4 Cowichan performers take home Joey Awards

Belle (Alora Killam) sings about her love of books during the opening number of the Cowichan Musical Society’s production of ‘Beauty and the Beast’. She has now won a 2022 Joey Award for her performance. (Citizen file)Belle (Alora Killam) sings about her love of books during the opening number of the Cowichan Musical Society’s production of ‘Beauty and the Beast’. She has now won a 2022 Joey Award for her performance. (Citizen file)
Austin Friesen walks the red carpet at the 2022 Joey Awards in Vancouver. (Photo courtesy of Angela Friesen)Austin Friesen walks the red carpet at the 2022 Joey Awards in Vancouver. (Photo courtesy of Angela Friesen)
Austin Friesen won two Joey Awards, one for acting and one for filmmaking. (Photo courtesy of Angela Friesen)Austin Friesen won two Joey Awards, one for acting and one for filmmaking. (Photo courtesy of Angela Friesen)
Lily Killam won a Joey Award for her dance performance in Bye Bye Birdie. (Photo courtesy of Irwin Killam)
Lily Killam won a Joey Award for her dance performance in Bye Bye Birdie. (Photo courtesy of Irwin Killam)Lily Killam won a Joey Award for her dance performance in Bye Bye Birdie. (Photo courtesy of Irwin Killam) Lily Killam won a Joey Award for her dance performance in Bye Bye Birdie. (Photo courtesy of Irwin Killam)
Lily Killam won a Joey Award for her dance performance in Bye Bye Birdie. (Photo courtesy of Irwin Killam)
Alora Killam won two Joey Awards for 2022 in dance and musical theatre. (Photo courtesy of Irwin Killam)Alora Killam won two Joey Awards for 2022 in dance and musical theatre. (Photo courtesy of Irwin Killam)
Alora Killam and Owen Hogg won the Joey Award for Best Senior Dance Duo for jazz number “I Am Your Man”. (Photo courtesy of Irwin Killam)Alora Killam and Owen Hogg won the Joey Award for Best Senior Dance Duo for jazz number “I Am Your Man”. (Photo courtesy of Irwin Killam)

Four young Cowichan Valley performers and filmmakers have won Joey Awards for 2022.

Awards were handed out at a red carpet gala in Vancouver in November. The Joey Awards recognize young Canadian actors for their hard work and dedication to their craft.

Winners from Cowichan are Alora Killam, Lily Killam, Owen Hogg and Austin Friesen.

Alora Killam, 18, is well known locally for her work in a variety of musicals and dance shows. This year she won Best Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Belle in the Cowichan Musical Society’s production of Disney’s Broadway Beauty and the Beast. She also won for Best Senior Dance Duo with partner Owen Hogg for jazz number “I Am Your Man”, which dance show goers will recognize. Choreography of that winning piece was done by Kevin Mylrea.

Lily Killam also won a Joey for Best Senior Dance Solo in Musical Theatre for her portrayal of Rosie in Bye Bye Birdie.

Alora is studying musical theatre at Sheridan College, while Lily is dancing and auditioning for TV and film, and will be in the Cowichan Musical Society’s upcoming production of Shrek.

“Alora is extremely grateful to win this award, and she loved playing Bell as it’s one of her favourite characters,” said her mom Irwin Killam. “Alora said she also loved the cast and shares her award with all of them and the directoral team.”

“Lily is humbled by the award,” Irwin continued, saying Lily acknowledged all of the excellent dancers in her age group.

Austin Friesen took home not one, but two Joey Awards, one for his acting, and another for his behind the camera work.

He took home the award for Best Film Maker in a Short for ages 13 to 15.

Titled The Sock, his short can be found on IMDB and YouTube.

“It was exciting to have industry professionals recognize my efforts, and it has given me energy to continue exploring my passions of cinematography and editing while filming short movies,” Friesen said.

“This was a fun project to write and film for the 29 Takes Productions five minute film festival right in the middle of COVID mandates. We kept the crew light to keep it a safe set,” he said, describing the filming process.

Friesen, who is 15 now, but was just 13 when he made the film, is looking to the future.

“I look forward to working on more projects of my own as well as volunteering my time to help local film industry friends by doing editing, lighting and assisting with camera work,” he said.

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