Certainly not a case of beginners luck, last night the fifth annual Shaw Rocket Prize was awarded to first-time competitors Cirrus Communications and Dream Street Productions for their hockey-centric TV movie Sticks and Stones.
Canadian celeb talking head and host of pop culture news program The Hour, George Stroumboulopoulos, was on-hand to emcee the event that culminated in the presentation of the US$43,000 (CAD$50,000) prize created by The Shaw Rocket Fund to recognize the best Canuck kids programming.
Sticks and Stones was joined by three other finalists – Fred’s Head, How She Move and Instant Star – selected by an international jury that included Cartoon Network’s Adina Pitt and Deirdre Brennan from Nick Australia. However, some 700 grade six, seven and eight students from across Canada got to choose the ultimate winner.
Sticks and Stones producers Rick LeGuerrier and Josée Vallée of Dream Street Pictures and Cirrus Communications, respectively, were on-hand to pick up the prize. Both remarked how the made-for-TV movie that aired on national broadcaster CTV that told the real-life story of a group of Canadian pee wee hockey players who worked to repair friendships with their US counterparts during the outbreak of the Iraq War in 2003 was their first foray into kids programming, and noted that it would not be their last.