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Michelle Thrush Archives - Alberta Media Production Industries Association

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.

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