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ACTRA Awards

The first annual ACTRA Awards took place in 1972. The ‘Nellies’ were presented annually until 1986 when they transferred to the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television which continued to present the Nellie in several categories for a number of years.

In celebration of ACTRA’s 60th Anniversary, the ACTRA Awards were resurrected and are now presented by Branches across the country. Some are performance-based awards while others honour union-activism and contribution to our industry.

ACTRA National also presents an award in Los Angeles on behalf of all ACTRA members to recognize a member’s career achievements and contribution to fellow performers and the Canadian industry. Previous recipients of the ACTRA National Award of Excellence include Sandra Oh, Kiefer Sutherland, Tonya Lee Williams, Lloyd Bochner and Leslie Nielsen.


Lloyd Bochner – 2004


Tonya Lee Williams – 2005


Kiefer Sutherland – 2007


Sandra Oh – 2009


Eugene Levy – 2010


Bruce Greenwood – 2011

ACTRA’s John Drainie Award
ACTRA’s John Drainie Award is presented to a performer who has made a distinguished contribution to Canadian broadcasting. The award is named after John Drainie, one of Canada’s most well-known and distinguished actors who died in at the age of 50 in October 1966.

Orson Welles once called him the greatest radio actor in the world, for anyone who knew or worked with him, few would disagree. A self-taught actor, Drainie started out as part of a group of Vancouver radio artists and moved to Toronto during WWII where he became central to the CBC’s radio drama revolution.

John’s versatility was showcased in literally hundreds of productions – including playing Matthew in the original 1956 CBC-TV production of Anne of Green Gables, as well as hosting This Hour has Seven Days. However, he was perhaps best known for the five years he spent playing hired man Jake Trumper in CBC Radio’s Jake and the Kid by W.O. Mitchell.

2011 recipient of ACTRA’s John Drainie Award
Barbara Budd

Previous recipients of ACTRA’s John Drainie Award

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