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TV,eh? What's up in Canadian television

2017 Directors Guild of Canada awards nominees announced

From a media release:

The DGC is pleased to announce the 2017 DGC Awards nominees. There were over 300 submissions this year and the nominees represent a diverse selection of the industry’s outstanding talent working in this country.

The Awards will be presented at the annual Gala on Saturday, October 28, 2017 at The Carlu in Toronto. Hosted by Mary Walsh with special guests soon to be announced, the 16th edition of the DGC Awards promises to be a special one. The evening will feature a Nominees’ reception prior to the Awards ceremony.

Nominees for the annual DGC Discovery Award will be announced in early fall. The list of nominees will be made up of Directors poised to make their mark as filmmakers.

DGC LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Presented by Shaftesbury
Don Shebib

DON HALDANE DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD
Anne Sirois

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN FEATURE FILM
Presented by Technicolor

  • Erik Canuel – Undercover GrandpaBruce McDonald – Weirdos
  • Bruce McDonald – Weirdos
  • Nathan Morlando – Mean Dreams
  • Kim Nguyen – Two Lovers and a Bear
  • Jonathan Wright – Awakening the Zodiac

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN MOVIES FOR TELEVISION AND MINI-SERIES
Presented by deluxe

  • Holly Dale – Mary Kills People, Episode 102, The River Styx
  • Daniel Grou – Cardinal, Part 5
  • J.J. Johnson – Odd Squad: The Movie
  • Michel Poulette – Serialized

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMATIC SERIES
Presented by Panavision

  • Ken Girotti – Pure, Episode 101, Ordination
  • Robert Lieberman – The Expanse, Episode 106, Rock Bottom
  • Helen Shaver – Vikings, Episode 405, Promised
  • David Wellington – Orphan Black, Episode 405, Human Raw Material

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY SERIES
Presented by SIM Group

  • James Genn – Kim’s Convenience, Episode 108, Best BeforeDon McKellar – Michael: Everyday, Hodophobia, Part 1
  • Don McKellar – Michael: Everyday, Hodophobia, Part 1
  • Dawn Wilkinson – Kim’s Convenience, Episode 104, Frank and Nayoung
  • Aleysa Young – Baroness Von Sketch Show, Episode 104, If the Killer is Watching

OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN FAMILY SERIES
Presented by William F. White

  • Dean Bennett – Heartland, Episode 1009
  • A Horse with No Rider Stefan Brogren – Degrassi: Next Class, Episode 310, #Imsleep
  • Phil Earnshaw – Degrassi: Next Class, Episode 308, #IRegretNothing
  • J.J. Johnson – Annedroids, Episode 311, The Mother of Invention

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
  • The Apology – Tiffany Hsiung
  • Gun Runners – Anjali Nayar
  • Quebec My Country, Mon Pays – John Walker

BEST PICTURE EDITING – DOCUMENTARY

  • Cathy Gulkin – Where the Universe Sings: The Spiritual Journey of Lawren Harris
  • Danielle Hebscher – Protected Workshop 19 (Taller protegido 19)
  • Jim Munro – All Governments Lie: Truth, Deception and The Spirit of I.F. Stone
  • Jeff Warren – Quebec My Country Mon Pays

BEST SHORT FILM

  • Gatekeeper
  • Motherland
  • Tuesday 10:08 A.M.
  • Victory Square

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN – FEATURE FILM
Presented by Pinewood Toronto Studios

  • Tim Bider – Unless
  • Shane Boucher/Lisa Soper – The Blackcoat’s Daughter
  • Rocco Matteo – Undercover Grandpa
  • Awakening the Zodiac – Lisa Soper

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

  • Jean Bécotte – Brace for ImpactRob Gray – Cardinal, partie 1
  • Rob Gray – Cardinal, partie 1
  • Doug McCullough – The Swap
  • Oleg Savytski – ARQ

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN – TELEVISION SERIES

  • Gordon Barnes – Frontier, Episode 101 – A Kingdom Unto Itself
  • John Dondertman – Orphan Black, Human Raw Material
  • Ian Hall – Sensitive Skin, Episode 202
  • Rupert Lazarus – Shoot the Messenger, Episode 1, Beginner’s Luck

