#FIRSTLOOK: 2022 SPECIAL AWARD HONOUREES ANNOUNCED FOR 2022 CANADIAN SCREEN WEEK
Canadian Screen Week will be taking place between April 4 – April 10, 2022 this year and today The Canadian Academy of Cinema & Television have announced 2022 Special Award recipients. New this year is a Changemaker Award to honour those in Media who have lent their voices against systemic racism. Also Toronto’s Maitreyi Ramakrishnan who is making waves starring in Netflix’s NEVER HAVE I EVER, will be receiving a Radius Award!
The Canadian Academy’s 2022 Special Award honourees are:
The Changemaker Award is presented to Kayla Grey, Kathleen Newman-Bremang, and Amanda Parris.
Kayla Grey is the host and co-executive producer of TSN’s The Shift with Kayla Grey Powered by Dell XPS, appears regularly as an anchor of SportsCentre, and reports courtside for TSN’s live coverage of the Toronto Raptors. Grey reported on the Toronto Raptors’ historic NBA championship run for TSN in 2019, and also joined CTV’s fan-favourite series The Amazing Race Canada as an official race correspondent for The Amazing Race Canada: Ride Along. In 2019, Grey was awarded the ByBlacks magazine People’s Choice Award in the TV Personality category. Grey was also honoured on Chatelaine’s 2020 Women of the Year list, named one of Refinery29’s Powerhouse Women of 2020, and Woman of the Year in Post City Magazine. She has also been recognized by Women of Influence as one of the Top 25 Women of Influence in Canada for 2021. A graduate of Toronto’s College of Sports Media, Grey began her broadcasting career as an analyst for the Canadian Women’s Hockey League and various university varsity sports. She then moved to Winnipeg as a Digital Broadcast Journalist for Global News, and to Prince Rupert, BC to become a senior reporter for CFTK-TV news. The Toronto native joined TSN in 2015 as an on-air update anchor for TSN Radio 1050 in Toronto. She became the first Black woman to host a flagship sports highlight show in Canada when she made her SportsCentre debut in 2018.
Kathleen Newman-Bremang is a Toronto-based writer, editor, and producer. Her writing has appeared in publications like Refinery29, ELLE, Cosmopolitan, Lainey Gossip, Corduroy Magazine, The Toronto Star, and The Kit. For six seasons, she was the celebrity and entertainment producer on Canada’s #1 daytime talk show The Social and has contributed to many high-profile productions like eTalk: Live at the Oscars and co-created the Crave original series Cravings: The Aftershow. She is currently the Deputy Director, Global at Refinery29 Unbothered, a vertical made for and by Black women. Through Unbothered, she oversees content across the UK, U.S., and Canada, and writes about pop culture, race, feminism, and the intersection of all three, while championing other Black women writers to do the same. Her essay “For Black Women In Media, A Dream Job Is A Myth” was a finalist for a National Magazine Award. Her column What’s Good has spotlighted many Canadian creators of colour and their series and films. Newman-Bremang has profiled stars like Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Fefe Dobson, Angela Bassett, Issa Rae, Yara Shahidi, and Joshua Jackson, and furthered conversations about representation in Canadian television, accountability in Canadian media, and the importance of hiring Black and Indigenous creators behind the scenes of film and TV productions. She’s a co-host of the popular R29 Unbothered podcast Go Off, Sis, a mentor for Canadian Journalists of Colour, and a frequent culture commentator for various national CBC and CTV broadcast programs. She was the 2021 winner of CBC’s inaugural Canada Listens where she defended Kardinal Offishall’s seminal album Quest for Fire: Firestarter, Vol. 1 and advocated for more inclusion in Canada’s music coverage.
Amanda Parris is an award-winning playwright, columnist, and TV and radio host. Parris was the host of the award-winning series CBC Arts: Exhibitionists from 2015-2020. At the time, it was the only show on television dedicated to telling stories about Canadian artists across all mediums. She also created Black Light, an award-winning column for CBC Arts, that showcases, historicizes, and critically engages art and popular culture created by Black people. Parris’ debut play Other Side of the Game (2019) was awarded the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama and is currently being taught in classrooms across the country. Her latest theatrical work, The Death News (2020), was part of Obsidian Theatre’s groundbreaking project 21 Black Futures and, in 2021, she made her directorial debut with her award-winning short film The Death Doula. Amanda has been named one of Grenada’s Top 40 individuals under the age of 40, one of Toronto’s Most Inspiring Women by Post City, a Local Hero of Toronto Film by NOW Magazine, and received the Rising Star Award from AfroGlobal Television. In 2022, Parris’ scripted digital series Revenge of the Black Best Friend, which follows a self-help guru whose singular mission is to cancel the entertainment industry’s reliance on token Black characters, will premiere on CBC Gem.
Honouring a Canadian whose work is making waves globally, the Radius Award, presented by MADE | NOUS, is presented to Maitreyi Ramakrishnan.
Maitreyi Ramakrishnan — named on the 2021 TIME100 Next, an annual list of individuals who are shaping the future of their fields and defining the next generation of leadership, listed as one of the best actors of 2020 by the New York Times, and ambassador of Plan International Canada — has won the hearts and minds of a global audience. Her natural talent in acting and comedy was revealed through her breakthrough starring role as Devi Vishwakumar in Mindy Kaling’s hit show Never Have I Ever. Captivating international audiences with fast-paced comedic and heart-wrenching dramatic skills, Ramakrishnan’s multifaceted acting talent has been recognized by the 2021 Gracies, awarding her Actress in a Breakthrough Role — Comedy. Additionally, she was recently recognized by the 2021 Annual Asian American Awards for Breakout in TV and was nominated for Best Female Performance in a New Scripted Series by the Independent Spirit Awards. Ramakrishnan is soon to appear on screens in 2022 in Pixar’s Turning Red, voicing the role of Priya. She is currently filming the third season of Never Have I Ever.
