(This story is sponsored by UBCP/ACTRA.)
Every November, the Union of British Columbia Performers (UBCP/ACTRA) hosts an unmissable awards show, celebrating the outstanding Canadian actors that grace our TVs.
What’s usually a star-studded and glamorous in-person event will take a virtual format for the second year in a row, which means you can tune in from the comfort of your home. But despite being an online celebration, the excitement and energy from the nominees and winners can be felt through the screen.
UBCP/ACTRA represents more than 7,400 professional performers working in the English-language recorded media sector in British Columbia. The union works tirelessly to guarantee fair wages, artistic freedom, and safe working conditions for its members, protecting them every time they step on set. It’s also deeply committed to achieving gender equality, equity, and inclusion in their organization and the media industry in Canada.
“This year is especially memorable for us,” says Ellie Harvie, the president of UBCP/ACTRA. “Not only does it mark a decade of celebrating Canada’s best talent in film and TV but it provides unequivocal proof of how much our local performers have evolved to ensure the continuity of this industry. All the nominees are being recognized for work done during this pandemic and they must be credited for showing up and pouring their all into the quality productions, entertainment, and hope we see on our screens.”
The tenth annual UBCP/ACTRA Awards took place on November 20 (see video below) and succeeded in recognizing B.C. talent and showcasing the contributions of winners. This year, two brilliant Canadian actors received an accolade for their lead performances.
Camille Sullivan, best known for her work in the CTV series The Disappearance, was recognized for her role as Annie in horror thriller Hunter Hunter. Over the years, she has won a handful of UBCP/ACTRA awards for her performances in The Birdwatcher, Ally was Screaming, and Sisters & Brothers.
"I'm so thrilled to win this award,” says Sullivan during her acceptance speech. “Thank you so much to UBCP/ACTRA and thank you to all its members. I also want to thank Shawn Linden for this incredible role in this incredible movie. Thank you to our amazing crew that always had smiles on their faces even during difficult shoots and who supported me 100 percent.”
Toronto-born Christopher Shyer captured the attention of viewers with his performance in Debris, a mystery TV series with a sci-fi spin. Shyer has previously appeared in several well-known shows filmed in Canada, including Smallville, Chesapeake Shores, and Cold Squad.
“Events like this awards show create platforms to elevate the high-level performers that are continuously developing, emerging, and evolving within our ranks,” says Harvie. “I am beyond humbled to represent this organization and thrilled to be able to honour these amazing individuals.”
Throughout the pandemic, the film industry in Canada has demonstrated resilience and UBCP/ACTRA has shown its deep-seated commitment to the professional performing community. The union worked closely with its industry partners to develop safety guidelines that would ensure the reopening and stability of the sector. UBCP/ACTRA even offered a subsidy to its members to support their purchase of self-tape equipment when the in-person audition process was cancelled.
“The biggest takeaway from this celebration is that there are no limits to what our members and this industry are capable of producing,” says Karla Laird, director of Member Services and Communications at UBCP/ACTRA. “We’re excited to see what lies ahead in the months and years to come.”
To watch the virtual red carpet, UBCP/ACTRA Awards show, and the films that nominees starred in, click here.