BEST PICTURE EDITING – FEATURE FILM

  • Mark Arcieri – Awakening the ZodiacRon Sanders/Sandy Pereira – Mean Dreams
  • Ron Sanders/Sandy Pereira – Mean DreamsDuff Smith – Weirdos
  • Duff Smith – Weirdos
  • Dev Singh – Milton’s Secret

BEST PICTURE EDITING – MOVIES FOR TELEVISION AND MINI-SERIES

  • Duncan Christie – The SwapTeresa De Luca – Cardinal, Part 1
  • Teresa De Luca – Cardinal, Part 1Roslyn Kalloo – Mary Kills People, Episode 102
  • Roslyn Kalloo – Mary Kills People, Episode 102Kye Meechan – ARQ
  • Kye Meechan – ARQ

BEST PICTURE EDITING – TELEVISION SERIES

  • Geoff Ashenhurst – Penny Dreadful, Episode 9, The Blessed Dark
  • Donald Cassidy – Vikings – Episode 414, In the Uncertain Hour Before the Morning
  • Christopher Donaldson – Penny Dreadful, Episode 301, The Day Tennyson Died
  • Jay Prychidny – Orphan Black, Episode 406, The Scandal of Altruism

BEST SOUND EDITING – FEATURE FILM

  • Awakening the Zodiac – Emilie Boucek, Mark Dejczak
  • The Blackcoat’s Daughter – Allan Fung, Jesse Gillingham, Richard Harkness, Melissa Hinton
  • Mean Dreams – Tom Bjelic, Mark Dejczak, Nathan Robitaille, Lorraine Samuel, Noam Shpiegler
  • Ratchet & Clank – Nelson Ferreira, J.R. Fountain, Dashen Naidoo, John D. Smith

BEST SOUND EDITING – MOVIES FOR TELEVISION AND MINI-SERIES

  • Anne of Green Gables: Good Stars – Rob Ainsley, Vladimir Borissov, Steph Carrier, Janice Ierulli, Clive Turner
  • Cardinal, Episode 5, Part 5 – Claire Dobson, Nelson Ferreira, Paul Germann, David McCallum, Jane Tattersall
  • Once Upon a Murdoch Christmas – Mark Beck, Richard Calistan, Joseph Doane, Jonas Kuhnemann
  • Surviving Compton: Dre, Suge & Michel’le – Tom Bjelic, Dermain Finlayson, John Laing, Dale Lennon, Michael Mancuso, James Robb

BEST SOUND EDITING – TELEVISION SERIES

  • Frontier, Episode 104, Wolves – Matthew Hussey, Alastair Gray, Mark Shnuriwsky, Clive Turner
  • Sensitive Skin Episode 202 – Claire Dobson, Krystin Hunter, David McCallum, Jane Tattersall
  • Vikings, Episode 410, The Last Ship – Claire Dobson, Andrew Jablonski, David McCallum, Steve Medeiros, Brennan Mercer, Dale Sheldrake, Jane Tattersall
  • X-Company, Episode 209, Butcher and Bolt – Richard Calistan, J.R. Fountain, Kevin Howard, Craig MacLellan, Joe Mancuso, Jill Purdy, Nathan Robitaill
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Link: Wynonna Earp: Katherine Barrell on Nicole’s renewed sense of purpose in Purgatory

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Wynonna Earp: Katherine Barrell on Nicole’s renewed sense of purpose in Purgatory
“Nicole is getting to a place too where it’s tricky because she wants to be respectful that she’s her sister and wants to protect her, but at the same time is like ‘Leave us alone! Knock!’ Nicole is so kind that she wouldn’t say that, but also Wynonna knows how to push her buttons. I think with any older sibling when you’re younger sister or brother is dating someone new you’re going to pick on the new person to see what they are made of a little bit. I think that’s what Wynonna does to Nicole.” Continue reading.

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Canada’s culinary elite wanted: Top Chef Canada auditions are open

From a media release:

Canada’s most prestigious and high-stakes culinary competition is back for another season! The nation-wide search for the best chefs to compete in the sixth season of Top Chef Canada begins today.

Information on how to apply to be on Top Chef Canada is now available at TopChefCanadaCasting.ca.

