Shaw Rocket Prize Awarded by Kids for Kids
All photos by Andre Gagne.
On Wednesday night the Shaw Rocket Fund held its annual evening of kid friendly revelry at the Shaw Centre to announce the winners for the Shaw Rocket Prize.
A champion for children and youth, the not-for-profit Shaw Rocket Fund, invests in quality Canadian children’s programming and production year-round.
However, these decisions aren’t all made around a boardroom table. Kids play a very important role at the Fund and the Shaw Rocket Prize is where Canadian children take the reins and act as jurors to select their favourite Canadian programming.
“The Shaw Rocket Prize is about giving kids a say,” said Agnes Augustin, President & CEO of the Shaw Rocket Fund. “Recognizing that they have opinions and letting them tell us what programs speak to them, what motivates them, what intrigues them.”
Based on the Kid Jury’s votes the Shaw Rocket Prize awards three prizes of $25,000 each to the best Canadian preschool program, the best children’s (6-12) program and the best youth/family program. This isn’t just about watching a show either; kids vote on the overall experience that includes all platforms and the show’s online presence.
“This year, we grow again to accommodate the changing media landscape,” said Augustin. “Our Kids Jury is tasked with viewing the finalist programs as well as playing the associated games and viewing the social media content.”
All this hard work from the Kid Jury made Wednesday’s award ceremony and celebration all the better.
The Shaw Centre’s Trillium Ballroom was full of kids and adults mingling and having fun while wearing light up jelly rings, playing games at a computer/tablet station, and enjoying a host of local fare that included food stations featuring Ottawa Valley Poutine and local beef striploin, as well as donut hole skewers, rack of lamb and both kid-friendly and adult-only mac & cheeses. Oh and no one will forget the epic candy bar.
The official ceremonies were anything but stuffy. The evening kicked off with an upbeat performance by the Next Step Dancers followed by introductions by the adorable MC Soma Bhatia, who plays Goldi Nahir on Degrassi: Next Class.
Prime Minister and Minister of Youth, Justin Trudeau and his wife, Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau also made an appearance via video message.
“Quality programming exposes children to diversity and teaches them valuable lessons from learning the alphabet to the meaning of integrity. Today's finalists reflect everything we look for in quality children's programming and best of all, they're made right here in Canada,” Trudeau said. “Thank you Shaw Rocket Fund for supporting the Canadian children's media industry and for showcasing the calibre of kids shows made in this country and proudly exported around the world.”
After a cameo from the Rocket Prize Video Vote winners Lorenzo and Veronica, speeches from members of the Fund and videos from jurors, it was time for the results as presented by Minister of Heritage, Melanie Joly.
Preschool: Kate and Min Min, produced by DHX Media
Children: Slugterra, produced by DHX Media
Youth & Family: L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables, produced by Breakthrough Entertainment
Luckily for guests, the evening didn’t end there. The party continued with live music and performances, including Alex and Levi from Canadian drama series Lost & Found Music Studios.