My best advice to writers is get yourself born in an interesting place.”

-—Pierre Berton

Stephen Dunn | RICK MERCER
Stephen Dunn is a director and writer from St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. His award-winning filmography includes the short Life Doesn’t Frighten Me, which received the Tribeca Film Festival’s Student Visionary Award in 2013, and his feature debut, Closet Monster, named Best Canadian Feature Film at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, where it had its premiere.

Rick Mercer

2019 Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award (Broadcasting)

Rick Mercer has channelled his acerbic wit and keen insight into a career as one of Canada’s foremost political and social commentators. Renowned for his starring roles in the satirical TV shows “This Hour Has 22 Minutes,” “Talking to Americans,” “Made in Canada,” and “Rick Mercer Report,” he has built a loyal fan base eager to hear his views on everything from the shenanigans on Parliament Hill to homophobic bullying in schools. His work has consistently earned top ratings even as he challenged public discourse on important political and cultural issues with his outspoken and very Canadian humour.
Mr. Mercer was born in 1969 in St. John’s, Newfoundland. In 1993, he and fellow Newfoundland comedians Cathy Jones, Greg Thomey and Mary Walsh launched the weekly satirical news show “This Hour Has 22 Minutes.” In eight seasons on the award-winning CBC series, he honed his trademark confrontational style, primarily through his political rants in which he spoke directly to the camera while walking down a heavily graffitied city alley.
In “Talking to Americans” (2001), the highest-rated comedy special in CBC history, he satirized American ignorance of Canada by asking U.S. citizens to share their opinions about Canadian topics that were comically false.
He created, wrote and starred in “Made in Canada” (1998–2003), a sitcom about Canada’s film and television industry. It was followed by “Rick Mercer’s Monday Report,” later renamed “Rick Mercer Report” (1994–2018), which became the highest-rated arts and entertainment show on CBC.
Mr. Mercer is the author of four books of political monologues and essays, the most recent of which is entitled The Final Report (2018).
Among other philanthropic initiatives, he co-founded the Spread the Net anti-malaria campaign and supports the It Gets Better anti-bullying project for LGBTQ youth and Toronto’s Casey House, a hospital for people with HIV/AIDS.
Rick Mercer is an Officer of the Order of Canada and a recipient of the National Arts Centre Award (GGPAA) and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. His other awards and honours include 18 Gemini Awards, 10 Canadian Screen Awards, and honorary doctorates from 10 Canadian universities.