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The David Billington Awards

Gil Cardinal Legacy Fund

By The David Billington Awards

At the 2015 David Billington Award presentation to Gil Cardinal, a legacy fund was announced. We are pleased to be able to share the details with you now.

Each year a grant valued at $2,500 will be awarded to an emerging aboriginal filmmaker to help make a demo for their first film, short film, web or television project. Applications are now open.

Deadline to submit is September 15, 2016.

Application Guidelines

  1. You are an emerging aboriginal filmmaker (producer or director) who resides in Alberta. This Grant is specifically intended to assist in preparation of a professional demo or sizzle reel that would enable a project to be considered for development for theatre, broadcast, mobile or web.
  2. Applicants must provide two letters of reference from accredited production professionals, from academic institutions or from supporters of their project.
  3. All submissions must include the following documents:
    – A one page detailed synopsis that explains what the project is.
    – A proposed schedule detailing how the demo will be developed.
    – A proposed budget for the demo with any additional financial support clearly indicated
    – A cover letter outlining your passion for this project
    – Bio of applicant
  4. All genres except “reality” are eligible.
  5. Decisions will be made by a 3-person independent, arms-length, jury.
  6. Deadline for applications is September 15th with decisions announced no later than November 30, 2016.
  7. Priority will be given to well-written, professionally presented and properly organized submissions.

Gill Cardinal Legacy Fund application form.

Gil Cardinal Receives David Billington Award

By The David Billington Awards

The 27th Annual David Billington Award Luncheon was held on November 7, 2015, honouring multi award-winning filmmaker Gil Cardinal.  The event was hosted by Michelle Thrush (Blackstone, North of 60) with special guests Bonnie Thompson (National Film Board), Daron Donahue (The Great Human Odyssey) and Producer Tom Cox (Heartland, North of 60).

Mayor Don Iveson brought greetings on behalf of the City of Edmonton and gave an inspired speech on the role art can play in bringing awareness to social issues of concern to aboriginal peoples. Gil Cardinal was a trailblazer in the respect, known for exploring raw subject matter such as substance abuse, the foster care system and the struggles of his own cultural identity and Métis ancestry.

Unfortunately, Gil was unable to attend the event due to illness, but his friends and colleagues gathered to celebrate his invaluable contributions to our Alberta industry. The Award was presented to Gil previously at a private ceremony. However, over 120 industry professionals, students and members of the public were in attendance to celebrate Gil’s achievements at the Sutton Place Hotel in Edmonton. Notable attendees included past Billington Award recipients Dale Phillips, Jane Bisbee, Doug MacLeod and Murray Ord.

MLA David Shepherd (Edmonton Centre) brought greetings on behalf of Alberta Minister of Culture and Tourism David Eggen and Premier Rachel Notley. Other MLA’s included: MLA’s Lorne Dach (Edmonton McCLung), Richard Feehan (Edmonton Rutherford) and Rod Loyola (Edmonton Ellerslie). Also in attendance were Alberta Culture and Tourism Assistant Deputy Minister Lora Pillipow and Jeff Brinton, Executive Director of Creative Industries, Alberta Culture and Tourism.

Following the program, an announcement was made regarding the Gil Cardinal Legacy Fund, which will provide funding for emerging Aboriginal filmmakers to kickstart their careers. More information with be forthcoming shortly.

Film Industry Comes Out for the David Billington Luncheon

By The David Billington Awards

Over one hundred and twenty industry professionals and local representatives came out to support the 27th Annual David Billington Award Luncheon, honouring filmmaker Gil Cardinal.

The cocktail reception and lunch took place at the Sutton Hotel Edmonton and was attended by Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson, Federal MP Matt Jeneroux and Provincial MLA’s Lorne Dach (Edmonton McCLung), Richard Feehan (Edmonton Rutherford), Rod Loyola (Edmonton Ellerslie) and David Shepherd (Edmonton Centre).

Also in attendance were Alberta Culture and Tourism Assistant Deputy Minister Lora Pillipow and Jeff Brinton, Executive Director of Creative Industries, Alberta Culture and Tourism.


Michelle Thrush to Host David Billington Luncheon

By The David Billington Awards

AMPIA is pleased to announce that multiple award-winning Actress Michelle Thrush will be hosting the David Billington Luncheon in Edmonton on Saturday, November 7th.

Michelle has been involved professionally in the film and television industry for over 20 years doing her first film in Edmonton at the age of 17. Since then she has had over 40 credits to her name and won numerous awards.

In 2011, she won Best Performance by a Lead Actress in a Continuing Dramatic Role for her courageous performance as Gail Stoney on the hit series Blackstone.  She also held title for Best Alberta Actress for this same character for the last three years. Michelle has devoted herself to working in the community using her profile with First Nations youth for her whole career. She has written her own one woman shows and toured across the country using theatre and comedy as a way of healing and believes the arts are the most powerful way to create change.

Some of her television credits include North of 60, Arctic Air, and Moccasin Flats. Michelle also worked beside Johnny Depp in the cult classic Deadman and was the first indigenous woman to walk the red carpet in the Cannes Film Festival for the film Jimmy P next to her co-star Benicio Del Toro. One of her most important productions though is being a mom to two teenage daughters.

