Tennille Day Chief (photo submitted)

Innisfail woman starts Alberta’s first awards for young talent

The MICs to be held next month in Calgary

Kids in the entertainment industry should be recognized for their talent and dedication, says an Innisfail woman who’s launching Alberta’s first awards for pint-sized artists.

Maggie Hewitt, along with her grandson Jase Nelson, have formed a non-profit society that will hold the first-annual international youth awards ceremony called The MICS on May 27 at Calgary’s Coast Plaza Hotel.

Some 240 young people from across North America have been nominated in 128 categories that encompass different age groups in film, TV, videos, web serials, commercials, live theatre, music and visual arts. The performances include stunt work (including at rodeos) and voice-overs, as well as acting, singing, dancing, etc.

Hewitt believes it’s high time creative children, ages three to 20, were officially honoured by a jury. She doesn’t believe competing for a trophy at The MICS will put undue pressure on youngsters. “This will empower them… I think they’re just thrilled to be nominated. When somebody wins, everybody will be happy for them,” she added.

Her grandson, Nelson, is no stranger to awards. The 14-year-old singer/songwriter has performed at over 80 venues throughout Alberta and the U.S., including Nashville Spotlight and Action on Film in Los Angeles. His music video Waking Up has been nominated in 15 film festivals. He’s also been a winner The Wall of Stars and the Joey Awards in Vancouver, and has seven songs on iTunes.

Nelson and his sister, Jimi Nelson, are nominated for MICS, respectively for best male performance in a music video and best female visual artist.

Among the other nominees are two sisters from Big Valley — Alearra and Tennille Day Chief, who have appeared in indie movies, shorts, TV projects, CBC broadcasts.

Their mother, Crystal Day Chief, said she’s proud of her girls, and all the other young performers in Alberta. “They don’t have any other award shows here for youth. The only other ones are in Vancouver and Toronto.”

Young performers will be treated to a red-carpet experience at The MICs’ black-tie gala in Calgary. Hewitt said proceeds from the $150 ticket price for the ceremony/dinner/dance will go towards starting a scholarship for youngsters needing financial help to advance their careers at workshops, etc.

For more information about the awards, please visit www.themics.ca.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

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