The establishment of a new, winner-take-all, juried prize to recognize and celebrate the best of quality Canadian children’s television was announced today by the Shaw Rocket Fund, formerly known as the Shaw Television Broadcast Fund.
The $50,000 Shaw Rocket Prize will be awarded to the producer of the best Canadian children’s television programming each year over the next three years. The prize’s first winner will be announced in May 2005.
Two independent juries, a national children’s jury and an international jury, will judge the entries for the Shaw Rocket Prize. The international jury will select the short list of finalists. The winner will be chosen by a jury of English and French public school students in grades seven to nine across Canada through a classroom-based adjudication process and secure online voting.
“We are thrilled to announce the new $50,000 Shaw Rocket Prize, as part of our continued support of quality TV for kids,” said Annabel Slaight, Chair of The Shaw Rocket Fund. “And who better to choose the best of Canadian children’s television than kids themselves?”
“The Shaw Rocket Prize is one of the largest prizes of its kind in Canada, and will bring added recognition and financial support to inspire Canadian producers to continue to develop innovative programming for kids. The Fund’s Board and Executive Director, Agnes Augustin, as well as the Prize Committee with Jerry Ezekiel and Angela Elster, are all to be commended today for making the Prize a reality. It is the result of their vision and drive,” continued Slaight.
Prize Eligibility and Submissions
To be eligible for the Shaw Rocket Prize, the program must target a children’s, youth or family audience; must qualify as an 8/10 Canadian production; and must have had its first Canadian commercial release within 18 months prior to the entry deadline date.
Entries will be accepted from independent, Canadian producers from October 29, 2004 to January 31, 2005, and can be submitted in any language. The finalists will be announced in April 2005. For more information on the submission process, rules and regulations, and the entry form, visit www.rocketfund.ca.
Rocket Prize – National Children’s and International Juries
The international jury will be made up of some of the most accomplished people in the TV production business worldwide, and will bring an international perspective on children’s programming to the judging process.
The national children’s jury will be selected through a partnership with the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Learning Through the Arts (LTTA) program. After the students assess the finalists in a classroom-based process, they will submit their vote for the winner on a dedicated, secure website.
One of the world’s largest public education initiatives, the LTTA program is a dynamic, arts-based education program that has been integrated into the public school system and uses the arts to teach core subjects.
The Shaw Television Broadcast Fund’s New Name
The Shaw Television Broadcast Fund also announced its new name and identity today, and will now be called The Shaw Rocket Fund. It is the only national private fund in Canada dedicated to investing in the production of quality Canadian kids television. The Shaw Rocket Fund supports quality kids television in English, French and Aboriginal languages on all networks and broadcasters in Canada.
“Our new name, the Shaw Rocket Fund, reflects kids TV at its best. Great programming fuels imaginations, and inspires kids by encouraging active discovery. While our name has changed, we remain as strongly committed to the future of quality Canadian children’s television as ever. In 2003 alone, we contributed $9.5 million to quality Canadian programming for kids,” said Slaight.
The Shaw Rocket Fund
The Shaw Rocket Fund is a permanent, independently governed, not-for- profit corporation that provides financing for the production of high quality Canadian children’s, youth and family television programming. Since its inception in 1998, the Shaw Rocket Fund has invested more than $35 million in quality Canadian children’s television and contributed to the production of 172 Canadian programs, representing 2,547 half hours.
Contributors to the Fund are Shaw Communications, Shaw Pay Per View Ltd., a division of Shaw Cablesystems GP, Star Choice Television Network Inc., EastLink Cablesystems, and Delta Cable Communications Ltd.
For more information on the Shaw Rocket Prize and Shaw Rocket Fund, visit www.rocketfund.ca.