Sandi Ross - 1949 -2016

The Sandi Ross Awards celebrate an individual and a company who incorporate diversity and inclusion in their work. Originally conceived by the ACTRA Toronto Diversity Committee under the leadership of Co-Chairs Sedina Fiati and Farah Merani as the #SharetheScreen Awards, the awards were re-named in honour of Sandi Ross who passed away just before their first presentation in 2016.

Sandi Ross was the first woman and person of colour to be president of ACTRA Toronto and was the founder of ACTRA Toronto’s first diverse talent directory, Into the Mainstream. The directory continues online at, and is a useful tool for producers and casting directors to cast inclusively.

ACTRA Toronto’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee advocates on behalf of ACTRA Toronto’s self-identified physically and culturally diverse performers and calls for a more inclusive media industry.

Video: Sandi Ross clip from the 1997 ACTRA Toronto archives.

2022 Sandi Ross Awards

The 2022 Sandi Ross Awards will be live streamed on
at 7:00 p.m. ET on Friday, February 17, 2023, on the
ACTRA Toronto YouTube Channel

2021 Sandi Ross Awards

The Sandi Ross Awards celebrate one individual and one company/organization each year whose work demonstrates a commitment to inclusion on screen.

This year’s Sandi Ross Awards honour Beans writer-director Tracey Deer and comedy troupe, Tallboyz II Men: Vance Banzo, Guled Abdi, Franco Nguyen and Tim Blair for their immense contributions to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in the film and television industry.

Read the press release

During the one hour broadcast, ACTRA Toronto Diversity & Inclusion Committee Co-Chairs Janet Rose Nguyen and Chattrisse Dolabaille hosted a discussion with the winners about pursuing a creative career, what advice that they would have given to their younger selves, how to advocate for more diversity and inclusion while integrating activism into art and what’s up next for all of them.

2020 Sandi Ross Awards

The 2020 Sandi Ross Awards Awards were live streamed on Sunday, March 21, 2021 at 8pm on ACTRA Toronto’s YouTube channel.

During the one hour show, hosted by ACTRA Toronto Diversity & Inclusion Committee Co-Chairs, Lisa Michelle Cornelius and Samora Smallwood, awards were presented to Winnifred Jong , creator/director of Tokens, Jessica Meya and Louis Taylor, co-founders of Working the Scene in Colour. The awards presentation was followed by a round table discussion.

Read the press release

Sandi Ross Awards Past Recipients

Thursday, February 16, 2023 News Release, Sandi Ross
TORONTO, ON (February 16, 2023) – Award-winning writer, producer and television/radio host Amanda Parris and Toronto-based entertainment agency Jesse Griffiths Casting Inc. will be celebrated Friday, February 17, 2023, at 7:00 p.m. ET at www.sandi...
Friday, November 05, 2021 News Release, Sandi Ross
Toronto, November 5, 2021 – Beans writer-director Tracey Deer and comedy troupe TallBoyz II Men will be celebrated on Friday, November 12, 2021, at 8 p.m. on as they accept their 2021 Sandi Ross Awards. Tracey Deer and Tal...
Sunday, March 21, 2021 News Release, Sandi Ross
Toronto – March 21, 2021 – Winnifred Jong, Jessica Meya and Louis Taylor receive 2020 Sandi Ross Awards Toronto, March 21, 2021 – Tokens creator-director Winnifred Jong and Working the Scene in Colour co-creators Je...
Wednesday, September 11, 2019 News Release, Sandi Ross
Wednesday, September 11th, 2019 Toronto, ON – Diggstown writer-producer Floyd Kane and Kim’s Convenience production company Thunderbird Entertainment were honoured at the fourth Sandi Ross Awards during TIFF yesterday evening. The recipi...
Thursday, September 13, 2018 News Release, Sandi Ross
September 13, 2018 Tonya Williams and Frankie Drake Mysteries honoured with Sandi Ross Awards Toronto, September 13, 2018 – Frankie Drake Mysteries and ACTRA Toronto member Tonya Williams were honoured at the third annual Sandi Ross Awards,...
Thursday, September 14, 2017 News Release, Sandi Ross
Toronto, September 14, 2017 – Hungry Eyes Media and creator Nathalie Younglai picked up the second Sandi Ross Awards at the Orchid Nightclub at TIFF last night. Hungry Eyes Media is best known for Shoot the Messenger, Guns, Doomstown, Home Aga...
Tuesday, September 06, 2016 News Release, Sandi Ross
Attached and enclosed please find a press release from ACTRA Toronto’s Diversity Committee FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE TORONTO, September 6, 2016 – ACTRA Toronto’s Diversity Committee, which serves the union’s self-identified diverse ...