In order to be considered, interested applicants must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and be at least 19 years of age as of June 1, 2017. For complete details and to apply online, access the casting site here. Casting opens today, June 26, and closes on August 18, 2017 at 6 p.m. ET.

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CBC’s Baroness von Sketch Show is back for even better Season 2

In what’s quickly become a wonderful summer tradition, CBC marks the end of June with the returns of Still Standing and Baroness von Sketch Show. Look for my interview with Still Standing host Jonny Harris elsewhere on the site; this column is all about the funny ladies of Baroness von Sketch Show.

Returning Tuesday at 9 p.m. on CBC, the first season was a riotous romp through the minds of Carolyn Taylor, Aurora Browne, Jennifer Whalen and Meredith MacNeil and the crazy, kooky and creative characters and situations they came up with. The group won a well-deserved Canadian Screen Award earlier this year for Best Writing for a Variety or Sketch Comedy Series and they’ve returned to form in this sophomore season. (Check out my feature story on the ladies in Canadian Screenwriter Magazine.)

The troupe’s Mad Max-inspired bit has been posted on social media over the past few weeks and is the first sketch following Tuesday’s opening credits for the episode entitled “It Satisfies on a Very Basic Level.” Filmed on the shores of Lake Ontario, it’s a well-written, supremely acted segment showing a quartet of strong women in a post-apocalyptic world where all men have been killed so ladies may rule. At least, that’s what we’re led to believe, though the truth comes out. MacNeil, as in Season 1, grabs laughs not just with her delivery and facial expressions but her entire body. A sky-high orange mohawk and fur cape complete her ludicrous look.

Browne nabs a serious laugh in the next skit regarding showing ID when shopping for a certain item, a brief history lesson on menstruation is given next, followed by an uncomfortable situation that arises when someone forgets not to ask about one woman’s ex.

Unlike Saturday Night Live, where sketches often go on way too long on expired laughs, Baroness Von Sketch Show is tight, quick and to the point. The Season 2 writing room contained—in addition to Taylor, MacNeil, Whalen and Browne— award-winning author and poet Zoe Whittall (The Best Kind of People), author Monica Heisey (I Can’t Believe It’s Not Better: A Woman’s Guide to Coping with Life), Jennifer Goodhue (This Hour Has 22 Minutes), standups Mae Martin, Elvira Kurt and Dawn Whitwell, Ann Pornel and Alex Tindal (The Sketchersons), playwright Donna-Michelle St. Bernard, Ify Chiwetelu, artist and writer Mariko Tamaki, Evany Rosen and Nelu Handa. The result? A summer of continuous laughs.

Baroness von Sketch Show airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.

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CBC’s Still Standing kicks off Season 3 in Fort McMurray

It isn’t within Still Standing‘s guidelines to visit a place like Fort McMurray. After all, one of the stand-up/documentary hybrid’s keystones is to visit small communities across the country and Fort McMurray’s population is over 61,000. But the other rule is to focus on an area hit by hard times, and you don’t get much harder hit than the Alberta town which saw much of its area consumed by wildfires.

Returning with two back-to-back episodes on Tuesday at 8 p.m. on CBC, Harris and his crew stop in Fort McMurray during the first half-hour before jetting to Bell Island, Nfld, for the second instalment.

“We thought the story [in Fort McMurray] was so compelling and important that, with the one-year anniversary of the evacuation coming up [for filming], it was a story we could tell,” Harris told us during CBC’s upfront media day. Harris, his writers and producers spent several days in the area, interacting with folks and preparing original standup material to be performed for the community. Rewatching video of the events of May 3, 2016, brings the seriousness of the situation to light. It’s not, you’d think, something folks would want to laugh about. But they do, whether it’s at Harris’ suggestion some folks’ sins brought hell upon them or his own admission he’d freak out during an emergency.

But the episode is as much about joking about the situation as it is about the little triumphs and “disasterhood.” People offered up food, clothing, water and rooms to those affected by the conflagration. And, over a year later, the community is rebuilding, burgeoning and offering surprises.

“I was amazed by how multicultural it is there,” he Harris says. “I’ve met people from every corner of the globe in Fort McMurray and it doesn’t have that rough and tumble, work camp sort of feel. It’s got great restaurants and a healthier art scene than you might expect.”

The mark of a community getting back on its feet.

Still Standing airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on CBC.

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