OTTAWA, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – Nov. 25, 2014) – The Shaw Rocket Fund is pleased to announce the winners of the tenth-annual Shaw Rocket Prize, with three independently-produced Canadian children’s programs capturing top honours at a gala event held this evening at the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa.
Presented each year to the best independently-produced Canadian children’s, youth, and family programs and their associated digital content, the $25,000 Shaw Rocket Prize was given out to each of the three winners in their respective age categories: Justin Time by Toronto production company Guru Studio, Rocket Monkeys by Toronto’s Breakthrough Entertainment and If I Had Wings by Vancouver’s Really Real Films.
“On behalf of the Shaw Rocket Fund, we congratulate the producers of the three shows winning top honours this year,” said Annabel Slaight, Chair of the Shaw Rocket Fund. “The quality of all entries received is a true testament to the high level at which Canadian production teams are functioning and the strength of the Canadian children’s media industry as a whole.”
Hosted by Global News Chief Political Correspondent Tom Clark, and ET Canada’s Sangita Patel, the Shaw Rocket Fund awards were presented at the gala to the production teams of the three winning programs by the Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.
“We are pleased to celebrate Canada’s leadership position in producing quality children’s programming,” said Minister Glover. “We would like to extend our congratulations to both the winners and the finalists of this year’s Shaw Rocket Prize, and celebrate their dedication to telling the kind of stories we can all be proud of.”
Barb Williams, Executive Vice President, Broadcasting and President, Shaw Media, commented on the leadership role Canadians have taken in creating quality and inspirational children’s television content.
“On behalf of Shaw Communications, we’d like to congratulate this year’s winners and acknowledge their commitment to producing some of the best children’s programming this country has to offer,” said Barb Williams. “This award represents Shaw’s continued dedication to investing in the growth and development of programming for children and youth.”
MORE INFORMATION ON THE WINNING PROGRAMS:
Preschool Category (ages 0-to-5) – Justin Time, Season 2
Justin, Olive and Squidgy star in the biggest stories of all time, told from every corner of the world. Every day, preschool challenges set the stage for exciting adventures. From building a sky scraper in Manhattan, to questing through Ancient Greece and even playing tag with a dinosaur, preschoolers will be surprised how Justin’s imaginative adventures relate to their everyday lives.
Children (ages 6-to-12) – Rocket Monkeys, Season 2
When facing rogue black holes, criminal masterminds, and rifts in the evil dimension, the universe turns to its bravest and brightest to save the day. When those guys are busy, the universe is stuck with the Rocket Monkeys. Inexplicably charged with carrying out a wide range of important missions, brothers Gus and Wally, along with their devoted robot friend YAY-OK, tend to cause more intergalactic calamity than they actually prevent.
Youth and Family (ages 13-to-17) – If I Had Wings
Sixteen-year-old Alex dreams of flying and of running for his high school’s cross-country track team. Both dreams seem equally out of reach, as Alex has been blind since the age of two. Alongside his troubled running partner Brad Coleman, the two boys must overcome many obstacles and prejudices for Alex to make his exciting climactic run at the County championship.
HOW THE WINNERS WERE SELECTED:
The finalists of the 2014 Shaw Rocket Prize’s three categories were selected by an international jury of industry experts. This jury was comprised of
- Jules Borkent – SVP, Global Acquisitions and International Programming, Nickelodeon, Viacom International Media Networks;
- Stephen Green – EVP Kids Content and Distribution, ITV Studios Global Entertainment;
- David Levine – Vice President, Programming, Production and Strategic Development, Disney Channels Europe, Middle East and Africa;
- Cecilia Persson – Vice President, Acquisitions & Co-Productions, EMEA and International, Turner Broadcasting, Kids;
- Alison Stewart – Head of CBeebies, Production, Animation and Acquisitions, BBC.
Once narrowed to five finalists, a jury of children from across Canada chose their favourite programs by voting on each finalist’s television and digital media content online throughout October and November. All children who voted were entered into a draw to win a $2,500 scholarship.
About Shaw Rocket Fund
The Shaw Rocket Fund is a forward-thinking, not-for-profit production fund that focuses on stimulating excellence in the Canadian children’s production industry through investment and various initiatives such as the much celebrated Shaw Rocket Prize which has awarded $475,000 in prize money to date. The Fund is a passionate champion for the children’s production sector to ensure that Canadian children’s media experience is enhanced with high quality programming, recognizing that entertainment for kids has become a multi-platform experience and part of children’s everyday lives. To date, the Shaw Rocket Fund has proudly invested over $160 million towards high quality television programs and their associated digital media content. Shaw Rocket Fund is supported by Shaw Communications, Shaw Pay Per View, a division of the Shaw Cablesystems, and Shaw Direct.
About Shaw Communications
Shaw Communications Inc. is a diversified communications and media company. Shaw serves 3.2 million consumers and businesses through a reliable and extensive fibre network. Shaw provides consumers with broadband Internet, WiFi, Digital Phone and Video services. Shaw Business provides businesses with Internet, data, WiFi, telephony, Video and fleet tracking services, and ViaWest provides collocation, cloud and managed services. Shaw Media provides Canadians with engaging programming content through one of Canada’s largest conventional television networks, Global Television, and 19 specialty networks, including HGTV Canada, Food Network Canada, HISTORY® and Showcase. Shaw is traded on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges and is included in the S&P/TSX 60 Index (Symbol: TSX – SJR.B, NYSE – SJR). For more information about Shaw, please visit www.shaw.ca.
Lindsey Scully, Director and Senior Writer
Shaw Communications Inc.
Chethan Lakshman, VP, External Affairs