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Entertainment | Media Release

Media Release: Tom Jackson to Receive the August Schellenberg Award of Excellence

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imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is proud to announce that Cree actor, musician and activist Tom Jackson will receive the 2016 August Schellenberg Award of Excellence.

Tom Jackson Media Release (09/23/2016) Toronto, ON - The August Schellenberg Award of Excellence (the "Augie") is an annual prize that recognizes significant professional and personal achievement by an Indigenous actor, of any gender, from Turtle Island (North America). The Augie was first bestowed in 2015 to Tantoo Cardinal, and is supported by ACTRA National, the ACTRA Performers' Rights Society, and through individual donations. Jackson will receive his award at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival's Awards Gala on Saturday, October 22 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in downtown Toronto.

Tom Jackson has worked as an actor, musician, producer, and activist for over 40 years. Recognized for roles on North of 60, Star Trek, Law & Order, and many others, he is ranked among the famous 50 personalities of the first 50 years of television in Canada. Jackson has also recorded 16 albums; his latest release "Ballads Not Bullets" in support of the Canadian Red Cross.

"I heard of Augie long before I met him or saw him perform," Jackson says. "From his role of Jamie Paul in The Ecstasy of Rita Joe, to one of the finest multi-faceted performances by any actor ever in Latitude 55, Augie was someone I wished I were. When I was blessed to get to know and work with my friend, I found out the secret to Augie was that he was just Augie. There is a secret to success. Be honest, work hard, be committed, have integrity, show compassion and never give up."

The August Schellenberg Award of Excellence was launched in partnership with Joan Karasevich Schellenberg to honour her late husband, actor August (Augie) Schellenberg, and the spirit of his work. This annual award is presented to gifted Indigenous actors based on the longevity and impact of their careers, as well as their professionalism and involvement in mentorship and community work.

"We are delighted to honour Tom Jackson as the recipient of this year's Augie," says Ariel Smith, imagineNATIVE's Executive Director. "His work has been instrumental in building an Indigenous presence on screen and we are excited for the opportunity to recognize this legacy."

imagineNATIVE's Awards Gala is a free event, open to the public. For more information on this event and others at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, please visit

To donate to the August Schellenberg Award of Excellence, please visit:

About August Schellenberg - Montreal-born Mohawk actor, August Schellenberg, performed in hundreds of theatre, film and television productions throughout his long career including Saving Grace, Free Willy, Black Robe, North of 60 and Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. He was nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie for his role as Chief Sitting Bull in Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, and played the titular role in an all-First Nations version of Shakespeare's King Lear at Ottawa's National Arts Centre.

About the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival - The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is the world's largest Indigenous festival showcasing innovation in film, video, audio and digital media. The Festival presents the most compelling and distinctive works from Canada and around the globe, reflecting the diversity of the world's Indigenous nations, and illustrating the vitality and excellence of Native art and culture in contemporary media.

For more information please call 416.585.2333 or visit
facebook/imagineNATIVE / @imagineNATIVE

Media Contact: FLIP PUBLICITY, 416.533.7710, Damien Nelson,


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