday today were nominated back in January. Amanda Brugel was honoured this year for her work in the film, Sex After Kids.
Finally, Terry McGurrin was given the Outstanding Performance: Voice for his work on an episode of Scaredy Squirrel titled The Trophy Catastrophe. There has been some discussion by various members of Toronto ACTRA that there should be a category recognizing narration. Maybe next year.
“Each year our awards get bigger and better,” said David Sparrow, ACTRA Toronto President. “What a great group of outstanding nominees and winners. My hat`s off to all of them. Terry McGurrin – a classic cartoon voice, Amanda Brugel a fantastic comedic actor, and Rick Roberts, well, at the rate he`s going, I’m expecting him to morph into R.H. Thomson at any moment. And the spectacular stunts of Marco Bianco…I’m so proud of each and every one of them.”
ACTRA Toronto represents more than 15,000 of Canada’s 22,000 professional performers working in the English-language recorded media in Canada. .