From a media release:
The 6th annual UBCP/ACTRA awards gala will honour two of Canadaâ€™s top talent with distinguished lifetime achievement awards. Mackenzie Gray will be presented with the John Juliani Award of Excellence, and Veena Sood will receive the Lorena Gale Woman of Distinction Award.
The John Juliani Award of Excellence is presented each year to a performer for achievement as a performing artist and distinguished contribution to the film and television industry. The Lorena Gale Woman of Distinction Award is presented to a UBCP/ACTRA member whose work as a performer and/or beyond, embodies the type of accomplishments that advance the status of women in our society and encourage the continued growth and diversification of opportunities for women.
John Juliani Award of Excellence
Mackenzie Gray was born and raised in Toronto. A professional actor for over 40 years, he has appeared in over 170 films and television shows. Mackenzie has acted on stage in Canada, Britain and in the United States in hundreds of contemporary plays, musicals and cabarets and has extensive Shakespeare experience. He wrote for Sesame Street for 4 years and was He is currently a series regular on the Marvel/FX Series LEGION, playing â€œTHE EYEâ€ and is a recurring cast member on the TV Series RIVERDALE, and DCâ€™s LEGENDS OF TOMORROW.
Mackenzie is a 16-time Leo Award â€œBest Actorâ€ nominee, recently winning three Leos for his work on the TV series DIRK GENTLYâ€™S HOLISTIC DETECTIVE AGENCY, SPOOKSVILLE and BITTEN and has won or been nominated for many awards in his various disciplines.
Mackenzie has given his time to various charities over the years including â€œThe Juvenile Diabetes Foundationâ€, â€œThe Childrenâ€™s Wish Foundationâ€ and â€œThe Actors Fund of Canadaâ€. He was on the Board of Directors of The Academy of Canadian Cinema for several terms and is currently an adjunct professor at UBC and teaches on camera acting workshops at UBCP/ACTRA, the DGC, the Manitoba Film Training Centre, and across the country on a Freelance basis.
Lorena Gale Woman of Distinction Award
Veena Sood is an award-winning actress, & 30-year veteran of the industry. Sheâ€™s known for her versatility as a performer in film, television, theatre, improv comedy, cartoon voices, teaching, and em-ceeing. Veena has been a series regular on 5 different TV series, co-hosted TV specials, her own CBC TV talk show, em-ceed gala awards events, & co-produced & performed radio podcasts.
She is a co-founder of Calgaryâ€™s Loose Moose Theatre Company (creators of Theatresports), as well as a co-founder & developer of the Vancouver Theatersports League.
A true veteran of stage, film and TV, Veena is a three-time Jessie Richardson nominee & winner, as well as a Leo Award winner for her work. Veena is currently is in development with new TV, theatre & film projects.
The UBCP/ACTRA Awards will be held on Saturday, November 18th at the Vancouver Playhouse with over 600 industry professionals including UBCP/ACTRA members, press and politicians in attendance.
The Union of British Columbia Performers (UBCP/ACTRA) is an autonomous branch of ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists), the national organization of professional performers working in the English-language recorded media in Canada. ACTRA represents the interests of 22,000 members across Canada â€“ the foundation of Canadaâ€™s highly acclaimed professional performing community.