Michelle will be joining special guests Bonnie Thompson (National Film Board), Daron Donahue (The Great Human Odyssey) and Producer Tom Cox (Heartland) in presenting the David Billington Award to this year’s recipient, filmmaker Gil Cardinal.

Gil Cardinal is an award-winning filmmaker known for exploring raw subject matter such as substance abuse, the foster care system and the struggles of his own cultural identity and Métis ancestry. Cardinal has a long list of documentaries and has directed episodes of hit TV series such as North of 60 and The Rez, as well as the Gemini nominated mini-series Big Bear. He also penned the pilot for Blackstone, which begins its fifth and final season this year.

Event Details

Saturday, November 7, 2015
Cocktail Reception – 11:30 am
Lunch & Program – 12:30 pm

Sutton Place Hotel Edmonton
10235 101 Street, Edmonton, Alberta

Purchase Tickets

Tickets are $65.00 for students, $75.00 for AMPIA members and $95.00 for non-members. Tables are seated for 8. If purchasing for a group, please be sure to include guest names and dietary restrictions.

Billington Tickets Prices
Guest names + Diet Restriction

Dale Phillips, David Billington Recipient

By The David Billington Awards

The 26th Annual David Billington Award & Luncheon took place on November 15, 2014 at the Westin Hotel in Edmonton. This year’s recipient was Dale Phillips (aka “Big Daddy”), an award-winning Director and Producer and a former President of AMPIA. The event brought out some of the biggest names in our industry and welcomed the next generation of graduating students into the fold.

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A Billington Award Ceremony for the Books!

By Events, The David Billington Awards

On Saturday, November 2, the AMPIA team was joined by over 200 of the industry’s finest, including the man of the hour, Murray Ord, for the 25th Annual Billington Award. With wonderful food, speeches, entertainment and company, we honoured Murray’s countless  achievements, and listened to his friends and colleagues share their stories and gratitude.

A huge thank you to all of those who braved the treacherous weather to join us in celebrating Murray, and a heartfelt thank you to our sponsors who helped make this event such a success: Alberta Film, CTV, CBC, the Edmonton Film Commission, the Calgary Film Commission, and SEVEN24 Films! AMPIA would also like to give a huge round of applause to our amazing master of ceremonies, Fred Keating, and our talented event producer, Jim Sutherland. Another big thank you to Ken Filewych who edited the event’s tribute reel, and to Mike Shields who provided the score.

Murray Ord to Receive the 25th Annual David Billington Award

By The David Billington Awards
Above: Murray Ord. Photo credit:Russell Moore Images

Above: Murray Ord, photo credit:Russell Moore Images

The Alberta Media Production Industries Association is pleased to announce that Calgary-based Producer Murray Ord will be honoured at the 2013 David Billington Award Luncheon to be held on Saturday, November 2, 2013, at Delta Bow Valley Hotel (Bow Valley Ballroom) in Calgary. Murray Ord’s career spans 35 years in the film and television industry ranging from acting, production, and development to financing. “Murray Ord has been instrumental in bringing Hollywood to Alberta with films like Legend of the Falls, Brokeback Mountain and The Assassination of Jesse James.  He has helped and continues to help our Alberta industry gain high-calibre experience.” says Bill Evans, Executive Director of the Alberta Media Production Industries Association (AMPIA). Murray Ord was the President of the Alberta Film Commission from 1996 to 2001.  During this productive time, he brought several high-profile projects to Alberta including Shanghai Noon starring Jackie Chan, Mystery Alaska with Russell Crowe, The Edge starring Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin, and the television series Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. Currently, Murray is a partner in Alberta Film Entertainment, a very successful Film and Television Production Company.  His co-production credits include Brokeback Mountain for Focus Features, The Assassination of Jesse James for Warner Brothers, The Ron Clark Story for Hallmark, Santa Baby I & II for ABC Family and The 19th Wife for Sony Television. While with Alberta Film Entertainment, Ord still finds time to stay involved in the film and television industry as a Board Director for The Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF) and as a Creative Executive Producer of the hot singing group, REVV 52.  He is an Executive Member of Save Our Fine Arts (SOFA) insuring the preservation, expansion and promotion of excellence in fine arts programs in our Alberta schools, K-12 and Post Secondary.  As well, he is a member of The Director’s Guild of Canada (DGC), The Association of Canadian Television & Radio Artists (ACTRA) and the Alberta Media Production Industries Association (AMPIA). The David Billington Award is presented annually to an Albertan who has made an invaluable contribution to Alberta’s production community with their vision, passion and dedication. 2013 marks the 25th Anniversary of the David Billington Award. Tickets to the David Billington Award Luncheon are available online or by mailing in a cheque and registration form (download PDF here). Early bird tickets will be on sale until October 11, 2013. Discounted Accommodations are available at our Partner Hotel the Delta Bow Valley. Guests can call 1-800-665-8571 and ask for the AMPIA rate ($119.00 per weekend night).

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