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OTTAWA, Nov. 21, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - The Shaw Rocket Fund is pleased to announce the 2016 Rocket Prize Gala will feature an innovative line up that includes stellar performances from the talented casts of The Next Step and Lost & Found Music Studios and hosted by Degrassi: Next Class star Soma Bhatia.
A total of $75,000 will be awarded on Nov. 23 to the best in Canadian children's and youth programming. This year's awards will recognize the Best Overall Audience Experience as voted by kids. This includes voting for the best digital content, such as games and websites, as well as relevant experience such as with social media. The gala drop-by event, featuring some of Canada's top youth talent and industry notables, will take place at the Shaw Centre in downtown Ottawa.
"Innovation has always been a Canadian asset and in 2016, our writers, producers and stars of children's and youth television programs are at the top of their game," says Agnes Augustin, Shaw Rocket Fund president and CEO. "The evolution of media has created endless opportunities to educate, influence and entertain our children with exciting television and digital content. This 11th year of the Rocket Prize marks the recognition of this ever-changing digital landscape."
This year's finalists, as selected by an international jury of children's media influencers, were announced at a global media event on Oct. 15 in Cannes. The finalists are:
Preschool (5 and under)
Youth (13-17) & Family
Children voted for their favourites online and the winners will be announced at the awards gala on Nov. 23, featuring Canadian Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly, who will present the awards. There will also be special appearances from other VIPs.
The cast from The Next Step, a tween scripted reality show about elite dancers and 2013 winners of the Shaw Rocket Prize Children's category, will perform an opening number at the gala. A performance from the cast of Lost and Found Music Studios, a show about teen musicians auditioning for a chance at a live tour, will follow the awards ceremony.
Established in 2004, the Rocket Prize's goal is to showcase the outstanding calibre of children's and youth television shows made here at home and seen around the world. Shaw Rocket Fund proudly supports The Next Step, an international hit. Previous finalists and winners of the coveted Rocket Prize include Justin Time (2014), Daniel Tiger's Neighbourhood (2013), My Babysitter's a Vampire (2012), Dino Dan (2010) and Degrassi (2005).
Renowned the world over, the Rocket Prize is the only exclusively kids and youth media award in Canada. "The annual gala event brings out the who's who of Canadian children's entertainment, along with Parliamentarians, media and industry executives. We're very much looking forward to celebrating a truly unique and Canadian event," says Augustin.
About Shaw Rocket Fund
The Shaw Rocket Fund, working in partnership with youth, is dedicated to investing in the Canadian children's and youth production industry with a broader mission of championing Canadian children's programming in Canada and around the world. Since 2004, the Rocket Fund has awarded $550,000 in prize money to celebrate the very best of Canadian screen-based media for kids. The 2016 Rocket Prize gala takes place on Nov. 23 at the Shaw Centre in Ottawa, Ont., at 6 p.m. The gala is by invitation only.
www.rocketfund.ca | t: @rocketfund | facebook.com/rocketfund
SOURCE Shaw Rocket Fund
For further information: Bea Vongdouangchanh, Compass Rose Group, firstname.lastname@example.org, 613-299-1807