The Rocket Prize Aims To Boost Children’s TV

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It’s been pointed out in several posts recently that we’re well into Awards season: The Grammy Awards, Oscars, Golden Globes, Razzies, SAG, Directors Guild…  It goes on and on.  Here’s one that’s just slightly different, though: the Rocket Prize, currently in its fifth year.  The "vision" of the award sounds a little lofty, as these things often do:

The Shaw Rocket Prize strives to enhance the Canadian children’s production industry by adding incentive for producers to continue to create innovative, high quality programming in Canada for Canadian children, heighten the profile of the Canadian children’s production industry and stimulate increased sales for the finalists.

But what it boils down to is an award of fifty grand ($50K Canadian) to one Canadian children’s television show, aimed at the youth market.  The twist on this is that it is actually children who determine which show gets the prize, via 800 students in grades 6,7 and 8, who choose the winner after evaluating the nominees as part of a classroom project.  While it would be easy to write this off as crass commercialism and TV invading the classroom, I don’t think it’s a bad thing for students to formally dissect a TV show and assess its worth based on aesthetic, cultural and visual factors.

Watch for the winner to be announced on May 6.  Past winners include Degrassi: The Next Generation (that would be 2005, the year that Kevin Smith made multiple appearances on the show).

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