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ACTRA celebrates Shirley Douglas on International Women’s Day

March 3, 2010 – Toronto – ACTRA’s National Women’s Committee will be shining the spotlight on Shirley Douglas this International Women’s Day, on March 8.

“Shirley is a role model and an inspiration to women performers across the country,” said Christine Willes, Chair of the ACTRA National Women’s Committee.

Shirley’s long and distinguished career has encompassed numerous roles on stage and screen in Canada, and around the world. She has portrayed many strong and influential women, from suffragist Nellie McClung to the matriarch May Bailey in The Wind at My Back and former American Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in the mini-series, The Path to 9/11. She received a Gemini for her performance in the television film Shadowlake.

Well-known for her activism, Shirley was involved in the American Civil Rights Movement and the campaign against the Vietnam War. Later, she campaigned on behalf of immigrants and women. Shirley co-founded the first Canadian chapter of Performing Artists for Nuclear Disarmament and is one of Canada’s most prominent activists in the fight to preserve publicly funded health care. Shirley has also been a leader in ACTRA’s fight for Canadian culture and more Canadian programming. She has spoken out at ACTRA’s election press conferences and was one of the leading voices in ACTRA’s campaign for more Canadian drama.

Shirley has been awarded the Order of Canada and the International Achievement Award at the 2009 Crystal Awards presented in Toronto by Women in Film & Television. ACTRA’s Women’s Committee salutes Shirley for her illustrious and inspiring work as a performer and her unwavering activism and commitment to social justice.

The ACTRA Women’s Committee’s mandate includes exploring the concerns of all female ACTRA members, raising awareness of these issues and supporting women within ACTRA and in the audio-visual industry as whole.

ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) is the 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.

Media Contacts:

Carol Taverner, Public Relations Officer, ACTRA, (416) 644-1519,

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