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January 21, 2009 — ACTRA today honours Canadian star Sandra Oh with an ACTRA Award of Excellence. Richard Hardacre, ACTRA’s National President, will present the award at a special afternoon reception at the Canadian Residence of David Fransen, Consul General of Canada in Los Angeles.

“Presenting ACTRA’s Award of Excellence to Sandra Oh is our opportunity to recognize her for both her illustrious career and her distinguished role as an ambassador for Canadian performers,” said Hardacre. “ACTRA is thrilled to celebrate Sandra as one of our great success stories.”

Sandra enjoys a successful career in both Canada and the U.S. Born and raised in Ottawa, Canada, Sandra appeared in her first play, The Canada Goose, at the age of 10 and started working professionally at age 16 in TV, theatre and commercials. After three years at the prestigious National Theatre School of Canada, she beat out more than 1,000 other hopefuls and landed the lead role in The Diary of Evelyn Lau. Based on the true story of a poet who ended up on Vancouver’s streets, Sandra’s performance brought her a Gemini nomination for Best Actress and the 1994 Cannes FIPA d’Or for Best Actress.

In 1994, Sandra won her first Best Actress Genie for Double Happiness ? a performance that brought her secured her place as one of Canada’s rising stars. Her performance in 1999’s Last Night, a film about the end of the world, led to her second Genie Award for Best Actress. In 2004, after starring in the enormously successful feature film Sideways, Sandra won a Screen Actor’s Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. Since 2005, Sandra has played the role of Dr. Cristina Yang’ on the hit ABC series Grey’s Anatomy, garnering her Golden Globe and Screen Actor’s Guild Awards and four Emmy Award nominations.

An advocate for Canadian culture, Sandra went off script as the host of the 2008 Genie Awards to criticize Bill C-10, which would have censored Canadian films.

The ACTRA National Award of Excellence recognizes a member’s career achievements and contribution to fellow performers and the Canadian industry. Previous recipients include Kiefer Sutherland, Tonya Lee Williams, Lloyd Bochner and Leslie Nielsen.

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,

Roz Wolfe, Senior Advisor, Canadian Consulate General, (213) 346-2777,

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