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ACTRA Awards

ACTRA National Award of Excellence
ACTRA Branch Awards
ACTRA’s John Drainie Award

The first annual ACTRA Awards – the ‘Nellies’ – 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 ACTRA Branches (see below) across the country.

ACTRA National Award of Excellence

ACTRA National presents an award in Los Angeles on behalf of all ACTRA Members in recognition of a member’s career achievements, and contribution to their fellow performers and Canada’s entertainment industry. Recipients of the ACTRA National Award of Excellence include:

insta To view photos of Award of Excellence presentations, please visit!

ACTRA Branch Awards

ACTRA Branches across the country recognize their members in various ways – some with performance-based awards while others honour union activism and contributions to Canada’s film and television industry. To view the most recent Branch Award winners, click here.

ACTRA Alberta
ACTRA Manitoba
ACTRA Maritimes (in partnership with Screen Nova Scotia)
ACTRA Montreal
ACTRA Newfoundland/Labrador
ACTRA Ottawa
ACTRA Saskatchewan
ACTRA Toronto

ACTRA’s John Drainie Award

ACTRA’s John Drainie Award was presented to a performer who, like John Drainie, was either making a difference, had made a difference or was in the process of breaking new ground in Canadian broadcasting. The award was named after John Drainie, one of Canada’s most well-known and distinguished actors, who was only 50 when he died in October 1966 but had already established his legacy as one of Canada’s most celebrated and well-known actors.

John Drainie’s legacy lived on in this award, which was established in his name by ACTRA two years after his death to commemorate one of its best-love Members. The final three awards were presented to Ann-Marie MacDonald, Rick Mercer & Mark Starowicz in 2016. The first recipients, Esse Ljungh, W.O. Mitchell, Tommy Tweed and Jean Murray, were joined by some of Canada’s leading performers and broadcasters including:

2016 Ann-Marie MacDonald, Rick Mercer & Mark Starowicz
2014 Mack Furlong
2011 Barbara Budd
2008 Carol Off
2005 Wendy Mesley & Vicki Gabereau
2004 Daryl Duke
2003 Jim Murray
2002 David Suzuki
2000 Shelagh Rogers
1999 Pierre Berton
1998 Peter Herrndorf
1998 Bernie Lucht
1997 Joe Schlesinger
1996 Dodi Robb
1995 Knowlton Nash
1994 Max Ferguson
1993 Barbara Frum (posthumously)
1992 Gordon Pinsent
1990 Allan S. McFee
1989 Peter Gzowski
1988 Davidson Dunton (posthumously)
1987 Ross McLean (posthumously)
1986 Bernard Cowan & Pat Patterson
1985 Fred Diehl
1984 Robert Christie
1983 Lucio Agostini
1982 Mavor Moore
1981 Frances Hyland
1980 Norman Campbell
1979 Ruth Springford
1978 Johnny Wayne & Frank Shuster
1977 John Reeves
1976 Jane Mallett
1975 Robert Weaver
1974 Len Peterson
1973 Rupert Caplan
1972 Graham Spry
1971 Lister Sinclair
1970 Harry J. Boyle
1969 Andrew Allan
1968 Esse Ljungh, W.O. Mitchell, Tommy Tweed, Jean Murray


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