This year’s Canadian Screen Awards aired online
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
When the pandemic was declared in the middle of March, this year’s Juno Awards were cancelled just a few days before they were going to be hosted. This and many other shutdowns led to the cancellation of the 2020 Canadian Screen Awards; instead, they decided that the winners would be announced virtually on YouTube.
I thought that they were going to announce the winners on Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television website. Instead, they actually announced the winners in a series of live streams—all of which aired recently. They were all pre-taped, making them look automated; they could have done them live instead. Each section is narrated by a famous Canadian personality including local Vancouver actor and Will & Grace actor Eric McCormack narrating the TV section, Théodore Pellerin narrating the film section, and Lloyd Robertson narrating the news section.
In news, The National swept the awards—taking a total of four different awards. This includes Best News Anchor for four people (Adrienne Arsenault, Andrew Chang, Ian Hanomansing, and Rosemary Barton), Best National Reporter for Paul Hunter, Best Photography for Jared Thomas, and Best News or Information Segment. CTV News got an award for Best National Newscast and in local news, Global BC News Hour at 6 got Best Local Reporter for Rumina Daya. Surprisingly, Evan Solomon got Best Host on a Talk Show or Entertainment News for Question Period even though it is strictly a news program.
In TV, Cardinal swept the drama categories and got the most awards. They left with seven awards under their belt, including Best Drama Series and awards for its lead stars Billy Campbell and Karine Vanasse. This upset a lot of fans of Anne with an E who were in the live chat of the live stream. Many wanted the show to still be on, since it did get cancelled this season—it could have been on longer though. But it did get five awards, and hopefully this might inspire CBC to continue airing the show.
In comedy, Schitt’s Creek got the most awards with six awards. This includes Best Comedy, Best Lead Actress in a Comedy for Catherine O’Hara for the fifth year in a row, and surprisingly Best Lead Actor in a Comedy for Eugene Levy. Kim’s Convenience got two awards including Best Supporting Actor in a comedy for Andrew Phung for the third year in a row and Best Guest Performance for Amanda Brugel for her portrayal as Pastor Nina. In variety, the Baroness Von Sketch Show swept the awards again with five awards including Best Sketch Comedy Show and I’d really like to watch it—though I still have not yet. It is on my list!
In film, Antigone—a film which follows a girl trying to rescue her wrongly accused brother in a prison break—got Best Motion Picture and tied for the most awards in the category with five awards. Antigone notably got the Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role award for Nahéma Ricci and the Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role for Nour Belkhiria. Antigone tied with The Song of Names—a movie which mainly got awards in the artistic categories. Local BC film The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open got three awards! This includes Best Original Screenplay for Kathleen Hepburn’s and Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers’ screenplay.
The Canadian Screen Awards this year had some surprises even though it was simplified due to COVID-19. But at least they showed all the categories and recognized many acclaimed artists of Canadian TV and film. Hopefully when the actual ceremony comes back next year, someone will host the award show… possibly Andrew Phung.