Michelle Thrush


Nehiyaw performing artist Michelle Thrush is an eight-time recipient of a best performance award at ceremonies of national and international scope that include the AMPIAs, Rosies, Leos, Canadian Screen Awards, Geminis, American Indian Film Festival and the First Americans in the Arts Awards. Among her film acting credits are titles like Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Don’t Call Me Tonto, Through Black Spruce, Deadman, The Birds Who Fear Death, AKA: Jimmy P (starring opposite Benecio Del Toro, premiered at Cannes) and most recently the much-acclaimed Prey. Her television credits include some of Canada’s most successful and critically lauded series and Movies of the Week: Arctic Air, Moccasin Flats, North of 60, Motherland, Northern Exposure, Dreamkeeper and her much-awarded interpretation of Gail Stoney across five seasons of Blackstone.

She has also made an incredible contribution as a director, producer, and community builder, and is well known for her performances as Majica, the Indigenous Healing Clown, reflecting her belief in art as medicine. She founded and for two years ran the Southern Alberta Indigenous Youth Awards (SAIYA) to recognize the accomplishments of Indigenous youth in Calgary and surrounding area. She has advocated for Mohkinstsis/Calgary, Alberta and Canada as a hub for creativity around the world many times, whether it be in interviews or on the red carpets of Cannes and Hollywood. In everything she does she uplifts the practices of other artists. As Artistic Director of the ground-breaking Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society, Michelle has helped launch multiple careers. She is a mentor, a leader, and an inspiration to a new generation of filmmakers and performing artists across turtle island.


Mieko Ouchi

Year: 2023


Vicki Chau

Year: 2022


Tenaj Williams

Year: 2022