Veena Sood paid tribute to the #metoo movement when she accepted the Lorena Gale Woman of Distinction Award at the UBCP/ACTRA Gala on Saturday night.
“There’s something rotten in Denmark. The women that have come forward with their accounts of sexual abuse, sexual misconduct and inappropriate behaviour toward them are, to me, nothing short of heroes,” said Sood, a veteran actress and improviser whose numerous credits include Ghost Wars, The X-Files and and Android Employed.
“I’m grateful to the women, and the men, who have come forward to speak out against abuse and trauma that they’ve suffered. You are breaking the silence. You are the revolution. So, me too. I stand with all of you.”
The UBCP/ACTRA Awards recognize achievements by members of the Union of British Columbia Performers, an autonomous branch of the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists, the national organization of professional performers working in English recorded media in Canada.
According to the organization’s October press release, Sood is a “UBCP/ACTRA member whose work as a performer and beyond embodies the type of accomplishments that advance the status of women and encourages the growth and diversification of opportunities for women.”
At the sixth annual UBCP/ACTRA Awards at the Vancouver Playhouse on Saturday, Sood was introduced by actress Lori Triolo.
Sood told the crowd that it’s “an amazing time to be a woman in this industry. I’ve had the remarkable good fortune of being directed by so many women this year. This is the year that our industry is finally starting to figure out that hiring female directors to tell stories about complicated women is a recipe for success.
“But we’re not ready to pop the champagne cork quite yet. There’s still a lot of work to do. So, going forward, how do we proceed with dignity and positivity? Well, to quote the late Carrie Fisher, you take your broken heart and you turn it into art.”
The awards were hosted by Van Helsing star Rukiya Bernard, who deftly addressed the cultural changes wracking the film and television industry in her opening remarks. She also kept the tone light and upbeat with pre-recorded “mean tweet” videos and an industry-specific take on “Despacito” entitled “Desperate Egos” with Tin Star and Republic of Doyle actress Lynda Boyd.
In addition to Sood’s lifetime achievement award, five other awards were handed out during the 90-minute event.
Adrian Holmes received the Best Actor award for his starring role on CTV’s gripping crime procedural 19-2, and Tammy Gillis won the Best Actress award for her portrayal of a neglectful mother in 2016 Whistler Film Festival stand-out Menorca.
The team from Supergirl – Simon Burnett, Jon Kralt, Leif Havdale and Corry Glass – won the award for Best Stunt. Rebecca Husain received the award for Best Voice for her work on Beat Bugs, and Adam DiMarco took home the Best Emerging Performer award for his work in the locally shot wedding comedy, Marrying the Family.
UBCP/ACTRA had previously announced that actor Mackenzie Gray (Legion) would receive the John Juliani Award of Excellence, a prize recognizing “achievements as a performing artist and distinguished contribution to the film and television industry,” but that particular award was not presented at Saturday’s gala. Sue Brouse, UBCP/ACTRA’s director of member services and human resources, told Reel People that the presentation of the John Juliani Award has been postponed.