Shaw Rocket Fund

Shaw Rocket Fund

November 30, 2010 20:15 ET

Dino Dan Is the 2010 Shaw Rocket Prize Winner!

Chosen by a jury of kids, a Canadian show lauded by the BBC, and now setting ratings records in the United States, edged out four other shows to take home the $50,000 grand prize for best Canadian children's program

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 30, 2010) - The Shaw Rocket Prize is pleased to announce that Toronto based Sinking Ship Entertainment wins the $50,000 Shaw Rocket Prize for Dino Dan! It airs on TVO, Knowledge Network and Access.

Produced by J.J. Johnson, Blair Powers and Matt Bishop, Dino Dan, stars Jason Spevack as Dan Henderson -- a 10-year-old boy with an obsession for dinosaurs. Spevack acts alongside a cast of computer generated monsters, using his imagination to find out as much as he can about different types of dinosaurs.

"We can't believe it. We're absolutely elated to receive the Shaw Rocket Prize! Dino Dan is a series about a little boy whose imagination is so powerful that he can conjure up dinosaurs into the real world. Never in our imaginations did we believe we would receive this prestigious award from these (obviously) brilliant kid judges – thank you so much!" said producers J.J. Johnson, Blair Powers and Matt Bishop.

Known for co-producing the This is Emily Yeung and This is Daniel Cook, Dino Dan is Sinking Ship's first fully scripted series and the first to feature Computer Generated characters.

"For that initial effort to be recognized by the Shaw Rocket Prize, and its incredible international jury, is humbling and inspires us to continue to take ever greater creative risks with our shows," said Blair Powers, Executive Producer, Sinking Ship Entertainment.

The Shaw Rocket Prize is unique because Canadian children, the world's toughest critics, get to pick the winner with hundreds of kids from across Canada voting Dino Dan this year's best Canadian program and website. But the show is not only winning praise in Canada, Dino Dan recently broke the record as the highest watched debut episode on Nick Jr. - a cable TV channel owned by MTV Networks in the United States.

The 6th annual Shaw Rocket Prize was presented in Ottawa by James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, where the top five Canadian programs for kids aged 6-12 were celebrated. The other finalist shows produced across Canada made for a very tough competition: How to Be Indie, Toronto; In Real Life, Montreal; Jimmy Two-Shoes, Toronto; and League of Super Evil, Vancouver.

"Canadian television programming is heralded internationally as innovative and groundbreaking," said Annabel Slaight, Chair of the Shaw Rocket Fund, "This is particularly true for Canadian kids programming. Today, here at home, all partners - government and the private sector - stand together to applaud some truly inspiring Canadian success stories."


"Dino Dan is a rare program indeed," said Deirdre Brennan, Director of Television, BBC Worldwide Channels Australasia. "It can engage young boys (and adventurous girls) in an imaginative world full of dinosaurs across multiple screens. With Dino Dan, they can watch, play and discover that digging up the past can be as much fun as the future!"


The international jury of industry experts who selected the finalists for the 2010 Shaw Rocket Prize was composed of Deirdre Brennan (Director of Television, BBC Worldwide Channels Australasia), Jules Borkent (SVP, Global Acquisitions & International Programming, Nickelodeon International), Sander Schwartz (Executive VP, Head of Children's & Family Entertainment for FremantleMedia Enterprises), Rick Clodfelter (Director, Content Acquisitions and Co-Productions for Cartoon Network and Boomerang), and David Levine (Vice President, Worldwide Programming Strategy, Acquisitions and Co-Productions for Disney Channels Worldwide).

Once narrowed to five finalists, a jury of hundreds of kids from across Canada screened the programs online and checked out the accompanying websites before voting for their favourite finalist – what better way to give kids a voice? Below is a selection of quotes from members of the kids' jury:

"You learn about dinosaurs. It is like being in school and I love school. Dinosaurs are interesting because they are different and don't live anymore. It is fun to learn about things. The show is fun to watch and you learn something at the same time. My sister (3 yrs old) watches the show with me at home and she likes it too," said Andraya, 6.

"It's about dinosaurs, it was humorous, the acting was good, and the dinosaurs were very colourful. It was also very informative," said Ryan, 9.

"I voted for Dino Dan because the graphics are so realistic! Most TV shows these days are cartoon, it is nice to have something different for once!!!," said Tyler, 12.

About the Shaw Rocket Fund

The Shaw Rocket Fund is a forward-thinking, not-for-profit corporation that focuses on stimulating excellence in the Canadian children's production industry. We support Canadian children's programming, recognized worldwide for its creativity and commitment to quality. We are strong believers in the ability of quality programming to fuel the young, imaginative minds of our kids and enrich their lives through interaction with creative content on all platforms. Contributors to the Fund are Shaw Communications, Shaw Pay Per View Ltd., Shaw Direct, EastLink Cablesystems, and Delta Cable Communications Ltd.

For more information about the Shaw Rocket Fund and the 2010 Shaw Rocket Prize – its finalists, winner, and selection process – visit and

Contact Information

  • Jacquie LaRocque
    Jennifer Stewart