Latest NewsAlanis Obomsawin, Sphere Media among those to be honoured at BANFF Rockies...

Alanis Obomsawin, Sphere Media among those to be honoured at BANFF Rockies Gala

Alanis Obomsawin, Jennifer Podemski, and Sphere Media are among those set to be honoured during the Banff World Media Festival (BANFF) next month.

Craig Robinson

Set for June 13, this year’s Rockies Gala will be hosted by actor, singer and comedian Craig Robinson (The Office, Ghosted).

Obomsawin (Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance, Rocks at Whiskey Trench, The People of the Kattawapiskak River) is receiving the Career Achievement Award, recognizing the extraordinary career of someone who has had a significant impact on the screen-based industries.

Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato of Los Angeles-based prodco World of Wonder (RuPaul’s Drag Race, Andy Cohen’s Then & Now) will be presented with this year’s Impact Award, bestowed annually to an individual or group that has made a significant and impactful contribution to screen-based entertainment.

Montreal-headquartered Sphere Media will be honoured with the Innovative Producer Award, which recognizes the entrepreneurial excellence and achievements of an independent producer in TV/digital media.

Garcelle Beauvais (The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills) is the recipient of this year’s Inclusion Award, while Sharon Horgan (Bad Sisters, Catastrophe) will receive the Award of Excellence, acknowledging exceptional achievement through a body of work over an extended period of time.

Jennifer Podemski

Separately, the Creative Voice Award, awarded to an executive or creative talent that has created outstanding work that breaks through, inspiring and connecting global audiences, will be presented virtually to Jennifer Podemski (Future History, Little Bird, Empire of Dirt) on Sunday, June 11 as part of the Indigenous Screen Summit.

“We’re honoured to celebrate these incredible individuals and the profound contributions they’ve made to the entertainment industry,” said Jenn Kuzmyk, BANFF Executive Director, in a release. “The Rockies Gala is the crown jewel of the Festival and in long-standing tradition is sure to be a night to remember. We’re looking forward to laughing and perhaps singing along with our brilliantly funny host Craig Robinson as we spotlight such outstanding talent.”

Additional awards to be presented include the Sir Peter Ustinov Comedy Award, Program of the Year, and the Grand Jury Prize, chosen by the Rockie Awards International Program Competition Grand Jury.

The Rockie Awards International Program Competition, featuring 141 nominees from 29 countries across 27 categories, will take place the evening before the Rockies Gala on Monday, June 12, co-hosted by Crystle Lightning and MC RedCloud.

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Connie Thiessen
Connie Thiessen
Connie has worked coast-to-coast as a reporter, editor, anchor and host at CKNW and News 1130 in Vancouver, News 95.7 and CBC in Halifax, and CFCW Edmonton, among other stations. With a passion for music, film and community service, she led News 95.7 to a 2013 Atlantic Journalism Award and regional RTDNA award for Best Radio Newscast. More recently, she was nominated for Music Journalist of the Year at Canadian Music Week 2019. To report a typo or error please email -

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