Andrea Menard has been named this year’s ACTRA National Woman of the Year.
Since 2010, ACTRA has bestowed the award each year upon an ACTRA member who uses her passion to support ACTRA members and women within the broader audiovisual industry. Past honourees have included Sarah Polley, Tina Keeper, Mary Walsh and Shirley Douglas.
Menard, who is originally from Manitoba, is a member of the Métis Nation and currently lives in Vancouver.
The singer/songwriter and actress was one of the stars of Netflix series Blackstone from 2011-15 and has also had recurring roles on Hard Rock Medical (TVO/APTN); OutTV series The Switch; Wapos Bay: The Series (APTN); and Moccasin Flats (APTN/Showcase), among other projects. Menard is a five-time Gemini-nominee.
Her 1998 one-woman, one act musical play, The Velvet Devil, earned her three Saskatchewan Showcase Awards and an American Indian Film Festival Best Actress Award. The CBC later adapted The Velvet Devil into a film in 2006.
Her work in the community includes speaking and performing on behalf of numerous organizations, including Indigenous Women Entrepreneurs LIFT Circle; National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls; Native Women’s Association of Canada; Women’s Executive Network; Indian Residential School Survivors Society; Gabriel Dumont Institute; SheEO; and the Professional Aboriginal Women’s Network. She also hosts women’s retreats as the founder of the Sacred Feminine Learning Lodge.
“Andrea Menard is a distinguished performer, singer and writer,” said ACTRA National President David Sparrow, in a release. “Andrea is deeply committed to the growth and development of Indigenous representation in Canada’s arts industries. She is an inspiration and a role model for all of us. We are proud to be honouring her in celebration of International Women’s Day.”
“ACTRA women are a tremendous force of change,” added Menard. “With the development of important initiatives like HAVEN Helpline, and Diversity & Inclusion Committees, ACTRA women work hard to address inequalities in our industry and to improve work opportunities for their sisters. I’m especially proud of my Indigenous ACTRA women colleagues who continue to push boundaries and to advance Indigenous representation on our screens. I am deeply grateful to receive this honour from my artistic community of peers.”
ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) is the national union of professional performers working in English-language recorded media in Canada. ACTRA represents over 27,000 members across the country.
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