Everything about Awards, eh?

Academy announces Canadian Screen Award special award winners

From a media release:

The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television is pleased to announce six Academy Special Award winners for the 2016 CANADIAN SCREEN AWARDS: Ivan Fecan, This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Ana Serrano, Mark Starowicz, Karen Walton and the Performing Arts Lodges (PAL Canada).

Academy Board of Directors’ Tribute: Ivan Fecan
Ivan Fecan has been in the media industry over 40 years. Beginning at CBC Radio, he produced Quirks and Quarks, then went to Citytv, co-creating CityPulse News. In the 80’s, legendary NBC programmer Brandon Tartikoff recruited Ivan as VP Creative Affairs where he was the executive on such shows as SNL. Returning to Canada as Director of CBC TV Programming, then VP of English Television, he greenlit such programs as Kids in the Hall, Degrassi Junior High, Codco, This Hour has 22 Minutes, Air Farce, Road to Avonlea, Love and Hate, The Boys of St Vincent. In the 90’s, he became CEO of Baton Broadcasting (renamed CTVglobemedia). He acquired CTV, launched Sportsnet and the Comedy Network among others, bought TSN/RDS, Discovery, CP24, MuchMusic, Bravo, E!, and Space, won the rights for the Vancouver Olympics, overseeing the broadcasts. He greenlit Corner Gas, Flashpoint, Canadian Idol. Under his watch, CTV dominated the top 20. Currently Ivan is Executive Chair of Thunderbird Films, which is comprised of multiple production and distribution companies. Ivan, with his wife Sandra, are philanthropists who believe in giving back to the arts, making major gifts to York University’s Faculty of Fine Arts, the National Ballet, the AGO, the National Ballet School, and the Soulpepper Theatre Company, among others.

Academy Icon Award: This Hour Has 22 Minutes
This Hour Has 22 Minutes is an acclaimed, provocative Canadian satirical sketch/variety show that skewers politics, culture and world events. No story is off limits, and no personality too big for dynamic cast members Mark Critch, Cathy Jones, Shaun Majumder and Susan Kent to tackle. Politicians and celebrities frequently make guest appearances, some willingly … some not. Produced by DHX Media, 22 Minutes is currently in its 23rd season on CBC, and continues to be one of Canada’s best-known and top-rated comedy shows.

Digital Media Trailblazing Award Sponsored by the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC): Ana Serrano
Ana Serrano is the Chief Digital Officer of the Canadian Film Centre and Founder of CFC Media Lab, the world-renowned and award-winning institute for interactive storytelling created in 1997. Serrano is driving the digital transformation of the CFC into a unique blend of talent, product and company accelerator and creative production house. Most recently, she launched Canada’s first digital entertainment accelerator IDEABOOST with founding partners Shaw Media and Corus Entertainment. To date, Ana has directed the development of over 130 digital media projects, mentored over 50 start-ups, and has received numerous awards from the digital media, film, and theatre industries in both Canada and the U.S., including a DigiAward for Visionary of the Year, a Best Canadian Feature Film Award from the International Reel Asian Film Festival for her own transmedia production Prison Dancer: the Musical, and a Jim Blackaby Ingenuity Award for Body/Mind/Change.

Gordon Sinclair Award for Broadcast Journalism: Mark Starowicz
“There’s a persistent idea that Canadians aren’t interested in their own stories,” Mark Starowicz once said. “I’ve made a living proving that isn’t true.” The ultimate expression of Starowicz’s passion for Canadian history and culture is the 30-hour CBC documentary series Canada: A People’s History (2000-01), which he created and executive produced. It attracted over 14 million viewers and won three Gemini Awards. Mark Starowicz was raised in Montreal and graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor of Arts in History. He began his career in newspaper journalism, then joined CBC Radio in 1970, where he received particular acclaim for his reworking of As It Happens and his creation of Sunday Morning, a three-hour weekend review. In 1979, he joined CBC Television, where he was the architect and executive producer of the hugely successful current affairs and documentary program The Journal (1982-92). As Executive Producer of CBC’s Documentary Production Unit and later executive director of documentary programming, he oversaw The Greatest Canadian (2004), Hockey: A People’s History (2006), 8th Fire (2012), and a decade of acclaimed independent productions. Starowicz is an Officer of the Order of Canada, and has won the Canadian Journalism Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award, a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award, nine Gemini Awards and one Prix Gémeaux.

