Sucker Creek actor Cardinal wins Schellenberg award

Chris Clegg
For the Lakeside Leader

A Sucker Creek actor made famous for his role as Sgt. Davis Quinton on the award-winning TV series Corner Gas received a prestigious award Oct. 25 after branching off into other endeavours after the end of the show.

Lorne Cardinal, 56, is receiving the 6th annual August Schellenberg Award of Excellence from imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival.

The award is near and dear to Cardinal’s heart because Schellenberg, who passed away in 2013, was a mentor to him.

“He’s one of my heroes,” says Cardinal.

“It’s a tremendous honour to be recognized by his family and colleagues. I just try to emulate the standards he set.”

The August Schellenberg Award was created to honour the memory of the legendary actor, and the spirit of his work.

Cardinal, himself, is an award-winning actor, producer, and director with over 100 credits on stage and screen including the Corner Gas franchise, Kayak to Klemtu, Fargo, FBI: Most Wanted, Unintentional Mother, and more.

Cardinal worked closely with Schellenberg for the documentary Chasing Lear, which he remembers fondly.

“I worked with him many times,” says Cardinal, including Schellenberg’s last project in 2012.

“The last project he did was an all-native King Lear play [documentary] called Chasing Lear,” says Cardinal.

In the production, Cardinal does double-duty as both assistant director and the role of Duke of Albany.

“It appeared on the main stage at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.”

Cardinal is proud he was able to help Schellenberg realize his dream – one he had since 1967 – with the production of Chasing Lear.

“He expected you to be on time and be prepared. He had incredible respect for everyone around him. He was a wonderful human being.”

Cardinal has enjoyed much success after Corner Gas, due in part to his many talents and driving desire to succeed.

“You have to diversify yourself in this industry,” says the producer, director and actor.

Still, he prefers acting, then directing.

“When I get a chance to act, it’s a good day.”

Cardinal still keeps in touch with many members of Corner Gas while in production of Corner Gas Animated, now in its third season, with the exception of Janet Wright, however, who passed away in 2016. Cardinal says the cast is awaiting word if production on Season 4 will begin.

He is proud of his work on the show Molly of Denali, which won a Peabody Award in the Children’s/Youth category in 2020.

“It’s for 4-10-year-olds,” says Cardinal and features 15-minute episodes.
Cardinal provides the voice of Grandpa Nat.

Thirty-eight half-hours have been produced, and a 50-minute special episode is upcoming.

Cardinal has appeared on FBI: Most Wanted, a show produced by Dick Wolf, who produced the famous Law and Order.

Cardinal remembers receiving a phone call from his American agent asking him to be part of the show. As the story goes, they saw Cardinal’s demo tape, liked what they saw and the rest is history.

His list of credits are too numerous to mention. Today, Cardinal and his wife own Through and Thru Films.

“We do movie items,” says Cardinal, adding several ideas are in the works. Stay tuned!

It’s all part of the busy life Cardinal enjoys.

“Instead of waiting around for stuff you create your own shows,” says Cardinal.

Full speed ahead, he says, “is the only way to go.”

“Good things happen [when you work],” he adds. “That’s the most wonderful thing. You meet all these creative people.

“Work hard and you will succeed,” he advises aspiring youth. “Be a prima donna and you won’t go anywhere.”

imagineNATIVE will take place online Oct. 20-25, from Toronto with work from over 150 Indigenous artists from around the world. Cardinal has appeared in many films at the festival over the past 21 years.

Lorne Cardinal

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