Everything about Industry News, eh?

In the news: Canadian shows shortlisted for Banff awards

From Playback:

  • Mosque shortlisted for Banff awards
    “For the second year in a row, CBC’s The Rick Mercer Report is named in the best comedy category, up against first-season nominee Little Mosque on the Prairie, from Regina- and Toronto-based WestWind Pictures, which also airs on the pubcaster. They will square off against The Knights of Prosperity – which has struggled on U.S. caster ABC – and U.K. shows including Channel 4’s Green Wing, the BBC’s Pulling, and The Vicar of Dibley: The Handsome Stranger from Tiger Aspect Productions.”

In the news: Media mergers

From the Georgia Straight:

  • Should average citizens be concerned if the CRTC allows CTVglobemedia and Canwest to swallow more stations?
    “Obviously, this sale would deal a crippling blow to television markets across the country, opening the door to massive layoffs and relocation of existing workplaces to larger centres,” [Sally] Poulsen claimed in her submission, which is posted on the CRTC Web site (crtc.gc.ca/). “While this does concern me–especially given that I am currently an employee of CHUM Limited, and a former employee of Craig Broadcasting–it is far from my greatest worry. I believe this sale would be detrimental to Canadian television viewers, severely limiting their choices in an already pared-down environment.”

Corner Gas’s unlikely success

From Dead Things on Sticks (aka screenwriter Denis McGrath):

  • Let us all praise Gassy men
    “It’s really difficult to believe that Corner Gas has only been around since January, 2004. It’s waved a tattered flag for Canadian-produced programming at a time when that programming was at an all time low, when regulatory changes and the peculiarities of the Canadian broadcast system rendered it a defiant, inconvenient truth. If one day, creative people can actually look out on a stable and sustaining Canadian domestic television industry, it will be Corner Gas that carried the water at a very dark time.”

Gavin Crawford to host 2007 Canadian Screenwriting awards

From the Writers Guild of Canada:

Outstanding list of finalists announced

The Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) will be celebrating an outstanding array of television, film and radio scripts on April 23 at the 2007 Canadian Screenwriting Awards.Guest host Gavin Crawford will be sure to bring the house down with his insider’s perspective on our industry as a writer and actor on This Hour Has 22 Minutes. Kyle Tingley will co-write the awards show with Crawford.

This is also a special year for the awards with the launch of the new WGC Showrunner Award.

“In the U.S., showrunners like David Shore (House) – who is Canadian – are well-known and revered,” said Maureen Parker, WGC Executive Director. “These writer/producers hold the vision for a television series and make all the creative decisions from development to post production.

“It’s time for Canada’s showrunners to step forward and be celebrated by their peers.”

Over 110 scripts were submitted for this year’s awards, honouring excellence in screenwriting. The entries have been narrowed down to 29 finalists in the categories of feature films, TV movies and miniseries, episodic dramas, comedies, documentaries and radio programs, and includes scripts from TV favourites such as Corner Gas, Intelligence, Slings & Arrows and Degrassi: The Next Generation, and the feature films Away From Her and Fido. See the complete list of finalists (PDF).

The Alex Barris Mentorship Award will also be presented to an individual who has gone above and beyond to help writers get a start in the business, as well as the Jim Burt Screenwriting Prize for best unproduced Canadian miniseries/movie script, and the Writers Block Award, which recognizes outstanding service to the WGC.

All winners will be announced at the 2007 Canadian Screenwriting Awards on Monday, April 23, 2007, at the Brant House, 522 King St. West, Toronto.

Some of last year’s winners include Susin Nielson for Robson Arms, Susan Coyne & Bob Martin & Mark McKinney for Slings & Arrows, and Suzette Couture for the TV movie, The Man Who Lost Himself: The Terry Evanshen Story.