Tom Jackson to receive 2016 August Schellenberg Award of Excellence

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

The August Schellenberg Award of Excellence (Augie) is an annual prize that recognizes significant professional and personal achievement by an indigenous actor, of any gender, from Turtle Island. 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 and Media Arts Festival’s Awards Gala on Saturday, October 22 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in downtown Toronto.

Jackson has worked as an actor, musician, producer and activist for more than 40 years. Recognized for roles on North of 60Star TrekLaw & 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 and Media Arts Festival, please visit

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