From a media release:
Shamier Anderson and Stephan James, Scarborough natives and co-founders of The Black Academy, alongside Shannon Farr and Lindsay Cox of Insight Productions, today announced a partnership to produce a live award show honouring established and emerging Black talent. Brothers and actors Anderson and James are executive producing the national telecast, alongside John Brunton, Farr, and Cox from Canada’s preeminent award show production company. The telecast will feature award presentations, performances, and tributes, and will showcase Black talent from across Canada. In addition, The Black Academy and Insight announced a search for a Black showrunner and production crew, and a skills development programme. Interested applicants can submit their résumés to BlackAwardShowResumes@insighttv.com beginning today. The relationship between Anderson, James, and Insight Productions pre-dates the creation of The Black Academy to when they began co-developing a project in 2019.
The live telecast is one of several initiatives created by The Black Academy to break down barriers of discrimination and combat systemic racism. The award show stems from Anderson and James’ long-standing commitment to their community and an awareness of the lack of opportunities to showcase Black talent in Canada. Anderson and James continue to call on corporate Canada, government entities, and individuals to meet this challenge. The awards will celebrate both Anglophone and Francophone Black talent across film, television, music, sports, and culture. Award categories, juries, and the submission process will be announced at a later date.
The Black Academy and Insight Productions are committed to hiring a Black crew and senior staff and to offering skills development for multiple positions in advance of pre-production. Résumés from those who have a particular passion for live events and award shows are now being accepted at BlackAwardShowResumes@insighttv.com. The skills development programme will have a separate submission process and will train select emerging behind-the-scenes creatives and crew in collaboration with a community partner and The Black Academy. Details on this programme to be announced in the coming weeks.
The Black Academy’s award show is executive produced by Shamier Anderson and Stephan James of The Black Academy. John Brunton, Lindsay Cox, and Shannon Farr are the executive producers for Insight Productions. Additional executive producers include Daniel Abrams and Norbert Abrams.
Shamier Anderson, Stephan James, Lindsay Cox, and Shannon Farr discuss The Black Academy and the award show with moderator Kathleen Newman-Bremang at the CMPA’s Prime Time 2021 Online conference. Registered delegates can stream the panel at cmpa.ca/prime-time beginning February 2nd at 9 a.m.
Shamier Anderson – Co-Founder & Co-Chair, The Black Academy/Executive Producer
Shamier Anderson (Stowaway; Bruised; Invasion) is a Scarborough-born actor, producer, and writer and the president of Borough Bredd Productions. Anderson was named a TIFF Rising Star (2019) and recently sold his story, Super High, to New Line Cinema. Anderson will executive produce the film which stars Andy Samberg, Common, and Craig Robinson. In 2016, Anderson co-founded B.L.A.C.K with his brother Stephan James. Alongside his brother, he is the co-chair and co-founder of The Black Academy, a division of B.L.A.C.K, which aims to combat systemic racism while honouring, celebrating, and inspiring Black talent in Canada. Anderson was recently appointed to the Canadian Academy’s board of directors and is an ambassador for the Academy’s Equity & Inclusion Fund.
Stephan James – Co-Founder & Co-Chair, The Black Academy/Executive Producer
Stephan James (If Beale Street Could Talk; Homecoming; Race) is an Emmy®-, Golden Globe®-, and NAACP Image Award-nominated and Canadian Screen Award-winning Canadian actor from Scarborough, ON. James is the inaugural recipient of the CSAs’ Radius Award, given to a Canadian film or television professional who is making waves internationally, and a TIFF Rising Star (2015). In 2016, James co-founded B.L.A.C.K with his brother Shamier Anderson. Alongside his brother, he is the co-chair and co-founder of The Black Academy, a division of B.L.A.C.K, which aims to combat systemic racism while honouring, celebrating, and inspiring Black talent in Canada. James was recently appointed to the Canadian Academy’s board of directors and sits on the Academy’s Equity Committee.
Lindsay Cox – Senior Vice-President, Insight Productions/Executive Producer
One of Canada’s preeminent showrunners, Cox has overseen and produced 18 editions of The JUNO Awards, as well as The Canadian Screen Awards, Canada’s Walk of Fame, The Tragically Hip: A National Celebration (viewed by one in 3 Canadians), Stronger Together Tous Ensemble, Young Artists for Haiti, Music Without Borders, Canada Day 150! From Coast to Coast to Coast, Canada’s New Year’s Eve Countdown, Battle of the Blades, and Every Child Matters: Education through Reconciliation, among others.
Shannon Farr – Vice President, Insight Productions/Executive Producer
Farr divides her time between Los Angeles and Toronto, and works in both scripted and unscripted. She oversees Insight’s U.S. office and drives the creation, development, financing, and production of original projects for multiple platforms in the U.S., Canadian, and international markets. Farr co-created and produced the prime-time drama Falcon Beach for ABC Family and Global Television, the comedy series The Jon Dore Television Show; and the award-winning comedy series But I’m Chris Jericho!, among others.
About The Black Academy
Canadian actors and brothers Shamier Anderson and Stephan James co-founded The Black Academy in response to the scarcity of forums celebrating Black talent. The organization is dedicated to breaking down barriers of discrimination and combating systemic racism in Canada. The Black Academy is dedicated to breaking down barriers of discrimination and combating systemic racism in Canada. By celebrating and showcasing established and emerging Black talent, The Black Academy will elevate and inspire Black talent across the country for generations to come. A permanent, year-round, and national operation, The Black Academy is a division of the not-for-profit B.L.A.C.K Canada. The division was launched in 2020 and is based in Toronto. In addition to co-chairs Anderson & James, the board of directors includes: Vanessa Craft (TikTok Canada); Alica Hall (Nia Centre for the Arts); Wes Hall (Kingsdale Advisors/the BlackNorth Initiative); Jennifer Holness (Black Screen Office); Divya Shahani (Miller Thomson LLP); Tonya Williams (Reelworld).
Website: www.BlackIsNow.com; Social Media: Instagram: @BLACKISNOWCANADA
Image courtesy of Nicole De Khors.