For an exceptional lifetime of work that has had a profound impact on the media industry at home or abroad, the Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to Bob Cole.
Bob Cole, a Hockey Hall of Famer and Canadian icon, has been captivating hockey audiences with his electrifying voice for more than five decades. Joining Sportsnet in June 2014, Cole continued to call games on Saturdays for Hockey Night in Canada — as well as during the Stanley Cup Playoffs — until stepping away from the microphone in 2019. A Gemini Award winner, Cole began his broadcast career in St. John’s, Newfoundland as an announcer on the radio station VOCM in 1954. Cole later joined the CBC in 1969 as radio play-by-play announcer for Hockey Night in Canada before transitioning to the show’s television broadcast in 1973. Following Foster Hewitt’s retirement, Cole became the voice of the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens on Hockey Night in Canada. Over the course of his celebrated career, Cole called play-by-play for the 1972 Summit Series radio broadcast and was the lead hockey announcer for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City where Canada defeated the United States in the gold medal men’s hockey game. Following his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1996, Cole was a recipient for the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for excellence in hockey broadcasting in 1996 and has been honoured with nine Gemini Award nominations with a win for Best Sports Play-by-Play Announcer in 2007.
For an exceptional body of work in broadcast journalism, the Gordon Sinclair Award For Broadcast Journalism is presented to Rassi Nashalik.
Rassi Nashalik is a recently retired Inuk media personality who grew up in a little outpost camp called Sauniqturaajuk outside of Pangnirtung, Nunavut and is currently living in Yellowknife, NT. Until her retirement in 2014, she pioneered and hosted CBC North’s Igalaaq, an Inuktitut daily television newscast for audiences primarily in northern Canada. Over her 19 years at CBC, Nashalik travelled extensively throughout the North, hosting celebrations such as the creation of Nunavut, the first Nunavut election, the Arctic Winter Games, and the Canada Games. In 2003, she received an English Television Award for Living Hope, an hour-long television show on suicide in the North, and in 2021 she became the first Inuk woman inducted into the CBC News Hall of Fame. Prior to her work with CBC, she worked as a manager of the Inuktitut section of the language bureau for the Government of the Northwest Territories, an interpreter translator for the Arctic Co-operatives Federation Ltd., and as a community health representative in Pangnirtung. A lifelong volunteer, Nashalik has served as an elder to advise on the Yellowknife staging of the “Walking With Our Sisters” exhibition to honour murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls, a YWCA Board member in Yellowknife between 2013 and 2019, and has been a member of the RCMP G Division Commanding Officers Indigenous Consultative Committee providing an Indigenous lens to policing in the North and advising on reconciliation for the past three years. In 2018, Nashalik was honoured to be one of the elders to light the ceremonial Qulliq for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Inquiry (MMIWG) in the North. She also participated in a Missing Inuit Women gathering to vet the MMIWG final report recommendations. Nashalik is currently adjunct to the University of Alberta School of Public Health where, as an elder-in-residence, she liaises with northern students and provides a link to Inuit culture and traditions.
For their extraordinary impact on the growth of the Canadian media industry, the Academy Board of Directors’ Tribute Award is presented to Vince Commisso and John Galway.
Vince Commisso is President and CEO of 9 Story Media Group, one of the industry’s leading creators, producers, and distributors of top-quality content for young audiences around the world. With facilities in Toronto, New York, Dublin, and Bali, the 9 Story family of companies has produced thousands of episodes of best-in-class kids and family programming. Commisso began his career in 1992 at Nelvana, where he rose through the ranks to become Supervising Producer, garnering one Emmy® and two Gemini nominations. In 2002, he co-founded 9 Story Entertainment, an animation company that would utilize leading edge technologies to develop and produce compelling animated children’s content with international appeal. Since earning an Emmy® Award on the company’s very first show, Peep and the Big Wide World, the 9 Story family of companies has gone on to earn countless other awards, including seventeen Emmy® Awards and two Oscar® nominations.
An MBA graduate, John Galway’s career has ranged from film festivals to film and TV development, production, and financing. After leadership positions at TIFF, Ontario Creates, The Canadian Media Fund, and Telefilm Canada, he joined The Harold Greenberg Fund as President and Board Member. As President, he was responsible for the strategic and financial management of the organization, as well as industry and board relations. During his time at the Fund, he oversaw investments of more than $40 million and helped develop over 1500 feature film projects. In addition to the main feature film development and production programs, Galway oversaw partnerships with film festivals, scriptwriting labs, and film promotion initiatives as well the support of documentary and short film projects. In 2021, he launched Corrib Entertainment to develop and produce fiction and non-fiction properties and to consult on film industry projects. He is the co-Founder and Executive Director of the Toronto Irish Film Festival. He has facilitated producer delegations to the Jerusalem Film Festival (partnering with the Israeli Government and the Jerusalem Foundation), the Galway Film Fleadh (partnering with Screen Ireland), and an Ireland-Canada co-production lab (partnering with Screen Ireland and the Canadian Embassy). Galway is also the Facilitator of the Producer’s Lab at the Whistler Film Festival.
Nominees for this year’s Awards will be announced on Tuesday, February 15, 2022.
(Photo credit: Netflix)