Shaw Rocket Fund

Shaw Rocket Fund

May 03, 2005 10:34 ET

Canadian Students To Cast Their Vote for the Shaw Rocket Prize Winne

Shaw Rocket Fund and Learning Through the Arts Give Kids a Voice in Defining the Best in Canadian Children's Television Attention: Arts/Entertainment Editor, Assignment Editor, City Editor, Education Editor, Media Editor CALGARY, ALBERTA--(CCNMatthews - May 3, 2005) - The winner of the Shaw Rocket Prize, a $50,000 cash prize for the best independently produced kids' Canadian television program, will be chosen by more than 400 students in grades seven to nine in public schools across Canada.

The students have reviewed the finalists' programs and in early May they will vote independently for the winner on a dedicated, secure web site. The winner will be announced May 25th in Toronto.

The Shaw Rocket Prize winner will be determined by students participating in the Royal Conservatory of Music's Learning Through the Arts (LTTA) program, an arts-based public school initiative in which specially trained artists partner with teachers to deliver core curriculum.

LTTA students will choose the winner from a pool of four finalists selected by an independent, international jury of leaders in children's TV from the U.K., U.S., Australia, Germany and Canada from submissions made by Canadian producers.

The four finalists for the prize are:
· Degrassi: The Next Generation - Produced by Epitome Pictures Inc., Toronto
· Franny's Feet - Produced by Decode Entertainment Inc., Toronto
· Poko - Produced by Halifax Film Company, Halifax
· Shoebox Zoo - Produced by Shoebox Productions Inc., Calgary

"When we developed the Prize, we felt it was paramount that the audience, Canadian youth, have a say in what they consider to be the best Canadian program," said Agnes Augustin, Executive Director, The Shaw Rocket Fund. "This initiative between the Shaw Rocket Fund and Learning Through the Arts gives students the chance to define what quality television means to them. The industry will undoubtedly benefit from their thoughts and feedback."

"Working with LTTA artists and exploring media through a real life case study like the Shaw Rocket Prize is a wonderful opportunity for young people to take ownership of something that profoundly affects their lives. It is not only engaging, hands on, real-world, real-time learning, it allows them to explore media literacy, and to think critically about something they encounter every day," said Angela Elster, Executive Director, Learning Through the Arts.

Through in-class lessons with the LTTA artists and teachers, students examined the elements that make up a television program. The students developed the voting criteria upon which the four finalist programs will be evaluated: storyline; casting and presentation of characters; production design; camera and editing; music and sound design; and acting and directing. When defining quality television, a student from St. Albert, Alberta said, "I think that a good kids program is something that kids can learn from, and have fun and play along with."

Shaw Rocket Prize
The Shaw Rocket Prize is the first prize of this kind in Canada. Open to all independent Canadian producers, the prize will be awarded annually for three years beginning in 2005. The entire selection process is independent of the fund, and program entries do not have to receive funding from the Shaw Rocket Fund to be eligible.

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. Prior to October 2004, the Shaw Rocket Fund was known as the Shaw Television Broadcast Fund. 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.

Learning Through the Arts
Learning Through the Arts, a program of the Royal Conservatory of Music, is the most extensive arts-based public school initiative in the world. Currently operating in 300 schools in Canada and in pilot projects in 12 countries around the world, the program brings working community artists into schools. In partnership with teachers, they create lessons that make core curriculum exciting and fun. Students are learning math through dance, language through songwriting, and social studies through visual art.

For more information on the Shaw Rocket Prize and Shaw Rocket Fund, visit For more information about LTTA, visit


For more information, contact:
Jennifer Kitchen or Kristen Rector, JKR Communications
Tel: 416-576-5892 or 416-486-2286
Email: or
/For further information: Jennifer Kitchen or Kristen Rector
905-274-7887 or 416-486-2286 or IN: ENTERTAINMENT

Contact Information

  • Jennifer Kitchen or Kristen Rector, Partners, JKR Communications
    Primary Phone: 905-274-7887
    Secondary Phone: 416-486-2286