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ACTRA names Sandi Ross 2012 Woman of the Year!

Honour bestowed on International Women’s Day

March 8, 2012

Toronto – The ACTRA National Women’s Committee is shining a spotlight on Sandi Ross on International Women’s Day.

“We are thrilled to declare Sandi Ross ACTRA’s 2012 Woman of the Year!” said Ferne Downey, ACTRA National President. “Sandi is a tireless activist with a deep commitment to building a strong arts industry that reflects our country’s rich diversity.”

“Sandi is a role model to all Canadian women performers,” said Christine Willes, Co-Chair of the ACTRA National Women’s Committee. “She enjoys a dynamic career as an actor and is an inspiring advocate for the arts, performers unions, visible and audible minorities and disabled performers.”

Sandi studied theatre at the University of Minnesota for a BFA Degree and has been a professional actor for the past 31 years in both Canada and the U.S. In 1994 Sandi became the first woman and the first person of colour to be elected President of ACTRA Toronto. She has served on numerous performing arts diversity committees and sat on arts juries for the Canada Council, the Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council and The Racial Equity Committee of the Canada Council. In 1993 Sandi received a New Pioneers Award and in 1996 she was included in the “Who’s Who of Canadian Women”.

Sandi’s performing career in film, TV and theatre includes such credits as Haven, Down in the Delta, Moonlight Becomes You, Twice in a Lifetime, Blue Murder, Nikita, The Natalie Cole Story and Trailer Park Boys. She has performed in three seasons at Stratford and toured to New York City as “Ursula” in Much Ado About Nothing. Her theatre credits include Three Men on a Horse directed by John Hirsch, Ain’t Lookin directed by George Luscombe, The Coloured Museum directed by Martha Henry and Joe Turner’s Come and Gone and Amazon Dream directed by Ken Gass. In 2011 Sandi was nominated for a Canadian Comedy award for Medium Raw/Night of the Wolf.

“Sandi is a wonderful choice for this honour. She has given our community so many gifts, through her talent, commitment to activism and mentoring the next generation of women performers,” said Shannon Jardine, Women’s Committee Co-chair and ACTRA National Councillor for Saskatchewan.

The mandate of the ACTRA Women’s Committee includes exploring the concerns of female ACTRA members, raising awareness of these issues and supporting women within ACTRA and in the audio-visual industry as whole. Sandi is the third member to be recognized for her artistic and advocacy achievements on this date. Shirley Douglas received the honour in 2010 and Tantoo Cardinal in 2011.

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 22,000 members across Canada – the foundation of Canada’s highly acclaimed professional performing community.

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Contact: Carol Taverner, Public Relations Officer, ACTRA, Tel: 416.644.1519, ctaverner@actra.ca


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