Inaugural Recipients of Comweb/Whites Jay Switzer Indigenous Creator Award Announced

Posted: Sep 13, 2019

A man holding a microphone is speaking to a man sitting in a wheelchair

Whites Chairman/CEO Paul Bronfman with CFC resident Ajuawak Kapashesit, one of two inaugural recipients of the Jay Switzer Comweb/William F. White Indigenous Creator Award

Last year at the CFC Annual BBQ Fundraiser, we announced a new scholarship, the Comweb/Whites Jay Switzer Indigenous Creator Award, that honours Jay Switzer’s legacy and his unwavering support of the Indigenous creative community. This past Tuesday, September 10, at William F. White International Inc.’s annual TIFF event, the inaugural recipients of the award were announced. We’re proud to share that this year, the award will be shared between two residents; current CBC Actors Conservatory resident Ajuawak Kapashesit, and incoming Bell Media Prime Time TV program writer Amy Halloran. The award was presented by Paul Bronfman (Chairman/CEO of Comweb Corp. and William F. White International Inc.) and actress Ellen Dubin, wife of Jay Switzer.

A man and woman standing side-by-side pose for a picture

Ajuawak with Ellen Dubin

Ajuawak is an actor, playwright, writer and director who is both Anishinaabe and Cree and splits his time between Minnesota and Toronto. His film credits include the short films Shinaab (Sundance 2017, TIFF 2017) and Shinaab Part II (TIFF 2018, Sundance 2019), both written and directed by Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr., and Indian Horse, directed by Stephen Campanelli (TIFF 2017). His television credits include Bad Blood Season 2 and Outlander Season 4, and his plays have been performed in Minneapolis and Los Angeles. In 2018, Kapashesit was chosen as an Indigenous Film Opportunity Fellow with the Sundance Film Institute.

Amy is a Montreal-based Métis writer with a background in film production, acting and journalism – who is drawn to write and tell stories for TV. She has written various film and TV projects, including most recently an adaptation of Rest Stop, a short story by Stephen King, for which she won a LA Shorts Award. Since graduating in 2017, Halloran has worked in the industry assisting directors, including filmmaker Jean-Jacques Annaud, and producers, actors and most recently, the writers on Seth Rogen’s comedy series, Future Man. We look forward to welcoming her to the CFC when the Bell Media Prime Time TV Program begins on Monday, September 23, with Executive Producer in Residence Bruce Smith.

Ajuawak and Amy bring different experiences and different perspectives to the screen-based entertainment industry, but what they have in common is that their talent and voices have distinguished them as truly exciting creators who have a lot to offer and a lot of stories to tell.

Congratulations, Ajuawak and Amy!

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