Everything about Awards, eh?

Hits and misses: The 2018 Canadian Screen Awards nominees

First of all, a hearty congratulations to everyone who has been nominated for a 2018 Canadian Screen Award. I’ve spoken to many of you over the years and basked in both your kindness and awesome skills whether you work in front of or behind the camera.

I believe the Canadian Screen Awards are as important and justified in their existence as the Golden Globe Awards, Primetime Emmys and BAFTA awards; and with that comes the scrutiny that befalls the Academy and the nominations it puts forth every year. What does that mean? I poke, prod and peruse the television categories and scrutinize every decision the Academy has made with regard to the 2018 television nominations.

Here are my thoughts on several of the key categories. Let me know your own thoughts in the comments section below!

Best Drama Series

  • 19-2
  • Anne
  • Mary Kills People
  • Pure
  • Vikings

I’m thrilled to see 19-2, Anne, Mary Kills People and Pure all in this category. Each represents unique storytelling, characters that are interesting and push the boundaries of what we view as heroes and villains. I’m especially tickled that Pure is here because I think what creator Michael Amo, director Ken Girotti and stars Ryan Robbins, Alex Paxton-Beesley, A.J. Buckley and Peter Outerbridge did was really special. That said, I’d rather have seen Vikings replaced by X Company or Travelers. Both of those programs—X Company in its last and Travelers in its first—provided more engaging stories than Vikings did and in more creative ways. Honourable mention: Hard Rock Medical, which manages to jam twisting, dramatic storylines into a mere 22 minutes of airtime.


Best Comedy Series

  • Letterkenny
  • Workin’ Moms
  • Nirvanna the Band the Show
  • Michael: Every Day
  • Kim’s Convenience

Letterkenny continues its journey to being one of the greatest Canadian comedies of all time while breaking new ground being a Crave TV original. Workin’ Moms was simply fantastic in its debut season, Kim’s Convenience is stellar and Michael: Every Day was a comic gem that I’m glad CBC revisited. I simply don’t get Nirvanna the Band the Show. I’ve tried to watch it several times and couldn’t stick with it. Maybe it’s because I’m in my forties and it’s not for my demographic. To me, Mohawk Girls deserved to be in that final spot. Co-created by Tracey Deer (who received a well-deserved nomination for her directing) and Cynthia Knight, Mohawk Girls effectively delivered laughs and tears while telling the tale of four women negotiating life, love and what it means to be a member of the First Nations today.


Best Sketch Comedy Program or Series

  • The Beaverton
  • Baroness Von Sketch Show
  • Rick Mercer Report
  • This Hour Has 22 Minutes

I have no issues with this category. Let’s move on.


Best Reality Competition Series

  • The Amazing Race Canada
  • The Bachelorette Canada
  • Big Brother Canada
  • MasterChef Canada
  • Top Chef Canada

If this category has proved anything, it’s that we’re able to successfully create homegrown versions of proven international reality competition series and nab large audiences for them. Now it’s time to create our own concepts like CBC’s Crash Gallery and CTV’s The Launch; I expect to see the latter nominated in this category next year.


Best Limited Series or Program

  • Cardinal
  • Alias Grace
  • The Disappearance
  • The Kennedys: After Camelot
  • Bruno & Boots: This Can’t Be Happening at MacDonald Hall

Holy crap is this a stacked category. All are worthy of being here both for the writing, acting, directing and production values. My murder and mayhem-loving heart is filled with love for Cardinal, The Disappearance and Alias Grace. The pleasant surprise for me is Bruno & Boots which deserves to be here. The tone may different from the other four but that’s what makes it so exciting to see that project here. I’d love it if Bruno & Boots won.


Best Lead Actress, Comedy

  • Annie Murphy, Schitt’s Creek
  • Catherine Reitman, Workin’ Moms
  • Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek
  • Andrea Bang, Kim’s Convenience
  • Jean Yoon, Kim’s Convenience

Another category jammed with bona fide, worthy winners. All are strong women in real life and on the small screen. Andrea Bang and Jean Yoon have created something truly special via Janet and Umma’s relationship, especially in the second season. I wish a sixth name could be added to this list and that it was Dani Kind’s. Her portrayal of Anne Carlson on Workin’ Moms has been a revelation. I’m still marvelling at how a character like Anne can struggle with connecting with her two children, worry the nanny is stealing her family away and decide to have an abortion … and make the situation alternately heartbreaking and hilarious.


Best Lead Actor, Comedy

  • Gerry Dee, Mr. D
  • Jared Keeso, Letterkenny
  • Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Kim’s Convenience
  • Eugene Levy, Schitt’s Creek
  • Daniel Levy, Schitt’s Creek

I agree with all the names on this list and don’t envy the Academy for having to choose a winner.


