The career of an Indigenous actor from B.C. has been celebrated with a special honour at one of the world’s largest Indigenous screen festivals.
Actor Lorne Cardinal, who is of Cree descent and is based in Squamish, received the August Schellenberg Award of Excellence at an awards presentation on the last day of the Toronto-based 21st ImagineNative Film and Media Arts Festival, which ran online from October 20 to 25.
The award honours an actor whose work demonstrates the same level of commitment and spirit that the late Schellenberg (Free Willy, Black Robe) did. Schellenberg, who was of Mohawk descent and died in 2013, was the first Indigenous person to graduate from the National Theatre School.
The classically trained Cardinal has amassed over 100 credits in film, television, and stage roles, including Corner Gas, Molly of Denali, North of 60, Jake and the Kid, and Arctic Air.
Schellenberg was Cardinal’s mentor and friend, and the two starred in King Lear together on the National Arts Centre Stage.
Cardinal is currently shooting FBI: Most Wanted in New York City and provides the voice for Sgt. Davis Quinton on Corner Gas Animated, and a theatre space with Cardinal’s name at the Roxy Theatre in Edmonton is currently under construction.