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Tonya Lee Williams to Receive ACTRA National Award of Excellence

Toronto, ON (November 7, 2005) — ACTRA will honour internationally-recognized actor, producer, director, writer and activist Tonya Lee Williams with an ACTRA Award of Excellence. Richard Hardacre, ACTRA’s National President, will present the award on November 15, 2005, at a special afternoon reception at the Canadian Residence of Alain Dudoit, Consul General of Canada in Los Angeles.

Ms. Williams enjoyed a successful career in Canada before moving to Los Angeles in 1987 where she appeared on shows such as Hill Street Blues, Matlock, Gimme a Break, What’s Happening Now, and movies including Disney’s The Liberators, A Very Brady Christmas, Spaced Invaders and Hearts of Fire. Ms. Williams is best known for her starring role as

Dr. Olivia Winters on the daytime drama The Young and The Restless, which has earned her two NAACP Image Awards and two Emmy nominations.

In 2003, she founded the Toronto-based Wilbo Entertainment and produced the Tonya Lee Williams Gospel Jubilee, which aired on CBC and garnered a Gemini nomination. In 2004, Ms. Williams made her directorial debut and executive produced a pilot for Vision TV – Kink in my Hair, based on the nationally acclaimed play and picked up by Vision and CBC.

Ms. Williams is a relentless activist with a deep commitment to building a stronger, more independent Canadian film and television industry that reflects the country’s rich diversity. She is Founder and President of ReelWorld Film Festival and Foundation, and was recently appointed by Mayor David Miller to the Toronto Film Board. She has been an ACTRA member for 27 years and is an active member of ACTRA Toronto’s Diversity Committee.

ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) is a national organization of professional performers working in the English-language recorded media in Canada. ACTRA represents the interests of 21,000 members across Canada – the foundation of Canada’s highly acclaimed professional performing community. ACTRA celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2003.

Date:  Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Time:  2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Location:  The Canadian Residence, 165 S. Muirfield Road, (Hancock Park), L.A.

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Media Contact:
Carol Taverner, Public Relations Officer, ACTRA National, (416) 642-6751, ctaverner@actratoronto.com
Roz Wolfe, Senior Advisor, Canadian Consulate General, (213) 346-2777, roz.wolfe@dfait-maeci.gc.ca


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