On November 23, two integral members of the UBCP/ACTRA community will be honoured with distinguished lifetime achievement awards at the 8th annual UBCP/ACTRA awards show. Lesley Ewen will be presented the Lorena Gale Woman of Distinction Award, while Mel Tuck will receive the John Juliani Award of Excellence. “We are proud to honour Lesley with this year’s Lorena Gale Woman of Distinction Award and Mel with the John Juliani Award of Excellence,” said Keith Martin Gordey, UBCP/ACTRA President, and ACTRA Vice President. “Their dedication to talent, ethics and extensive contributions to their art has helped foster a more open, creative and diverse entertainment 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. 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. Both Lesley Ewen and Mel Tuck will be present at the UBCP/ACTRA awards gala on November 23 to receive this top honour.

Lorena Gale Woman of Distinction Award

Lesley Ewen was born in London UK, lived in Sydney Australia, and spent much of her professional life based in Vancouver, working in theatres across Canada. She has been performing consistently in film, tv and on stage since 1983 accruing over 80 onscreen credits and over 150 stage credits. A pioneer and member of Vancouver’s theatre and film community since the late 1970’s, she was the first person of colour to venture into numerous solely ‘white’ performance spaces across Canada. She challenged, sometimes fiercely, sometimes gently, the establishment. In addition to performing, Lesley is a produced playwright, theatre director, dramaturg/story editor, and live artist, and acting tutor at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) and Identity School of Acting in London. Lesley has been integral in co-developing the position of ‘Creative Enabler’, working with performers with Learning Disabilities in professional situations.

John Juliani Award of Excellence

Mel Tuck is a highly regarded pioneer of Canadian theatre, a director of international reputation and an innovator in acting training technique and philosophy. In a career spanning fifty-five years, he has founded nine theatre companies and has directed over three hundred plays across Canada. Mel headed the Drama Department at Ryerson University in Toronto for many years and founded and ran the Gastown Actors Studio conservatory in Vancouver. For the past fifteen years, Mel has been teaching actors out of Austin-Tuck Studios in Gastown. In the last decade he has been and is the cofounder, artistic director and resident director of the Vancouverbased independent theatre and film production company Island Productions, which to date has produced seven plays, a short film which ran the festival circuit and currently has a feature film in development.

NOTE TO PRESS: A red carpet will precede the Awards Gala, starting at 5:00 PM (all media must be set up by 4:45 PM). Media must RSVP to alyssa@jiveprdigital.com to secure a spot on the carpet. Interviews and photos are available. The UBCP/ACTRA Awards will be held on Saturday, November 23rd 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 25,000 members across Canada – the foundation of Canada’s highly acclaimed professional performing community

Media Contact: Alyssa Wadey | Jive PR + Digital e: alyssa@jiveprdigital.com | c: 647-280-9027