Will and Grace

Canadian-born actor Eric McCormack will receive the coveted NBC Universal Canada Award of Distinction for his outstanding career in broadcasting at this year’s Banff World Television Awards gala. Previous distinguished award winners include Paul Gross, Paul Haggis, Colm Feore, and Kim Cattrall.

Being held June 15, the Gala Awards ceremony is one of five high profile ceremonies taking place over the course of the Banff World Television Festival. Others include Entertainment & Drama categories (June 13), Non-Fiction & Youth categories (June 14), the Pilots Competition and nextMEDIA Banff Interactive Awards (June 16).

In addition to recognizing Mr. McCormack, individual awards will be presented at the gala to Ricky Gervais with the Sir Peter Ustinov Comedy Award and to William Shatner with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Eric is an amazing, talented actor whose hard work and acting skills know no bounds. His career success is something everyone in the industry greatly respects and he epitomizes everything this award represents,” says Peter Vamos, Executive Director of the Banff World Television Festival.

Best known for his memorable role as “Will Truman” in one of television’s finest sitcoms, Will & Grace, McCormack won an Emmy Award, a Screen Actors’ Guild Award and five Golden Globe nominations. In this dynamic role, McCormack played the gay best friend of Debra Messing’s character “Grace Adler” where he flexed his comedy skills and entertained everyone with his dry humour and charming wit.

In the four years since that series ended, McCormack has been a busy man. He starred in the critically acclaimed TNT series Trust Me, and in the Emmy-nominated mini-series The Andromeda Strain. He had a memorable turn on Law and Order: SVU last fall and has been recurring as Julia Louis Dreyfus’ new love on The New Adventures of Old Christine this season. McCormack will be spending this summer in Vancouver, where he lives part-time with wife Janet and their seven year old son, Finnigan, starring in a production ofGlengarry Glen Ross.

The Banff World Television Awards celebrate the culmination of an extraordinary year for the renowned Banff Program Competition. With over 800 submissions and 200 nominees selected from over 65 judging centres throughout the world, it is one of the industry’s most prestigious events, recognizing the brightest and best in international television.

The Banff World Television Festival is the world’s premiere television content creation event and annual forum for business and creative opportunities for those in television and new media. For the first time, the festival will run concurrently with nextMEDIA Banff, bringing together the television and digital media communities for a truly unique cross-platform event, offering unprecedented networking, face-to-face meetings, keynote speeches and pitching opportunities that reflect the growing convergence of television and digital media.