Best Lead Actress, Drama Series

  • Amybeth McNulty, Anne
  • Caroline Dhavernas, Mary Kills People
  • Jennie Raymond, Sex & Violence
  • Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
  • Meaghan Rath, Rogue

I have not, I must confess, watched Sex & Violence or Rogue, so I’m kind of out of my element here. Still, that doesn’t mean I can’t have an opinion. McNulty’s portrayal of Anne Shirley re-created the character for a whole new generation of Anne of Green Gables fans. She certainly won me over. Caroline Dhavernas was great in Season 1 of Mary Kills People (I think she’s even better in the two episodes I’ve seen of Season 2) and Tatiana Maslany is, well, frigging Tatiana Maslany. If I could suggest a couple of other names for this category they would be Melissa O’Neil for Dark Matter and Hannah John-Kamen for Killjoys. Both were kicking ass and taking names in their sci-fi series while showing sensitivity and humour throughout. And yes, I’m still pissed Dark Matter was cancelled. Thanks for asking.


Best Lead Actor, Drama Series

  • Brian Markinson, The Romeo Section
  • Richard Short, Mary Kills People
  • Christopher Heyerdahl, Van Helsing
  • Alexander Ludwig, Vikings
  • Shawn Doyle, Bellevue

Brian Markinson was so, so good in Season 2 of The Romeo Section; I’m thrilled he got a nod here. Rather than swap a name out, I’d like to add one: Shaun Johnston. His Grandpa Jack on Heartland has been through a lot over the past several years but he’s always been the rock everyone could lean on. In this past season of Heartland, Jack was called upon to help run the ranch while being there for Georgie and Amy, especially when Ty was away in Mongolia. Those storylines called on Johnston to do some major heavy lifting and he shouldered it with no problems at all. Honourable mention to X Company‘s Jack Laskey who was so fantastic as Alfred Graves in the historical drama’s final season.


Best Lead Actress, Drama Program or Limited Series

  • Sarah Gadon, Alias Grace
  • Maxim Roy, Bad Blood
  • Karine Vanasse, Cardinal
  • Camille Sullivan, The Disappearance
  • Hélène Joy, Murdoch Mysteries: Home for the Holidays

Honestly, how can you pick a winner out of this group of wide-ranging and fantastic characters?! That said, the Murdoch Mysteries fan in me is pissed Hélène Joy is nominated in this category rather than Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series. Shaftesbury, the show’s production company, put the Christmas special up for consideration in this category AND the show up for Best Drama Series, so I guess the Academy decided she was a better fit here?


Best Lead Actor, Drama Program or Limited Series

  • Kim Coates, Bad Blood
  • Edward Holcroft, Alias Grace
  • Billy Campbell, Cardinal
  • Alan Thicke, It’s Not My Fault and I Don’t Care Anyway
  • Yannick Bisson, Murdoch Mysteries: Home for the Holidays

Again, a stunning group of actors in this category and my same complaint for the previous category goes here: what the hell is Yannick Bisson doing here and not in the major Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series?!

The Canadian Screen Awards Broadcast gala airs live Sunday, March 11 at 8 p.m. on CBC.

 

 

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Cardinal, Letterkenny and Kim’s Convenience top 2018 Canadian Screen Award nominees

Cardinal, Alias Grace, Murdoch Mysteries, Mary Kills People, Letterkenny, Workin’s Moms, Kim’s Convenience and The Disappearance—and many of those in the projects’ casts—are among the nominees for 2018 Canadian Screen Awards.

The announcement was made Tuesday morning at The Globe and Mail Centre in Toronto with Kim’s Convenience‘s Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Cardinal‘s Karine Vanasse and Rise host Sarain Fox serving as hosts.

Here are the nominations in the key television categories. Here is a link to the full list of nominations.

Best Drama Series

  • 19-2
  • Anne
  • Mary Kills People
  • Pure
  • Vikings

Best Comedy Series

  • Letterkenny
  • Workin’ Moms
  • Nirvanna the Band the Show
  • Michael: Every Day
  • Kim’s Convenience

Best Variety or Sketch Comedy Series

  • The Beaverton
  • Baroness Von Sketch Show
  • Rick Mercer Report
  • This Hour Has 22 Minutes

Best Reality Competition Series

  • The Amazing Race Canada
  • The Bachelorette Canada
  • Big Brother Canada
  • MasterChef Canada
  • Top Chef Canada

Best Limited Series or Program

  • Cardinal
  • Alias Grace
  • The Disappearance
  • The Kennedys: After Camelot
  • Bruno & Boots: This Can’t Be Happening at MacDonald Hall

Best Children’s or Youth Program or Series

  • The Next Step
  • Odd Squad
  • Degrassi: Next Class
  • L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables Fire & Dew

