imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival 

Tina Keeper to Receive 2017 August Schellenberg Award of Excellence


Sponsored by ACTRA National,
ACTRA Performers’ Rights Society
and Individual Donors



imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is proud to announce that Cree actor, humanitarian and activist Tina Keeper will receive the 2017 August Schellenberg Award of Excellence.

The August Schellenberg Award of Excellence (the “Augie”) is an annual prize that recognizes significant professional and personal achievement by an Indigenous actor, of any gender, from Turtle Island (North America). Tina Keeper will receive her award at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival’s Awards Presentation on Sunday, October 22 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.

An active member of Canada's film and television industry for over thirty years, Tina Keeper is well-known for role as RCMP officer Michelle Kenidi on the hit CBC series North of 60.

Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Tina is a member of the Norway House Cree Nation and remains actively involved in producing public education initiatives to build bridges between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Manitoba. From 2006 to 2008 Tina was the elected Member of Parliament for Manitoba’s Churchill riding under the Liberal Party of Canada, and went on to serve as the Official Opposition's Critic for Public Health and Canadian Heritage.

Tina is President of Kistikan Pictures (a partner company of Buffalo Gal Pictures). Recent productions include the feature film, Road of Iniquity; the critically-acclaimed Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Going Home Star; The REDress Project; and the APTN drama series Cashing In. This year, Tina was honoured by ACTRA which named her the 2017 ACTRA National Woman of the Year.

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. The Augie was first bestowed in 2015 to Tantoo Cardinal, and to Tom Jackson in 2016.

The Augie is sponsored by ACTRA National, the ACTRA Performers’ Rights Society, and through individual donations. To donate to the August Schellenberg Award of Excellence, please visit:

imagineNATIVE Awards Presentation
Sunday, October 22, 2017

4:30 - 6 PM

TIFF Bell Lightbox, Cinema 2
350 King Street West, Toronto

For more information please call 416.585.2333 or visit

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Media Contact: FLIP PUBLICITY, 416.533.7710
Damien Nelson,

About August Schellenberg - Montreal-born Mohawk actor, August Schellenberg, performed in hundreds of theatre, film and television productions throughout his long career including Saving Grace, Free Willy, Black Robe, North of 60 and Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. He was nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie for his role as Chief Sitting Bull in Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, and played the titular role in an all-First Nations version of Shakespeare’s King Lear at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre.

About the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival - The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is the world’s largest Indigenous festival showcasing innovation in film, video, audio and digital media. The Festival presents the most compelling and distinctive works from Canada and around the globe, reflecting the diversity of the world’s Indigenous nations, and illustrating the vitality and excellence of Native art and culture in contemporary media.