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ACTRA’s 2011 John Drainie Award presented to Barbara Budd

May 4, 2011 – Toronto – ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) is pleased to announce that Barbara Budd is the recipient of ACTRA’s 2011 John Drainie Award.

“It gives me great pleasure to present this honour to Barbara Budd, ‘the voice of Canada’. Like John Drainie, she is an actor and broadcast journalist par excellence,” said Ferne Downey, ACTRA National President.

Budd is an acclaimed and passionate performer. She graduated from York’s theatre program and soon after hit the Stratford stage for five seasons and 20 productions before performing regularly in radio dramas for the CBC, a gig that led to employment as an on-air presenter for the public broadcaster.

Budd’s unique voice is one of the most recognizable in Canada. For 17 years she was a constant voice of CBC Radio’s As It Happens. Slightly less recognizable, by design, is her voice on the scores of animation series and documentaries. Barbara has also hosted concerts with the major symphony orchestras of Canada and is featured on five internationally-acclaimed Classical Kids CDs. Last year Budd returned to the stage with Stratford Summer Music performing The Love Letters of Edward Johnson and Beatrice D’Arneiro with Ben Heppner and in the fall she appeared in Love, Loss, and What I Wore at the Panasonic Theatre.

“Barbara is a broadcaster, a journalist but foremost – a performer and an actor of complexity, depth and passion. Funny, serious, irreverent, Barbara can be all of these things – frequently all at once,” said Downey.

John Drainie was one of Canada’s most well-known and distinguished actors and was described by Orson Welles as of the greatest radio actor in the world. Created in 1968, two years after Drainie’s death, the Award has been bestowed to an illustrious list of past recipients to include Pierre Berton, Barbara Frum, Vicki Gabereau, Peter Gzowski, Wendy Mesley, Mavor Moore, Knowlton Nash, Len Peterson, Gordon Pinsent, Shelagh Rogers, Lister Sinclair, David Suzuki, Johnny Wayne and Frank Shuster.

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.


Contact: Carol Taverner, ACTRA, Public Relations Officer, Tel: 416. 644.1519, Cell: 416.768.3336,

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