- Began his stage acting career in Canada while also helping to establish two theatres, including the Chester Summer Playhouse in the lobby of a Nova Scotia curling rink.
- Early roles in his television and movie career included a Little House on the Prairie episode and playing Henry Fonda's firefighting son in the film City on Fire.
- Won a Merritt Award (Nova Scotia theatre) in 2007 for Best Supporting Actor in Fool For Love and was nominated the following year for Best Direction in The Drawer Boy.
- Collected Dora Mavor Moore Awards (Doras) for Best Actor in In the Jungle of the Cities (1984) and for his portrayal of an aging Tennessee Williams in His Greatness (2011).
- Narrated several episodes of Nova on PBS, as well as all six episodes of the TV series The Sea Hunters.
- Recorded an audio book for Rockbound, a Frank Parker Day novel set on an island off Nova Scotia, Donat's birthplace.