Margaret Collier Award (for Writing): Karen Walton
Karen Walton is an award-winning screenwriter and creative producer whose credits span an eclectic array of popular, critically-acclaimed and/or ground-breaking film and television works. To film lovers, she’s the sardonic scribe behind the international cult horror classic, Ginger Snaps. In television, she’s been in the earliest writing rooms for game-changing series such as gay culture classic Queer As Folk, and science fiction sensation Orphan Black. A graduate of the Canadian Film Centre’s Film and TV Writing programs, her other credits include the Gemini awarding-winning Mow script for the true rape-culture saga, The Many Trials Of One Jane Doe, biopic Heart: The Marilyn Bell Story and six other original drama series, Flashpoint, The Eleventh Hour, and The Listener among them. Her unique voice and dedication to social change through innovative content has won Karen a Canadian Comedy Award, a special jury citation from the Toronto International Film Festival, Canadian Screen Awards for Best Dramatic Series, and the Writers Guild of Canada’s Writers Block Award for outstanding contribution to the national screenwriting community. Born in Nova Scotia, 2016 marks Karen’s 22nd year living and writing in Toronto.

Humanitarian Award: Performing Arts Lodges (PAL Canada)
PAL Canada Foundation is a national charitable organization whose mandate is to create and encourage programs and services for senior and disadvantaged members and associates of Canada’s professional artists’ community, in the areas of affordable accommodation and overall well-being. PAL Canada Foundation supports 8 individual PAL chapters across the country: Halifax, Ottawa, Toronto, Stratford, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver. Each PAL chapter has its own unique requirements, which are defined by the needs of their local community. Depending on the chapter, the focus may be to provide and sustain quality affordable housing for seniors and/or challenged individuals within their professional and performing arts community. Alternatively, some chapters may not require accommodations, but do need support for their members. This support typically takes the form of a volunteer-driven team known as “Supporting Cast”, a group of volunteers who offer personal assistance to PAL members so that they can continue to lead independent lives in their own homes. These services may include assistance in dealing with community agencies and health care providers, rides to medical appointments or running errands. Supporting Cast also offers companionship and checks in with members who are on their own. Some chapters also organize group activities.

The Directors Guild of Canada Honours the Best in the Business at the 14th Annual DGC Awards

From a media release:

The Directors Guild of Canada handed out 19 awards tonight honouring the best work created by Members this past year in a star-studded, elegant event. Three special career acknowledgments were also handed out during the evening, including the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award to filmmaker David Cronenberg.

Arisa Cox and Sean Cullen co-hosted the Awards Gala which was held at The Carlu in Toronto.  Presenters included this country’s hardest working filmmakers and actors; Megan FollowsJerry CiccorittiJason PriestleyCatherine O’HaraHelen ShaverDan Levy to name just a few.

Below is a full list of the awards presented at the 2015 DGC Awards Gala:

Presented by Shaftesbury
David Cronenberg

Mark Reid

Presented by BellMedia
Peter Leitch

Presented by Deluxe
Charles Binamé – Elephant Song 

Presented by Panavision
Clement Virgo – The Book of Negroes 

Presented by William F. White International
Kari Skogland – Vikings, Blood Eagle 

Presented by Technicolor

Presented by Vanguarde Artists Management
The Book of Negroes

Presented by PS Production Services Ltd. and SIM Digital
Orphan Black, By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried

