2015 Symons Medallist:
Paul Gross, actor, writer, director
On November 9, 2015, Confederation Centre of the Arts, Canada’s national memorial to the founding of the country, awarded the esteemed Symons Medal to Canadian actor, writer, director, and champion for the arts, Mr. Paul Gross.
Gross appeared in Charlottetown for the Symons Medal Ceremony and Lecture in the Homburg Theatre. The lecture is a national platform for an eminent Canadian to discuss the current state and future prospects of Confederation. Held each fall to mark the 1864 meetings of the Fathers of Confederation, this dialogue provides Canadians an opportunity to reflect upon their country and its future.
Gross is one of Canada’s most celebrated actors, known internationally for his role on the multi award-winning television drama due South. For this series, he was honoured with two Gemini Awards for Best Actor, and one for his writing on the final season. He also received two Gemini Awards for the critically acclaimed series Slings & Arrows and in 2008 released his own feature film, Passchendaele, a movie based on the famous Battle of Ypres in Belgium during the First World War. Gross wrote and directed the screenplay and starred as a character based on his own Grandfather. In addition to opening TIFF in 2008, Passchendaele was the highest grossing Canadian film of the year and won five Genie Awards, including Best Picture.
Gross’ many acting credits also include major roles at Stratford and on Broadway as well as starring in TV movies such as Murder Most Likely, Prairie Giant: The Tommy Douglas Story, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Tales of the City, and Chasing Rainbows. Gross also performed in the Oscar-winning film Barney’s Version, as well as feature films Aspen Extreme, Cold Comfort, Paint Cans, and Whale Music. He was recently appointed to the Order of Canada, was selected for the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award and the Pierre Berton Award, and was a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television.
Photo Cutline: Celebrated Canadian artist Paul Gross (submitted photo).