Tracey Bell Hosts The 2016 WIFTV Spotlight Awards

Award-winning corporate entertainer and celebrity impersonator Tracey Bell hosted and performed at the 2016 Spotlight Awards for Women in Film & Television Vancouver on June 20th, 2016.

Here is Tracey Bell’s recap of the 2016 Spotlight Awards for Women in Film & Television Vancouver and her experience as a host!

“Do whatever you like. You can’t lose.”

On June 20th, I hosted and performed at the WIFTV Spotlight Awards for the second time. Just like the last time, it was an honour!

Having hosted and performed at the 2014 WIFTV Spotlight Awards, I decided to change things up this time. First of all, I had to choose which numbers to perform and divas to impersonate. Should I start with a quick-change medley or Janis Joplin’s “Mercedes Benz”? I hadn’t impersonated Janis Joplin or Madonna the last time. I asked one of the organizers what I should do and she said, “Do whatever you like. You can’t lose.”

She was right.

Imagine a room filled with people who support and celebrate highly accomplished, talented, strong, inspiring, creative, generous, and diverse women. They showed their appreciation for my performances as Celine Dion, Cher, Marilyn Monroe, Liza Minnelli and other celebrities with unprecedented enthusiasm.

Audience participation went exceptionally well at the WIFTV Spotlight Awards in 2014. So I incorporated it in this year’s performances. When Gigi Saul Guerrero accepted her award for Artistic Achievement, her “Mexican Family” – as she calls them – went crazy with wild cheering. I brought them onstage to be in Janis Joplin’s band. Her father brought down the house with his fabulous rubber guitar solo.

During my Madonna impersonation, I introduced one of the presenters, only to discover that he wasn’t there. So I spontaneously entertained the group with “Vogue”. An amazing group of men from the audience performed along as Boy Toys.


Near the end of the WIFTV Spotlight Awards, winners in gowns and their friends danced on stage during my Cher impersonation.

“The speeches were the best I’ve ever heard.”

Have you seen Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch or Dr. Who or the cult classic Tank Girl? They were directed by this year’s Woman of the Year, Rachel Talalay. She’s a Director, Producer, Professor and Activist, as are many of the other award winners. Four of this year’s Award Recipients are Actors as well as Film Creators. As talented as these deserving winners were, their acceptance speeches were even better, perhaps the best I’ve ever heard. As a matter of fact, I would rate them above the Oscars or any of the dozens of Awards Shows I’ve been a part of.

Sarah Kalil, President of Women in Film & Television Vancouver, said the speeches are especially inspiring because the recipients love and support the incredible community that they are addressing. Here’s a transcript of Rachel Talay’s speech. I wish I had a video of her powerful presentation.

Some of the Women in Film & Television Vancouver award winners have received international recognition and awards. Even so, they still don’t get the same opportunities that their male colleagues receive. They’ve had to be better than most men in order to get where they are.

Two supportive men received awards. Walter Daroshin, President of Troika Productions, received the Honoured Friend Award. He listed numerous women he had worked with. He didn’t choose them because they were women; he chose them because they were the best people for the jobs. Claude Joli-Couer, Government Film Commissioner and NFB Chairperson, received a standing ovation after his moving acceptance speech. He announced that half of the National Film Board’s funding will go to films by women and used Justin Trudeau’s line, “Because it’s 2016”. This made his speech and announcement especially relevant.

“It was a lot of fun!”

I wasn’t the star of the Women in Film and Television Spotlight Awards. The stars were Mary Galloway, Mina Shum, Christine Larsen, Kailey Spear, Sam Spear, Kat Montagu, Emily Yakashira and Sabrina Furminger, and the others above.

What an incredible evening! It was a lot of fun!

Thank you, Women in Film & Television Vancouver!