Starting this summer, Canadians can relive their favourite moments – from Manny Santos’ trendsetting fashion; to Yick and Arthur’s adventures in love; or singing “Everybody Wants Something” – as Degrassi captured Canada’s teen angst from 1979-2015. The Degrassi library launching on Prime Video includes The Kids of Degrassi Street, Degrassi Junior High, Degrassi High, Degrassi: The Next Generation, Degrassi Talks, Degrassi Unscripted, and Degrassi High: School’s Out, all in one place on July 18, 2023!
(As every Canadian already knows) The series centers around an ensemble cast of students at the fictional Degrassi Community School who face challenges such as sex, teen pregnancy, bullying, consent, drug use, body image, sexual identity, domestic violence, gang violence, mental health, and many other issues teenagers face. Capturing all the anguish, heartbreak and lessons learned over decades of Canadian television the series is beloved by millions and the launching pad of some of the country’s biggest names.
For over four decades, watching Degrassi has been a rite of passage for teenagers everywhere, providing a mirror into their passions, struggles and triumphs as they navigate the road to selfhood. Always at the vanguard of inspiration, education and entertainment, Degrassi is one of the most iconic brands in youth culture, unafraid to tackle even the most challenging stories. No issue has been too controversial or too real for Degrassi to explore, often breaking new ground on such subjects as teen pregnancy, racism, AIDS, eating disorders, child abuse, learning disabilities, gender identity, violence and more. Owned by WildBrain, Degrassi was originally created by Linda Schuyler and the late Kit Hood in 1979. Degrassi has become a Canadian institution celebrated worldwide and recognized with dozens of awards, including two International Emmy Awards, two Teen Choice Awards and a Peabody.
The Red Carpet was rolled out last night at TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX in Toronto for the Premiere of Toronto Filmmaker Natty Zavitz‘s ACQUAINTED. The Drama centers on two former high school classmates who cross paths again one day at a bar and the sparks ignite. Reluctantly, they reveal to one another that they are in committed relationships and what unfolds is a refreshing conversation set against a Toronto backdrop, about shifting views on monogamy and generational identity. The story is semi-autobiographical and stars a Cast filled with accomplished Toronto talent including Giacomo Gianniotti (Grey’s Anatomy), Laysla de Oliveira (Locke & Key), Rachel Skarsten (Batwoman), Jonathan Keltz (Entourage), Raymond Ablack (Narcos) and more. The stars came out to fete the Film’s premiere with a Q&A moderated by George Stroumboulopoulos, followed by an Afterparty at the Maverick Condos VIP Registration Event Space.
A who’s-who of Toronto Entertainment were present including Tyrone Edwards (E! News), DVSN, Aaron Poole (Salvation), Dillon Casey (Remedy), Paula Brancati (Degrassi: The Next Generation), Dalmar Abuzeid (Anne with an E) and several more.
See the Trailer:
Zavitz tells the audience about his love for the City and how his Film is a reflection of such. “Toronto’s the best and I love being Torontonian”, he says. “I feel like I haven’t seen Toronto on-screen like the way I experienced it. This whole Cast is Torontonian. The Soundtrack is as well (with contributions from Daniel Caesar, Charlotte Day Wilson and DVSN). Most of Cast lives in L.A., works in L.A. and came home to make a story about our City.”. On whether or not he feels the Film is “Canadian” Zavitz states, “It feels more Torontonian than Canadian I think.”.
Giannotti who currently is working in L.A., has made a point of supporting this Film to the fullest, flying-in between filming to both make the Movie and promote it. To him, the Film is a statement of what it means to be a person. “We have a lot of pressures as human beings on this planet to be relationships and to think of ourselves in a certain way. So we thought this Film beautifully explores all that and how you process that. It’s about being a human being.”. Giannotti, along with his friend Keltz not only star in the Film, but also serve as Producers.
See some Snaps from the night, including the Afterparty sponsored by Nobis. Stars also sipped on George Clooney‘s Casamigos Tequila.
L to R: George Stromboulopoulos, Rachel Skarsten, Natty Zavitz, Laysla de Oliveira, Giacomo Gianiotti, Raymond Ablack
A71 Films release ACQUAINTEDFriday, April 5, 2019 in Toronto and Vancouver.
It’s that time of the year again and you can bet we’re super-pumped for CANADIAN SCREEN WEEK! As in previous years, FAMILY FAN DAY will give us a chance to connect with some of our favourite Canadian stars of the screen! Taking place Saturday, March 11, 2017 at Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, the event runs from 10 AM to 2 PM and guess what? It’s free!
Exciting activations and contests are being planned and did you know that the first 100 in line will get a free swag bag? There will be doughnuts from JELLY MODERN, a MAC booth giving you inspiration for your spring 2017 look, exciting animals from HANDS ON EXOTICS and also a coding workshop by LADIES LEARNING CODE.
Stars in attendance this year include:
• Dan Riskin and Ziya Tong, Daily Planet (Bell Media)
• Kristian Bruun, Orphan Black (Bell Media)
• Simu Liu, Andrea Bang and Andrew Phung, Kim’s Convenience (CBC)
• Hélène Joy and Lachlan Murdoch, Murdoch Mysteries (CBC)
• Alisha Newton, Heartland (CBC)
• Janaye, Tony, Victor, Gary the Unicorn and Dot, CBC Kids (CBC)
• Dwight Drummond, CBC News Toronto (CBC)
• Kim Coates, Bad Blood (Rogers Media)
• Dina Pugliese and Kevin Frankish, Breakfast Television (Rogers Media)
• Victoria Baldesarra and Shelby Bain, The Next Step (Family Channel)
• Chelsea Clark and Ehren Kassam, Degrassi: Next Class (Family Channel)
• Devyn Nekoda, Colin Petierre and Julia Tomasone, Backstage (Family Channel)
• Hosts from Global’s The Morning Show (Corus Entertainment)
• Mike Holmes and Mike Holmes Jr., Holmes + Holmes (Corus Entertainment)
• Noah Cappe, The Bachelor Canada (Corus Entertainment)
• Anthony Farnell, Global News (Corus Entertainment)
• Ella Ballentine, Sara Botsford, Kate MacDonald Butler, L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables (Corus Entertainment/Breakthrough Entertainment)
…and several more!