Open Heart, Last Things First 

Schitt’s Creek, Our Cup Runneth Over 

Presented by Rogers Group of Funds
Super Duper Alice Cooper

Made in Bali

Presented by Pinewood Toronto Studios
Carol Spier – Maps to the Stars

Jason Clarke – The Book of Negroes, Episode 5 

Brendan Smith – Schitt’s Creek, Our Cup Runneth Over

Michele Conroy – Pompeii

Susan Shipton – The Book of Negroes, Episode 6

Don Cassidy – Vikings, The Lord’s Prayer

Pompeii – Kevin BanksStephen BardenFred BrennanAlex BullickJ.R FountainRose GregorisKevin HowardJill PurdyTyler Whitham

The Book of Negroes, Episode 1 – Andrea CyrClaire DobsonMartin Gwynn JonesJoe MancusoDavid McCallumBrennan MercerBrent PickettDavid Rose

Vikings, The Choice – Andrew JablonskiDavid McCallumSteve MedeirosBrennan MercerDale SheldrakeJane TattersallRob Warchol

Comments and queries for the week of October 9

Academy announces host for Canadian Screen Awards

It’s interesting that many think that Andrea Martin is Canadian and Norm Macdonald is not. The reason: she works in Canada and can be seen doing Canadian talk shows, etc. Norm certainly doesn’t celebrate his nationality and only came back to work in Canada (a voice that could have been recorded from his sofa in L.A.) when his career dried up in the U.S. It seems all these Canadian-born people only come back to their home and native land when they can’t get work in their adopted country. Andrea Martin is more “Canadian” than many of these Canadian-born people. —Denis C.

Murdoch Mysteries frees Crabtree

The premiere episode was skillfully written with all the attention to detail that we have come to expect from this amazing show. The writers continue to keep us guessing as the plot unwinds. The characters continue to enthrall us and keep us so involved in their lives both on and off screen. Tonight’s episode kept us on the edge of our seats, smiling at the witty remarks and outright laughing at the “stupidity” as Giles put it of some of the criminals and sighing with contentment with Jilliam’s loving relationship. All in all, it was wonderful!! —Karen

Stellar Keeping Canada Alive brings depth and breadth to medical reality genre

In addition to a close-up look at our health care system, I thought it was a great show with a beautiful snapshot of humanity dealing with adversity. That being said, I found it almost too much at times and if that baby had died, I would have been out of there, fast!

I expected, but did not see, any analysis of what things cost or if we were meeting goals of wait times, etc. Did all that therapy, surgery and out patient stuff shown on the program cost the users anything? I’d like to know. I know there are big issues about the cost of medicine. For some people, drug costs can be a choice between life with poverty, or death.

Technical note: the “slide show” device, clicking between locations with the picture sliding out was annoying and over done. Whenever they did it, I heard myself say to the TV, “please stop that.”

Overall, though, it was an excellent program and I’ll tune in again. —Gary

Continuum blasts into its final season

I have always loved sci-fi movies and series, and Continuum is one of those TV shows or might as well be on the big screen that when you first see it your jaw drops! The sets in the future were so well done, the future cities, the traveling on air vehicles, every single detail has been given proper attention. I just picked up the series on Netflix, not sure why I never heard of it until now, on the shows’ final season year but I am glad I did. I think the show should have been more promoted; after all it’s rated five stars on Netflix. —Yodi


Got a question or comment about Canadian TV? Sound off greg@tv-eh.com or @tv_eh.

Academy Announces Host for Canadian Screen Awards

From a media release:

Comedian Norm Macdonald will host the Academy’s 2016 Canadian Screen Awards, live on CBC prime time on Sunday March 13, 2016, it was announced today by Helga Stephenson, CEO, Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television.

“Comedian Norm Macdonald has done brilliant stand-up comedy everywhere and on every show from Saturday Night Live to Just for Laughs, so we know how lucky we are to have him host our 2016 Canadian Screen Awards,” says Stephenson.

Norm Macdonald is perhaps best known for his five seasons as a cast member on Saturday Night Live (SNL). For three years Macdonald anchored Weekend Update, SNL’s longest running recurring sketch. Macdonald also wrote for the popular ABC sitcom Roseanne and starred in The Norm Show.

