The crime drama series Cardinal and small-town sitcom Letterkenny are among the winners so far at the Canadian Screen Awards in Toronto while Une colonie (The Colony) has won best motion picture.
Cardinal: Blackfly Season stars Billy Campbell and Karine Vanasse, who both scored trophies for their roles on the series, which is filmed in northern Ontario.
“If there is a more professional and friendly and passionate place to make films, I just haven’t been there yet,” said Campbell in his speech, mentioning Sudbury and North Bay by name. “I’m a Yank and I’m particularly thankful to Canada these days.”
The annual show is the culmination of a week-long celebration which honours the best in Canadian film, TV, news and digital storytelling.
Letterkenny, a comedy about two friends living in a small Ontario community, won for its writing. Jared Keeso also took home an acting award.
Une colonie (A Colony), a French-language coming-of-age drama about high school and family, won best motion picture. Jasmin Mozaffari won for directing the teenage drama Firecrackers.
Nominees in the main categories include:
Best motion picture:
- Unecolonie (A Colony).
- Chien de garde (Family First).
- Dans la brume (Just a Breath Away).
- Genèse (Genesis).
- La Grande Noirceur (The Great Darkened Days).
Best drama series:
- Anne with an E.
- Bad Blood.
- Blood and Water.
- Frankie Drake Mysteries.
Best comedy series:
- Mr. D.
- Schitt’s Creek.
- Second Jen.
- Workin‘ Moms.
Stephan James, Deepa Mehta among special honourees
Special honours were given to comedian Mary Walsh. A writer-actress-comedian well known for This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Walsh was acknowledged for her achievements with the Earle Grey award.
If Beale Street Could Talk star Stephan James received the inaugural Radius Award. According to the Canadian Academy’s website, it’s “in recognition of a Canadian in the entertainment industry for making waves globally.”
James received a Golden Globe nomination earlier this year for his role on the limited series Homecoming and rose to prominence with the 2016 film Race.
He credited his hometown of Scarborough, Ont. — where he was raised with his brothers by a single mother —for laying the groundwork for his success.
“I want to dedicate this award to young black boys and girls across the country,” said James.
“I want to tell you that your craziest dreams, your wildest imaginations are all possible … No matter where you come from.”
Filmmaker DeepaMehta received a lifetime achievement award.
The comedy troupe The Kids in the Hall, whose eponymous TV series ran from 1989-95, received the Academy Icon Award.
Celebrating Canadian TV, film, media
At a pre-televised ceremony earlier on Sunday called the Cinematic Arts Gala, La Grande Noirceur (The Great Darkened Days) took home the most technical awards and Sarah Gadon won for her supporting performance in the film.
Oscar-nominated Animal Behaviour won best animated short. Its creators, Alison Snowden and David Fine, previously won an Academy Award in 1995 for their short Bob’s Birthday.
Earlier this week, dozens of other awards were given out to honour news, digital storytelling and various television series categories. Anne with an E, Cardinal: Blackfly Season, Schitt’s Creek, Baroness von Sketch Show, Letterkenny and Paw Patrol were among the many trophy recipients.
Much like the Oscars did this year, the CSA broadcast has opted to go without a host and instead will insert comedy bits as entertainment in between award presentations.
“One of the things we realized — and we realized it before the Americans did — is that the more we focus on our host and tap dancing and singing and telling jokes, the less we are focusing on the work we do here,” Martin Katz, the Academy of Canadian Film and Televison chair, said on the red carpet prior to the gala.
“So we said, ‘Why don’t we just do a bunch of sketch comedy, highlighting the comedy that people do here?'”
Other categories being presented Sunday, with winners being updated in bold, include the following:
Performance by an actress in a leading role:
- Émilie Bierre, Unecolonie (A Colony).
- Valeria Henríquez, The Padre.
- Rose-Marie Perreault, Les faux tatouages (Fake Tattoos).
- Brigitte Poupart, Lessalopes ou le sucre naturel de la peau (Les Salopes or the Naturally Wanton Pleasure of Skin).
- Carla Turcotte, Sashinka.
Performance by an actor in a leading role:
- Martin Dubreuil, La Grande Noirceur (The Great Darkened Days).
- Paul Nutarariaq, The Grizzlies.
- Brandon Oakes, Through Black Spruce.
- Théodore Pellerin,Chien de garde (Family First).
- Michael Rowe, Crown and Anchor.
Best lead actress, comedy:
- Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek.
- Dani Kind, Workin‘ Moms.
- Annie Murphy, Schitt’s Creek.
- Catherine Reitman, Workin‘ Moms.
- Cindy Sampson, Private Eyes.
Best lead actor, comedy:
- Jared Keeso, Letterkenny.
- Gerry Dee, Mr. D.
- Daniel Levy, Schitt’s Creek.
- Eugene Levy, Schitt’s Creek.
- Jason Priestley, Private Eyes.
Best lead actress, drama series:
- AmybethMcNulty, Anne with an E.
- Wendy Crewson, The Detail.
- Caroline Dhavernas, Mary Kills People.
- Kristin Kreuk, Burden of Truth.
- Melanie Scrofano,Wynonna Earp Space.
Best lead actor, drama series:
- Kim Coates, Bad Blood City.
- Aaron Ashmore, Killjoys Space.
- Yannick Bisson, Murdoch Mysteries.
- Eric McCormack, Travelers Showcase.
- Jerry O’Connell, Carter.
Best lead actress, drama or limited series:
- KarineVanasse, Cardinal: Blackfly Season.
- Tori Anderson, Caught.
- Amy Matysio, Save Me.
- Mary Walsh, A Christmas Fury.
Best lead actor, drama or limited series:
- Billy Campbell, Cardinal: Blackfly Season.
- Fab Filippo, Save Me.
- Allan Hawco, Caught.
- Mark McKinney, A Christmas Fury.
Best writing, comedy:
- Letterkenny (Letterkenny Spelling Bee), Jared Keeso, Jacob Tierney.
- Mohawk Girls (White but A’right), Cynthia Knight.
- Nirvanna the Band the Show (The Book), Andrew Appelle, Robert Hyland, Curt Lobb, Jay McCarrol, Matthew Miller, Jared Raab.
- Schitt’s Creek (Singles Week), Daniel Levy.
- Trailer Park Boys (F–kin’ F–ked Out Of Our F–kin’ Minds), JP Tremblay, Mike Smith, Robb Wells.
Achievement in direction:
- Geneviève Dulude-DeCelles, Une colonie (A Colony).
- Sophie Dupuis, Chien de garde (Family First).
- Jasmin Mozaffari, Firecrackers.
- Daniel Roby, Dans la brume (Just a Breath Away).
- Maxime Giroux, La Grande Noirceur (The Great Darkened Days).
Best reality/competition program or series:
- Big Brother Canada.
- Canada’s Smartest Person Junior.
- Knock Knock Ghost.
- MasterChef Canada.
- The Amazing Race Canada.
Ted Rogers best feature length documentary:
- Anthropocene: The Human Epoch.
- Immaculate Memories: The Uncluttered Worlds of Christopher Pratt.
- Letter from Masanjia.
- La Part du diable (The Devil’s Share).
- What Walaa Wants.
The Canadian Screen Awards broadcast is airing on CBC-TV and CBC Gem streaming service at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 31.