YTV‘s Carlos Bustamante will fill hosting duties.
Here’s a couple tips for taking the best selfies with the stars, from your resident expert, Mr. Will:
1. Be calm, stars are more like us than we are led to believe.
2. Ask nicely. If you are a real fan, let them know how they have touched your life.
3. Give them space and let them initiate it if they want to get closer to you.
4. Make sure there’s no glaring light behind you in the photo. This is v. unflattering and will almost always ruin your photo. If there is light, make sure it is shining on your faces.
5. Nobody likes a double-chin, so tilt that camera/cell phone up just a bit and tilt that chin down.
6. Look into the lens of the camera, not the screen on your cell phone and smile! Keep your eyes open!
7. Take an extra snap quickly just in case the first didn’t turn out – it’s always good to have a back-up.
8. Thank the star.
Enjoy and g’luck! We’ll be seeing you around Canadian Screen Week!
Honouring outstanding performances this past year among ACTRA members, the 2017 edition of the ACTRA Awards (now in its 15th year) were held at The Carlu tonight in Toronto. The organization contains 22,000+ members and it negotiates contracts on behalf of its cultural workers. Its jurisdiction ranges from independent film production, commercials, radio and television drama, telephony, video games and web-based content. ACTRA ensures members have protected minimum wage standards and working conditions. Several of Canada’s most notable names in entertainment are a part of the organization.
It was a who’s-who of Canadian talent at the affair including man of the hour, Murdoch Mysteries’ Yannick Bisson who received the 2017 ACTRA Award of Excellence. Just last year he received the coveted Fan Choice Award at the Canadian Screen Awards, as a testament to his lasting popularity with over 60 credits over 35 years on his resume. He imparts a bit of wisdom to his peers, reminding them “There are literally hundreds of people on set at any given time to make actors look good. Be gracious, always.”.
The Cast of Kim’s Convenience were awarded the first-ever Series Ensemble Award, based on member votes. Its star Jean Yoon, who was fashionably-late to the Gala, won Outstanding Performance – Female and made an impactful statement in her speech. “I’m really proud to be working on a show about immigrants in a time of nationalist intolerance”, says Yoon. The Cast dedicated their award to all immigrant families, stating “You are here. You are welcome. And you are loved.”.
Aurora Browne, Carolyn Taylor and Jennifer Whalen of the Baroness Von Sketch troupe played hosting duties at the gala and in attendance were this year’s nominees: Grace Lynn Kung (The Death (and Life) of Carl Naardlinger), Tatiana Maslany (Two Lovers and a Bear), Kari Matchett (Maudi), Jean Yoon (Kim’s Convenience), Joey Klein (We’re Still Together), Simu Liu (Blood and Water), Eric Osborne (Degrassi: Next Class) and Gord Rand (Orphan Black). Other notables present included: Kristian Bruun, Tantoo Cardinal, Wendy Crewson, Shawn Doyle, Kevin Hanchard, Art Hindle, Amanda Joy, Eric Peterson, Leah Pinsent, Julian Richings, Paul Sun-Hyung Lee and Kate Trotter.
Awards presented this evening (winners in bold blue), including the brand new Ensemble Award (members’ choice):
Nominees for Outstanding Performance – Voice
Lilly Bartlam (Dot) Dot., “Bring the Thunder” (Industrial Brothers) Linda Kash (Gina Falcone) Fugget About It, “Vagina’s Got Talent” (9 Story Media Group)
Pat Kelly and Peter Oldring (Various) This is That, Episode 406 (CBC)
Bryn McAuley (Suzi) Camp Lakebottom, “Ice Queen” (9 Story Media Group)
Scott McCord (Rudolph Mintenberg) Atomic Puppet, “AP vs Disastro II” (Mercury Filmworks)
Nominees for Outstanding Performance – Female
Brenda Bazinet (Judge Susan Reeves) Shoot the Messenger, “Careful What You Pray For” (Hungry Eyes Film & Television)
Grace Lynn Kung (Pam Naardlinger) The Death (and Life) of Carl Naardlinger (Cinéman Films)
Tatiana Maslany (Lucy) Two Lovers and a Bear (Max Films Productions)
Kari Matchett (Sandra) Maudie (Small Shack Productions Inc., Painted House Films, Parallel Films) Jean Yoon (Umma) Kim’s Convenience, “Gay Discount” (Thunderbird Films)
Nominees for Outstanding Performance – Male
Simu Liu (Paul Xie) Blood and Water, Episode 1.8 (Breakthrough Entertainment) Joey Klein (Bobby) We’re Still Together (Achromatic Media)
Eric Osborne (Miles Hollingsworth) Degrassi: Next Class, “#YesMeansYes” (DHX Media)
Gord Rand (Det. Duko) Orphan Black, “The Redesign of Natural Objects” (Temple Street Productions)
Paul Soles (Joe) My 90-Year-Old Roommate (LoCo Motion Pictures)
Nominees for Series Ensemble Award
Baroness Von Sketch Show Kim’s Convenience
See some Snaps from the evening:
The Cast and Crew of ORPHAN BLACK, Nominees
Tatiana Maslany, Nominee
Yannick Bisson, 2017 ACTRA Award of Excellence Recipient