Writers for Spiral, Anne, Letterkenny and Cardinal were among the winners at the 22nd Annual Writers Guild of Canada Screenwriting Awards in Toronto on Monday night.
The event, held at the Telus Centre for Performance and Learning’s Koerner Hall, celebrated the country’s screenwriting talent in television, web series and film. Spiral writer Karen McClellan (pictured above) won in the Shorts & Webseries category for her script “The Girl in the Dream.”
“Writers don’t get here on their own,” McClellan said. “I want to say a special shout-out to some writers who have taken a chance on me in the past: Susin Nielsen, Shelley Eriksen, Bruce Smith and a dear friend who is not here tonight but always in my heart, Denis McGrath.”
Letterkenny‘s Jared Keeso and Jacob Tierney won the TV Comedy category for their Season 2 script, “Relationships,” while Cardinal‘s Aubrey Nealon took home the TV Drama trophy for the Season 1 episode, “John Cardinal.”
Gavin Crawford, comedian, writer and host of CBC Radio’s Because News hosted, starting the night off with a surprise appearance by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne a.k.a. Crawford. As Wynne, Crawford extolled the virtues of Canadian television and film writers while taking a jab at recent adaptations of Anne of Green Gables and Alias Grace.
“I’m particularly excited about Kale & Prune, a six-hour CBC miniseries adapted from a Margaret Atwood’s Whole Foods receipt,” he joked.
Alison Lea Bingeman, Marsha Greene, Rachel Langer, Joseph Kay, Cynthia Knight, Adriana Maggs, Elize Morgan, Jiro Okada and Sugith Varughese presented the night’s categories.
Mark Ellis was the recipient of The Denis McGrath Award for his service to the Writers Guild of Canada, Michael MacLennan was given The WGC Showrunner Award, Sarah Dodd the Sondra Kelly Award and Sherry White the Alex Barris Mentorship Award. WGC president Jill Golick, whose term has ended after eight years, had the final say of the night with an impassioned plea to the group’s members.
“Stories are the best way to change hearts and minds,” Golick said. “Keep writing my friends. Keep finding ways to bring truth to light. ”
The category winners are:
Shorts & Webseries
Spiral, Episode 101 “The Girl in the Dream,” written by Karen McClellan
Mysticons, Season 1 “Sisters in Arms,” written by Sean Jara
Movie of the Week & Miniseries
Alias Grace, written by Sarah Polley
Best Script from Season 1
Anne, Season 1 “I Am No Bird, And No Net Ensnares Me,” written by Moira Walley-Beckett
Letterkenny, Season 2 “Relationships,” written by Jared Keeso and Jacob Tierney
Cardinal, Season 1 “John Cardinal,” written by Aubrey Nealon
Tweens & Teens
The Stanley Dynamic, Season 2 “The Stanley Cheer,” written by Matt Kippen
Entanglement, written by Jason Filiatrault
The Hundred-Year-Old Whale, written by Mark Leiren-Young