Mary Walsh named ACTRA’s 2013 Woman of the Year!

Honour bestowed in celebration of International Women’s Day

Toronto, ON (March 7, 2013) — The ACTRA National Women’s Committee this year shines the spotlight on Mary Walsh – ACTRA’s 2013 Woman of the Year.

“I am over the moon!” said Mary Walsh upon hearing the news. “ACTRA has always been there for me and I am beyond proud to have been a member of our great union for over 40 years.”

The honour was presented to Mary on stage by Theresa Tova, ACTRA National Treasurer, following the opening night of her one-woman show Dancing with Rage at the Panasonic Theatre in Toronto. The previous recipients of this honour, Shirley Douglas, Tantoo Cardinal and Sandi Ross, were all in attendance.

Among her many awards and doctorates, Mary has been awarded the Order of Canada, ACTRA’s Award of Excellence in Newfoundland, 18 Gemini Awards and in 2012 she received a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award.Despite her busy work schedule, Mary puts her energy into a number of charitable campaigns and is a passionate supporter and spokesperson for Oxfam. She is also a spokesperson for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) and is vocal about mental disorders and addictions, both issues that have touched her family. She is an ambassador for ACTRA’s IworkACTRA campaign.

“Mary Walsh is an accomplished actor, comedian, director, writer, political satirist and social activist,” said Ferne Downey, ACTRA National President. “Mary’s dynamic ‘Marg Delahunty Princess Warrior’ character has warmed the cockles of my heart for 20 years. We are thrilled to name her ACTRA’s 2013 Woman of the Year.”

Born and raised in St John’s, Newfoundland, Mary Walsh began her career in comedy by performing with the CODCO comedy troupe in stage shows that eventually led to the popular CBC TV series from 1987 to 1992. She then created and showcased her comic genius on CBC’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes. Mary’s movie roles include Crackie (Genie nomination 2011), Mambo Italiano, The Divine Ryans and New Waterford Girl. She created the CBC program Mary Walsh: Open Book in 2003 and in 2007 made her feature directorial debut with Young Triffie. She produced and starred in the comedy series Hatching, Matching & Dispatching. Currently, Mary is performing in her one-woman live show Dancing with Rage at the Panasonic Theatre in Toronto from March 6 to 24.

The mandate of the ACTRA National Women’s Committee includes exploring the concerns of female ACTRA members and supporting women within ACTRA and in the audiovisual industry as a whole. Christine Willes Chairs the Committee and Shannon Jardine is Vice-Chair.

ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) is the national union of professional performers working in the English-language recorded media in Canada. ACTRA represents the interests of 22,000 members across Canada – the foundation of Canada’s highly acclaimed professional performing community.


Media Contact: Carol Taverner, Public Relations Officer, ACTRA, Tel: 416-644-1519,