Gemini special awards announced

From a media release:

The 25th Annual Gemini Special Awards Announced

The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2010 Special Awards. These awards will be presented at the 25th Annual Gemini Awards Industry Galas, taking place November 2nd and 3rd at the Kool Haus Entertainment Complex, and at the Broadcast Gala, taking place November 13th at the historic Winter Garden Theatre.

This year’s recipients are:

Academy Achievement Award – Linda Schuyler
This award is presented to an individual for an exceptional, outstanding, or ongoing contribution or service to the Canadian television industry.

Linda Schuyler is best known for co-creating and executive producing the multi-award winning Degrassi franchise, comprised of The Kids of Degrassi Street, Degrassi Junior High, Degrassi High, School’s Out, Degrassi Talks and Degrassi: The Next Generation, now known simply as Degrassi. This franchise, celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2010, has won 20 Gemini Awards, two International Emmys, two Prix Jeunesses, two Teen Choice Awards, the Critics’ Choice Award and countless other international honours. In addition to Degrassi, Epitome Pictures, founded by Schuyler and her husband and producing partner Stephen Stohn, has produced Instant Star, the MOW X-Rated, and Canada’s first prime time soap opera, Riverdale. Schuyler is a founding member of the Association for Media Literacy, and past Chair and long-standing member of the CMPA. Through Degrassi, Schuyler supports the children’s advocacy organization Free The Children and their worldwide initiatives. In 2008, she joined the cast and travelled to Kenya to participate in a school-building project. In 1994, in recognition of her contribution to Canadian television programming, Schuyler was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada.

Canada Award – Reel Injun
The Canada Award honours excellence in mainstream television programming which best reflects the racial and cultural diversity of Canada by fostering greater awareness among the Canadian public of the multicultural and multiracial nature of the country as well as promoting opportunities for ethnic and visible minority professionals within the broadcasting industry.

Produced by Rezolution Pictures, co-produced by the National Film Board of Canada, and in association with CBC News Network, Reel Injun is an entertaining and insightful look at the Hollywood Indian, exploring the portrayal of North American Natives through a century of cinema. Travelling through the heartland of America and into the Canadian North, Cree filmmaker Neil Diamond looks at how the myth of “the Injun” has influenced the world’s understanding – and misunderstanding – of Natives. With clips from hundreds of classic and recent films, and candid interviews with celebrated Native and non-Native directors, writers, actors, and activists including Clint Eastwood, Robbie Robertson, Graham Greene, Adam Beach, and Zacharias Kunuk, Reel Injun traces the evolution of cinema’s depiction of Native people from the silent film era to present day. The Canada Award is supported by CBC.

Gemini Humanitarian Award – Joy Coghill
This award is presented to an individual for exceptional contributions and commitments to community and public service outside the Canadian television industry.

Joy Coghill is co-founder and Honorary President of the Performing Arts Lodge Vancouver (PAL). Founded in 2001, PAL Vancouver provides affordable housing to performers and other industry participants while encouraging creative growth and development through strong intergenerational relationships. A performer, director, playwright, and teacher, Coghill was the driving force, with co-founder Jane Heyman, behind PAL Vancouver and the spokesperson for the organization’s fundraising initiatives. Coghill is the recipient of numerous awards for her contribution to the performing arts, including the Order of Canada, the 2002 Governor General’s Performing Arts Award, the 2005 Union of B.C. Performers John Juliani Award of Excellence, and the 2005 Vancouver Arts Award (Performing Arts). She is the recipient of four Jessie Awards and holds Honorary Doctorates from both Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia. The Gemini Humanitarian Award is supported by Global.

Margaret Collier Award – Donald Martin
This award is presented to a writer for a body of work in Canadian television and/or significant contribution to the international profile of Canadian television.

Donald Martin began his writing career in 1988 with the groundbreaking TV movie No Blame, starring Helen Shaver. Martin’s credits include The Christmas Choir (Hallmark), the Gemini Award-wining Céline (CBC), Ann Rule’s Too Late To Say Goodbye (Lifetime), Wild Hearts (Hallmark), The Hunt for the BTK Killer (CBS), Family Sins (CBS), Amber Frey: Witness for the Prosecution (CBS), The Three Gifts (Hallmark), Ebenezer (CTV), Spenser: A Savage Place (ABC), the Gemini Award-winning Coming Of Age, Shadow Lake, and the upcoming An Old Fashioned Christmas (for Hallmark, starring Jacqueline Bisset). Martin’s feature film credits include the award-winning Dim Sum Funeral (HBO), for which he is also Executive Producer, Shackles (Sony), and Never Too Late, starring Olympia Dukakis, which was nominated for a Writers Guild of Canada Award and a Genie Award for Best Original Screenplay (1996). Martin was the recipient of the inaugural Gemini Humanitarian Award in 2001, as well as the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, presented by the Governor-General of Canada in 2002.

Outstanding Technical Achievement Award in Digital Media – Alon Marcovici, Vice President, Digital Media, CTV for Live Sports Video Stream Player
This award honours a technical achievement in the Canadian digital media industry.

Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium faced the challenge of presenting the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games to the Canadian public like never before. Its Digital Media team was tasked with producing a news and information portal which, for the first time in Olympic history, broadcast every second of the Winter Games. To do so, the team created an immersive, HD-quality live streaming player which enabled Canadians to pause, replay and rewind the live broadcast while being guided to key moments in time through an interactive and data-embedded video player. This live video player was key to the website’s overwhelming success. In the period from February 12th to 28th, the website delivered record results for interactive and online viewing in Canada: 215 million page views to 12.3 million unique visitors, with 28.5 million videos viewed. For its innovation in the realm of live online sports consumption in Canada, the live event video player represents a huge leap in user experience and technical innovation in the Canadian marketplace. The Outstanding Technical Achievement Award in Digital Media is supported by Switch United.

For additional information on this year’s Special Awards recipients, please visit