I dwell in Possibility—
A fairer House than Prose—”

-Emily Dickinson

*Cam Christiansen - The Real Place

National and international design award winner Cam Christiansen is a principal of anlanda digital studio (web, video and animation). He has worked on numerous commercial projects with Internet strategy consultants Critical Mass, and been a Guest Creative Director for the Banff New Media Institute. His animated short I Have Seen The Future -an official selection at the Sundance Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and numerous international festivals-was voted as a Top 10 Canadian short film at TIFF, and won Best Animation/Motion Graphic at the MediaFRESH '07 Digital Media Association Awards, Alberta Centennial Award for Best Short Film, and Western Canadian Music Award for Video of the Year.

Cam currently teaches multimedia at the University of Calgary's Faculty of Environmental Design. His film about John Murrell was an official selection at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and winner of six Rosies at the 2009 Alberta Film and Television Awards.

John Murrell

2008 Lifetime Artistic Achievement (Theatre)

Playwright, Librettist, Translator

John Murrell is one of Canada’s most distinguished and frequently produced playwrights, and a highly regarded arts advocate, mentor and consultant. His plays have been translated into 15 languages and performed in more than 30 countries. He is a passionate spokesperson for the arts in Canada and around the world, and his name has become synonymous with artistic integrity and excellence.

Mr. Murrell was born in Texas in 1945 and began his career as a high school teacher in Alberta in 1968 (he became a Canadian citizen in 1975). Struck by the lack of Canadian dramatic material available to his students, he set about creating works for them to perform, and soon left teaching to become a full-time playwright.

His plays include Memoir, Waiting for the Parade, Farther West, New World, October, Democracy, and The Faraway Nearby. He is also a proficient translator of classic theatre texts, including works by Chekhov, Sophocles, Ibsen and Racine. He has adapted Homer’s The Odyssey for young audiences, and written scenarios for productions by Ballet British Columbia and The National Ballet of Canada. He collaborated with composer John Estacio on the successful Canadian operas Filumena (2003) and Frobisher (2007), and is currently working on an original screenplay. “I think it’s important to have ideas for new things to do in your sixties, seventies and eighties,” he says.

John Murrell has served as Literary Advisor to Theatre Calgary and Alberta Theatre Projects, Associate Director of the Stratford Festival of Canada, Head of the Banff Playwrights Colony, Head of the Theatre Section of the Canada Council for the Arts, and Executive Artistic Director of Performing Arts at The Banff Centre, among others. In these capacities he has made an invaluable contribution to the Canadian arts community by supporting emerging talent not only in theatre, but also in dance, opera, and the technical arts.

Awards and honours include Officer of the Order of Canada (2002); Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Award (2005); Alberta Order of Excellence (2002); Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts (2002); three Chalmers Canadian Play Awards; Gascon-Thomas Award for outstanding lifetime service to arts education in Canada (1998); honorary doctorate from the University of Calgary.