MONTREAL, May 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - Canada's leading luxury jeweller Birks presented the first Birks Canadian Diamond, an award celebrating individuals whose professional accomplishments allow Canada to shine beyond our country's frontiers, last night during the Cannes Film Festival. The Birks Canadian Diamond's first recipients, actresses Emily Hampshire and Sarah Gadon, were awarded during Telefilm Canada's inaugural Tribute To Canadian Talent press event and reception. The Birks Canadian Diamond trophy is made of crystal, with a 3D etching of the BIRKS AMORIQUE DIAMOND, Birks' proprietary cut of diamond, which is exclusively available for diamonds mined in Canada. The beautiful trophy rests on a base made of Canadian cherry wood. "It is a great honour to present the first Birks Canadian Diamond to two young and successful Canadian actresses, Sarah Gadon and Emily Hampshire, who have both made their mark on the film industry with exceptional acting performances. Today their achievements bring them to the Cannes Film Festival as they both star in films selected by the Festival," says Jean-Christophe Bedos, President and CEO of Birks. "Sarah and Emily's talent can now be celebrated not only across Canada but around the planet. They are an asset to the Canadian film industry and help our country shine abroad." About Birks Birks was founded in 1879 and developed over the years into Canada's bridal and diamond reference. Today, the Company is the premier retailer, designer and manufacturer of fine jewellery, timepieces and gifts. Birks & Mayors is a leading retailer with 58 luxury jewellery stores in Canada and the United States: 31 stores operate under the Birks brand in most major markets in Canada and 24 stores under the Mayors brand in Florida and Georgia, two retail locations in Calgary and Vancouver under the Brinkhaus brand and one retail location in Orlando under the Rolex brand. Visit www.birks.com. PHOTOS AND VIDEOS ARE AVAILABLE ON REQUEST.