The Gemini Humanitarian Award is presented to an individual for their exceptional contributions and commitments to community and public service outside the Canadian television industry.
A performer, director, playwright, and teacher, Ms. Coghill was the driving force, with co-founder Jane Heyman, behind PAL Vancouver, and the spokesperson for the organization’s fundraising initiatives. Founded in 2001, PAL Vancouver provides affordable housing to performers and other industry participants while encouraging creative growth and development through strong intergenerational relationships.
UBCP’s Acting President Jackson Davies states “As the Premier of this Province once said - you can’t say no to Joy. Seven years ago I got a phone call from Joy and 20 minutes later I was the Capital Campaign Chairmen of PAL - you can’t say no to Joy. Today I was congratulating her on her well deserved Gemini Humanitarian Award. Joy's commitment to the artist community is legendary, but she said “you don’t have to say anything about me, just make sure people know that PAL still needs their financial support.” So I just did, because - you can’t say no to Joy.”
Born in Saskatchewan in 1926, Ms. Coghill’s extensive career includes countless credits as a performer, director, playwright and teacher. She is a visionary and tireless leader who, for the past seven years, has dedicated her energy to transforming the Performing Arts Lodge (PAL) Vancouver from a dream into a reality; an uphill battle which required the participation and cooperation of three levels of government - performing arts unions; countless philanthropists and supporters.
Ms. Coghill is the recipient of numerous awards for her contribution to the Performing Arts, including the Order of Canada, and the 2002 Governor General's Performing Arts Award, the 2005 Union of B.C. Performers John Juliani Award of Excellence, and the 2005 Vancouver Arts Award (Performing Arts). She is the recipient of four Jessie Awards and holds Honorary Doctorates from both Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia.
Previous Gemini Humanitarian Award recipients include:
Susan Hay, Gord Martineau, Tom Jackson, Beverly Thomson, Royal Canadian Air Farce, George Robertson, Max Keeping, Wendy Crewson and Donald Martin.
The Union of British Columbia Performers (UBCP/ACTRA) is an autonomous branch of ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists), the national organization of professional performers working in the English-language recorded media in Canada. ACTRA represents the interests of 21,000 members across Canada - the foundation of Canada's highly acclaimed professional performing community.