Best Lifestyle Program or Series

  • Dead Set on Life
  • Property Brothers
  • The Goods
  • Backyard Builds
  • Great Canadian Homes

CBC

Best Lead Actress, Comedy

  • Annie Murphy, Schitt’s Creek
  • Catherine Reitman, Workin’ Moms
  • Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek
  • Andrea Bang, Kim’s Convenience
  • Jean Yoon, Kim’s Convenience

Best Lead Actor, Comedy

  • Gerry Dee, Mr. D
  • Jared Keeso, Letterkenny
  • Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Kim’s Convenience
  • Eugene Levy, Schitt’s Creek
  • Daniel Levy, Schitt’s Creek

Best Lead Actress, Drama Series

  • Amybeth McNulty, Anne
  • Caroline Dhavernas, Mary Kills People
  • Jennie Raymond, Sex & Violence
  • Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
  • Meaghan Rath, Rogue

Best Lead Actor, Drama Series

  • Brian Markinson, The Romeo Section
  • Richard Short, Mary Kills People
  • Christopher Heyerdahl, Van Helsing
  • Alexander Ludwig, Vikings
  • Shawn Doyle, Bellevue

Best Lead Actress, Drama Program or Limited Series

  • Sarah Gadon, Alias Grace
  • Maxim Roy, Bad Blood
  • Karine Vanasse, Cardinal
  • Camille Sullivan, The Disappearance
  • Helene Joy, Murdoch Mysteries: Home for the Holidays

Best Lead Actor, Drama Program or Limited Series

  • Kim Coates, Bad Blood
  • Edward Holcroft, Alias Grace
  • Billy Campbell, Cardinal
  • Alan Thicke, It’s Not My Fault and I Don’t Care Anyway
  • Yannick Bisson, Murdoch Mysteries: Home for the Holidays

Best Performance, Sketch Comedy (Individual or Ensemble)

  • Baroness Von Sketch Show
  • Rick Mercer Report
  • The Beaverton
  • This Hour Has 22 Minutes

Best Performance, Children’s or Youth

  • Ella Ballentine, L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables Fire & Dew
  • Amanda, Arcuri, Degrassi: Next Class
  • Michela Luci, Dino Dan
  • Akiel Julien, The Next Step
  • Anna Cathcart, Odd Squad

 

The Canadian Screen Awards Broadcast gala airs live Sunday, March 11 at 8 p.m. on CBC.

Which shows and actors/actresses are you hoping will win big at the Canadian Screen Awards? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

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The 16th Annual ACTRA Awards in Toronto nominees

From a media release:

ACTRA Toronto is very proud to announce the nominees for the 16th Annual ACTRA Awards inToronto, a celebration of the 75thanniversary of ACTRA. The ACTRA Awards in Toronto will take place at The Carlu on Saturday, February 24, 2018.

Nominees for Outstanding Performance – Female:
Kristin BoothEthel Kennedy in The Kennedys After Camelot, Episode 1 (Muse Entertainment Enterprises)
Sarah Gadon — Grace in Alias Grace, Episode 6 (Halfire Entertainment)
Sheila McCarthy — Hagge in Martin’s Hagge (Dog-Eared Productions)
Tatiana Maslany — Fran in Apart from Everything (Mutual Friends Films)
Tatiana Maslany — Various in Orphan Black, “To Right the Wrongs of Many” (Temple Street Productions)

Nominees for Outstanding Performance – Male:
Richard Clarkin — Morgan in The Drawer Boy (Open City Works)
Stuart Hughes — Angus in The Drawer Boy (Open City Works)
Paul Sun-Hyung Lee — Appa in Kim’s Convenience, “Hapkido” (Thunderbird Entertainment)
Tony NappoQuinn Diaz in Split Seconds (Toronto 48 Hour Film Project)
Ronnie Rowe Jr. — Black Cop in Black Cop (Blac Op Films)

Nominees for Outstanding Performance – Voice:
David Berni — Hector in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, “Inventor Code” (DHX Media)
Saara Chaudry — Parvana in The Breadwinner (Aircraft Pictures)
Cory Doran — Donny in 3 Amigonauts, “May the 4th Amigonaut be with You” (9 Story Media Group)
Colin Doyle — Bill in Fangbone“, “The Bill of Magic” (Radical Sheep Productions)
Carter Hayden — Klaus in Hotel Transylvania, “Becoming Klaus” (Nelvana Limited)

The nominees for the outstanding performance awards are chosen by a jury of ACTRA Toronto performers.

Nominees for the Members’ Choice Series Ensemble award are:
Baroness Von Sketch Show (Frantic Films)
Kim’s Convenience (Thunderbird Entertainment)
Murdoch Mysteries (Shaftesbury)
Orphan Black (Temple Street Productions)
Schitt’s Creek (Not a Real Company)

Nominees for the ACTRA Toronto Stunt Award are:
Hubert Boorder & Max White (joint nominees)
Shara Kim
Angelica Lisk-Hann
Chris Mark & James Mark (joint nominees)
John Stead

The winner of the 2018 ACTRA Toronto Stunt Award will be decided by a vote of ACTRA Toronto’s stunt community.

