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August 2011

Shaun Johnston to receive the 2011 David Billington Award

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2011 David Billington Award Luncheon to take place November 5th at the Westin Hotel Calgary

Shaun Johnston

Wednesday, August 24, 2011 – The Board of the Alberta Media Production Industries Association (AMPIA) is pleased to name Shaun Johnston as the recipient of the 2011 David Billington Award.

Shaun grew up in Ponoka, Alberta. “Having grown up on the prairies has had a great influence on my work as an actor.”  Shaun explains, “I like to believe my approach is open and natural.  I guess I’m a product of my environment.”  After a few hard working years on the farm and in the oil patch, Shaun decided to return to college and study law.  It was at the University of Alberta that a drama elective inspired him to change direction. Shaun was classically trained in theatre at the U of A, and from this beginning, he has built his career in Alberta.

He won his first of several Rosie Award for his portrayal of Wes in Two Brothers a Girl and a Gun, and continued gathering accolades in a variety of roles. Today he has an impressive list of film and television credits, the most recent being Jack Bartlett, the patriarch on the CBC hit series Heartland, a role for which he has won the Best Actor Rosie for the past two years, and for which he has received a Gemini nomination. Other roles Shaun is known for are Rich Dearden in Destiny Ridge and Jake Trumper in the classic series Jake and the Kid.  He’s guest starred on X-Files, Outer Limits, DaVinci’s Inquest, Blue Murder, Dead Man’s Gun, North of 60, The Dead Zone, Smallville and Traders. He also had roles as Capt. Alexander Fancher in September Dawn, as Col. Nelson Miles in HBO’s Emmy Award winning Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee and as adventurer P.V. Scaturro in Touch the Top of the World. Features Shaun has acted in include Heart of the Sun, Tribe of Joseph, Super Volcano, Agent of Influence and Dinosaur Hunter.

Shaun was a co-founder (along with John Hudson) of Shadow Theatre, a well respected, subscription based theatre company that is thriving today in Edmonton. Shaun will perform in their 20th anniversary production of Fool For Love in February, 2012.Shaun has been very active in charity work. He founded the Big Brothers Big Sisters Centre Ice Challenge, an annual celebrity hockey game that raises funds and awareness for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Calgary. He is also responsible for the Doug Blackie Memorial Crew Challenge. This is an anytime event that creates an honourable competition of any kind between working film crews in Alberta and benefits the charity of their choice. The Doug Blackie Memorial Cup has been awarded 5 times and has raised over $40,000.00.

Shaun lives in Edmonton with Sue, his wife of 27 years and their two sons, Shea and Cael.

“We are very excited to have Shaun as our Billington Award Recipient this year,” says AMPIA Executive Director Bill Evans. “He is the embodiment of the true spirit of Alberta in his work as an actor and as a person dedicated to our industry.”

The Award will be presented at a gala lunch on Saturday, November 5th, 2011 at the Westin Hotel in Calgary.To order tickets, please click here:

Billington Ticket Order Form – 2011

Heartland, FUBAR II Nominated for DGC Awards

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AMPIA sends hearty congratulations to two Alberta productions nominated for 2011 Director’s Guild of Canada Awards! the CBC dramatic series Heartland is nominated for two awards: Best Television Series – Family, and Best Sound Editing; while FUBAR II: Balls to the Wall is nominated for Best Picture Editing- Feature Film. A full list of nominees can be found on the DGC website.


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Wednesday, August 03, 2011 – The Alberta Media Production Industries Association (AMPIA) congratulates all Alberta nominees for the Gemini Awards, announced today by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television. We are also proud to note that five of AMPIA’s board members are included in this year’s Gemini Awards nominations list. This year’s 26th Annual Gemini Awards celebrate the best in Canadian English language television and digital media.

In total, 19 Alberta-based entries are nominated in 18 class, craft and performance categories – the highest number of nominations for our province in the past 3 years!

Calgary’s SEVEN24 Films leads the way with 5 nominations for their dramatic series Heartland and the dramatic movie-of-the week A Heartland Christmas (CBC); Edmonton’s Aquila Productions follows with 4 nominations for their documentary series Rodeo – Life on the Circuit (History Channel) and Oil Change (TSN); Edmonton’s Clearwater Documentary also has 4 nominations for their documentaries Tipping Point: The Age of the Oil Sands and Code Breakers (CBC); and Edmonton’s Prairie Dog Film & Television had 3 nominations for their dramatic series Blackstone (APTN).

Other Alberta nominees include: X-Weighted (Slice) from Edmonton-based Anaïd Productions, CAUTION: May Contain Nuts (APTN), from Edmonton’s Mosaic Entertainment, and Anash and the Legacy of the Sun Rock (APTN), from Edmonton’s Panacea Entertainment.

The 26th Annual Gemini Awards will be held in Toronto over three nights, with the Industry Awards taking place on Tuesday, August 30th and Wednesday, August 31st. The Red Carpet Gala will be broadcast live on CBC Television on September 7th at 8pm ET.

For a complete list of all Alberta nominees please download the pdf below:
26th Annual Gemini Awards – Alberta Nominees
**If your Alberta-based production nomination is not included on this list, please let us know by emailing:

To see the complete list of 26th Annual Gemini Award nominees please go to:

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