Tantoo Cardinal Wins Technicolor Clyde Gilmour Award from Toronto Film Critics Association

By Pat Mullen

Tantoo Cardinal makes history today with her win of the Technicolor Clyde Gilmour Award from the Toronto Film Critics Association (TFCA). Cardinal is the first actor to receive the honour. The award, announced today via a release from the TFCA, acknowledges an individual who has made a substantial and outstanding contribution to the advancement and/or history of Canadian cinema. The award lets Cardinal spotlight an emerging filmmaker to receive to receive $50,000 in support from Technicolor Creative Services. Previously winners of the award include, but are not limited to, Deepa Mehta, Zacharias Kunuk, and last year’s recipient, Alanis Obomsawin.

Cardinal’s career spans decades in Canadian film and television. She might best be known for her Gemini Award winning performance on the hit TV series North of 60 and for her turn in Kevin Costner’s 1990 drama Dances with Wolves, which won the Oscar for Best Picture. Cardinal’s other film credits include the Genie winner Black Robe, the historical drama Legends of the Fall starring Anthony Hopkins and Brad Pitt, and the Canadian Screen Award nominee Maïna. Most recently, she appeared in Taylor Sheridan’s Wind River and Teach Grant’s Down River, along with the series Blackstone. This year Cardinal appeared in four feature films that premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival: Don McKellar’s Through Black Spruce, Jeremy Saulnier’s Hold the Dark, Miranda de Pencier’s The Grizzlies, and Darlene Naponse’s Falls Around Her, which finally gave Cardinal the great leading film role she’d been building to throughout her career. Falls Around Her recently won the audience award at Toronto’s imagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival.

Throughout her career, the Métis actor has broken barriers for Indigenous representation in film and images. She is a founding member of the Saskatchewan Native Theatre Company and has been recognized for career achievement by numerous film festivals across North America. In 2017, she received the Earle Grey Award from the Canadian Screen Awards and in 2015, she won the ACTRA Toronto Award of Excellence.

Cardinal will be honoured at the TFCA’s awards gala at the Four Season’s Hotel in January 2019 where she will reveal the name of her pay-it-forward recipient. Additional winners for the TFCA awards will be announced in December and January.