For the first time, the Canadian Screen Awards will be broadcast LIVE on CBC in the Eastern Time Zone, and live-to-tape across the country. The 2016 CSAs will return to the prestigious Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto, Ontario.

He Said/She Said: How about those Emmy nominations?

Join Greg and Diane every Monday as we debate what’s on our minds. This week, we dissect the Emmy nominations.

She Said:

OrphanOne of the biggest snubs of last year’s Emmys has been rectified this year: Tatiana Maslany got her first nomination as outstanding actress for her multitude of roles on Orphan Black. I hope they give her 7 statues if she wins. Long-running Degrassi — recently revived by Netflix and Family Channel after its cancellation by TeenNick and Bell — was nominated as outstanding children’s program.

That’s some great recognition for Canadian-made shows, when most years we have to be satisfied celebrating individuals who left the Canadian industry for the bright lights of Hollywood … not that there’s anything wrong with that. Go Michael J. Fox (The Good Wife), Semi Chellas (Mad Men), Jeremy Podeswa (Game of Thrones) and Jeff and Mychael Danna (Tyrant) for their nominations, too.

Besides the Canadian invasion, the most interesting trend in this year’s Emmys is how streaming services are threatening to become dominant in the same way cable started talking over broadcast series years ago. Netflix earned 34 nominations, including for Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Orange is the New Black, Bloodlines, House of Cards, Grace and Frankie, and Derek. Amazon snagged 12, mostly for Transparent, and even Yahoo was nominated for Community, the show they saved from an NBC cancellation.

In fact I feel unprepared to get excited about who was snubbed or what the surprises are in the nominations because after cutting the cable, the Netflix shows and The Good Wife are among the only non-Canadian shows I’m current with in my viewing. I’d love to see Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt win for comedy but I haven’t seen the current seasons of its competitors yet. Same with Orange is the New Black in the drama category. I was disappointed enough in this season of The Good Wife not to think it was snubbed, I think House of Cards is cheese wrapped in a prestigious package, but I haven’t seen the nominated seasons of the other series, even those that are must-watch shows for me. I’m waiting for them to appear on Netflix or I likely won’t bother.

Which makes a nice segue to a topic that’s been on my mind lately: the Canadian industry might want to figure out what to do about streaming services sooner rather than later. It’s possible broadband-delivered content isn’t just a fad.

He Said: 

As Diane has already said, a hearty “Woohoo!” to all of the Canadian nominees. Despite what some might think about the Canadian Screen Awards, it warms my heart to know we handed out hardware to Orphan Black and Tatiana Maslany before the U.S. has acknowledged the show’s greatness.

Property_BrosAnd a special shout-out to Jonathan and Drew Scott, who I left off my initial post announcing the Canadian Emmy nominees last week. They nabbed a nod in Outstanding Structured Reality Program for their long-running Property Brothers series.

As Diane has already pointed out, streaming services being nominated in the major categories has quickly gone from outrageous to commonplace, a reflection of how quickly everyone has adjusted to online broadcasters and the fact fantastic stuff comes out of those outlets.

I’m still on cable, so can attest that Mad Men and Better Call Saul deserve kudos for Outstanding Drama Series, though I felt Downton Abbey and Homeland have been on the downslope for the last couple of years. I’d have liked to have seen Justified added to the category because FX’s U.S. marshal series has gotten better with every passing year, including its final one. Likewise, I’m happy Louie and Modern Family received nominations for Outstanding Comedy Series. The Big Bang Theory was left off the list, opening the door for Silicon Valley, Parks and Recreation and the excellent Transparent to get some serious consideration.

I’m a big fan of veteran series and talent being rotated out of categories so that newer projects and people get the chance to shine, and there is a nice mix in the 2015 nominees. Take a look at the full list of nominees, put your Emmy pool together and prepare to cheer for the Canadians when the Primetime Emmy Awards air Sunday, Sept. 20, at 8 p.m. ET on CTV.