Power of Arts Forum backed by big names

The Rt. Hon. Michaëlle Jean, founder of the Michaëlle Jean Foundation, will be joined by Canadian actors, musicians and leaders who have been appointed to the Power of the Arts Forum’s honorary committee.

Award-winning Canadian actor Paul Gross is among those who will represent the committee. Gross is best known for his role as Benton Fraser, an RCMP officer on the Canadian television series Due South, which earned him two Gemini Awards for Best Actor between 1994 and 1999.

Over the years, Gross has also worked extensively as a director, writer, and producer. He has written several television and movie screenplays, and made his directorial debut in 2002 for the film Men With Brooms – which he also co-wrote, produced and starred. It was one of the highest-grossing English Canadian movies in decades, and was nominated for a Canadian Comedy Award and a Genie Award for its direction and screenplay.

He also directed, wrote and acted in Passchendaele, 2008 film that won the Directors Guild of Canada Award and a Genie Award for Best Motion Picture. He won the Governor General National Arts Centre Award for Achievement in 2009, and continues to work in theatre, television and film – including his recent recurring role in the Canadian series Republic of Doyle.

Canadian jazz and soul singer Kellylee Evans will also sit on the forum’s honorary committee. In 2011, the Carleton alumnus received a Juno Award for Vocal Jazz Album of the Year for her 2010 album, Nina. The album was a tribute to Nina Simone – a jazz singer and civil rights activist in the 1950s and 1960s.

Her latest album, I Remember When, features jazz, soul, and hip hop spins on music by artists like John Legend, Kanye West and Gladys Knight. She continues to perform for audiences, particularly at festivals across the country and opening for musicians like George Benson and Tony Bennett.

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Kristy Strauss

By Kristy Strauss

Kristy Strauss graduated from Carleton's journalism program in 2009. She is a regular contributor to Carleton Now. She has worked as a reporter for the Kemptville Advance. She currently reports for EMC Ottawa South.

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