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press release: 2023 YMA Awards, WINNERS!

The Youth Media Alliance announced the winners of the 2023 Awards of Excellence during a live gala at CBC’s Glenn Gould Studio, hosted with style and wit by Anisha Joshi and Mercedes Gaztambide from CBC’s Street Cents, and directed by Aidan Cosgrave. Over 200 industry professionals attended to join the YMA in celebrating the best talent, passion and creativity of Canadian children’s and youth production professionals.

Congratulations to the winners of the 2023 Awards of Excellence:
Award of Excellence for Best Program, Live Action Non-Scripted (Preschool, Ages 3-5)
The Fabulous Show with Fay and Fluffy (I Love Where I Come From) – produced by Lopii Productions; aired on Family Jr.
– Award of Excellence for Best Program, Live Action Non-Scripted (Ages 6-9)
My Home, My Life! (My Up and Down Homes) – produced by Lopii Productions; aired on TVOkids
Award of Excellence for Best Program, Live Action Non-Scripted (Ages 9+)
Know Brainers (Overcoming fear – Monsters! Deadly heights! Basic swimming!) – produced by TVOKids; streamed on Youtube
Award of Excellence for Best Program, Live Action Scripted (Preschool, Ages 3-5)
Miss Persona (Love Every Moment / When You Miss Someone) – produced by Balloon House Productions; aired on Treehouse
Award of Excellence for Best Program, Live Action Scripted (Ages 6-9)
Endlings (Save Yourself) – produced by Sinking Ship Entertainment; aired on CBC
Award of Excellence for Best Program, Live Action Scripted (Ages 9+)
Take Note (Episode 106: Growth) – produced by Lambur Productions; aired on Family Channel
Award of Excellence for Best Program, Animation (Preschool, Ages 3-5)
Lucas the Spider (Lucas the Pirate) – produced by Fresh TV and Wexworks Media; aired on Family – Jr.Award of Excellence for Best Program, Animation (Ages 6+)
Daniel Spellbound (The Cheat Code) – produced by Boat Rocker and Industrial Brothers; streamed on Netflix
Award of Excellence for Best Program, Short Form Content (Preschool, Ages 3-5)
Maria Mini Explorer (Mini Maria’s Kitchen Catastrophe, Mini Maria’s Sand Castle Surprise, Mini Maria’s Bug Safari) – produced by Turtlebox Productions; streamed on Peacock Jr.
Award of Excellence for Best Program, Short Form Content (Ages 6+)
Run Jump Play – Stories from the Autism Spectrum (Jacob) – produced by Imagine Create Media; aired on TVO Kids and Knowledge Network
Award of Excellence for Best Gaming or Interactive Experience
Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum – Museum Maker – produced by 9 Story Media Group, Brown Bag Films and Relish Interactive; available on
Award of Excellence for Best Podcast
The Incredible Story of Afro-Canadians – produced by Sabine Daniel
Award of Excellence, Outstanding Youth Performer or Ensemble
All-Round Champion cast
Grand Prize
All-Round Champion – produced by marblemedia; aired on TVO

Outstanding Achievement Award: Marilyn Kynaston
Given for a distinguished career in youth production in Canada, this prestigious prize salutes the individual’s contributions to the industry, leadership skills, ability to innovate and inspire and career-long commitment to young Canadians
Marilyn Kynaston began her media career working in the distribution department of Forefront Entertainment before creating Picture Box Distribution, which sold factual, children and family series and movies. After years the company was sold to Sinking Ship Entertainment, Marilyn continued to focus on her relationships with European broadcasters working on catalogue sales, pre-sales, and co-productions as part of the Sinking Ship team.

Emerging Talent Award: Joan Digba
This award is given to a promising professional whose achievements have made them a rising star in children’s programming. This award encourages young creators and broadcast professionals to outdo themselves and, more importantly, to pursue a career in youth production.
Joan Digba is a Nigerian born, British bred Canadian. With a love for Sci-Fi and all things animated, she uses her multifaceted perspective to craft stories with imaginative visuals, rich world building, and emotionally connective moments.Since 2020, Joan has been associate producer for Sinking Ship Entertainment. She has written for Aunty B’s House (CBC Kids, Headspinner Productions), Jane (Apple TV, Sinking Ship Entertainment), and Beyond Black Beauty (Amazon, Sinking Ship Entertainment). The 2023 Awards of Excellence are made possible through the participation of our sponsors: Principal – CBC Kids; Prestige – Canada Media Fund, Shaw Rocket Fund, Sinking Ship Entertainment, Wildbrain, 9 Story Media Group, TELUS Fund; Excellence – Apartment 11 Productions, APTN, Bell Fund, CMPA, Epic Story Media, Fresh TV, Knowledge Network, Landslide Entertainment, marblemedia, Mustang Productions, TVOkids, Ottawa Film Office, Telefilm, and Sphere Media.

About Youth Media Alliance
The Youth Media Alliance (YMA) is an alliance of Canadian media professionals who support the
fostering, development & availability of quality, inclusive and meaningful Canadian content for
children and youth while celebrating its excellence. The YMA is a non-profit organization that
regroups corporations, individuals, and students of the industry. It pursues its mission of
encouraging high-quality content by presenting annual awards of excellence to the best
productions targeting young English- and French-speaking Canadian, offers ongoing training
tailored to the special needs of youth production professionals through workshops, seminars,
and special events, and offers annually different scholarships. Finally, Youth Media Alliance
advocates for the needs of Canada’s child and youth media consumers in matters of public

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