ACTRA Toronto performer Tamara Podemski will present her sister Jennifer Podemski with the Award of Excellence.

The show will be hosted by Colin Mochrie, written by Diana Frances, with live music by God Made Me Funky. Following the lead of #TIMESUP, the dress code will be black.

The ACTRA Awards in Toronto are sponsored this year by: Diamond: AFBS. Platinum: ACTRA National & PRS, Bell Media, SAG-AFTRA. Gold: CBC, CMPA, Deluxe, FirstOntario Credit Union, HUB International, IATSE 873, USW. Silver: Cavalluzzo, DGC Ontario, Don Carmody Productions, RBC, Take 5 Productions. Bronze: Addenda Capital, Creative Arts Savings & Credit Union, Entertainment Partners Canada Inc. and Canada Film Capital, Grant Thornton, NABET 700-M UNIFOR, New Real Films, Serendipity Point Films, Thunderbird Films, Universal Promotions, WGC, Whizbang Films. Post-Show Reception: eOne

ACTRA Toronto is the largest organization within ACTRA, representing over 15,000 of Canada’s 23,000 professional performers working in recorded media in Canada. As an advocate for Canadian culture since 1943, ACTRA is a member-driven union that continues to secure rights and respect for the work of professional performers.

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2017 Directors Guild of Canada awards winners announced

From a media release:

The DGC is delighted to announce the winners of the 2017 DGC Awards. There were over 300 submissions this year in both film and television from across the country. 

The Awards were presented at the annual event on Saturday, October 28, 2017 at the historic Carlu in Toronto. Hosted by Mary Walsh, the evening was punctuated by special presentations to director Don Shebib and Quebec DGC Member Anne Sirois. The presenters for the evening were all female directors working in the industry today and represent the diverse voices at work in Canada. 

The 2017 DGC Discovery Award was presented to emerging filmmaker Wayne Mapeemukwa for his film Luk’Luk’ I. His film was selected by a jury of filmmakers:   Stephen Dunn, Chloé Leriche, Kevan Funk, Johnny Ma and Ashley McKenzie.  

DGC LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Don Shebib

DON HALDANE DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD
Anne Sirois

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN FEATURE FILM
Presented by Technicolor
Bruce McDonald – Weirdos

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN MOVIES FOR TELEVISION AND MINI-SERIES
Presented by deluxe
Holly Dale – Mary Kills People

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMATIC SERIES
Presented by Panavision
Helen Shaver – Vikings

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY SERIES
Presented by SIM Group
Aleysa Young – Baroness Von Sketch Show 

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN FAMILY SERIES
Presented by William F. White
Dean Bennett – Heartland

ALLAN KING AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN DOCUMENTARY
Presented by Rogers Group of Funds
All Governments Lie:  Truth, Deception and the Spirit of I.F. Stone – Fred Peabody 

BEST PICTURE EDITING – DOCUMENTARY
Jim Munro – All Governments Lie:  Truth, Deception and The Spirit of I.F. Stone 

BEST SHORT FILM (tie)
Gatekeeper
Tuesday 10:08 A.M.

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN – FEATURE FILM
Presented by Pinewood Toronto Studios
Awakening the Zodiac – Lisa Soper

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN – MOVIES FOR TELEVISION AND MINI-SERIES
Presented by Vanguarde Artists Management
Rob Gray – Cardinal

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN – TELEVISION SERIES
John Dondertman – Orphan Black, Human Raw Material

BEST PICTURE EDITING – FEATURE FILM
Ron Sanders/Sandy Pereira – Mean Dreams

BEST PICTURE EDITING – MOVIES FOR TELEVISION AND MINI-SERIES
Teresa De Luca – Cardinal

BEST PICTURE EDITING – TELEVISION SERIES
Donald Cassidy – Vikings – In the Uncertain Hour Before the Morning

BEST SOUND EDITING – FEATURE FILM
Ratchet & Clank – Nelson Ferreira, J.R. Fountain, Dashen Naidoo, John D. Smith

BEST SOUND EDITING – MOVIES FOR TELEVISION AND MINI-SERIES
Cardinal – Claire Dobson, Nelson Ferreira, Paul Germann, David McCallum, Jane Tattersall

BEST SOUND EDITING – TELEVISION SERIES
Vikings, The Last Ship – Claire Dobson, Andrew Jablonski, David McCallum, Steve Medeiros, Brennan Mercer, Dale Sheldrake, Jane Tattersall

 

 

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