What a turnout! Toronto’s own Simu Liu, known best for his work on Kim’s Convenience, got a hero’s welcome home tonight. Just this weekend at San Diego Comic-Con, it was unveiled that he was cast in Marvel‘s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Tings, in the titular role. The Film has him starring as the first ever Asian male superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
To support his Shang-Chi Co-Star Awkwafina in her acclaimed new Film directed by Lulu Wang, The Farewell, he invited his fans on Social Media to a free 9:30 PM screening tonight of the Movie of the Cineplex Varsity. The theatre is pulling-in the highest ticket sales for The Farewell in North America, in addition to already beating Avengers: Endgame‘s per-theatre average!
I’ve never seen a crowd like this ever at this theatre and I’ve been going here for years! Fans crowded both levels of Manulife Centre, queueing for a chance at a free ticket, courtesy of Liu and Gold Open, a movement which supports Asian-Americans in Film, buying-out theatres entirely. The movement was instrumental in helping propel CRAZY RICH ASIANS to #1 at the Box Office in North America last year.
Showing their support for Liu were the stars of DC Comics’ Titans, Ryan Potter and Conor Leslie!
Wrapping-up Canadian Screen Week, March 25-31, 2019, the 7th edition of the Canadian Screen Awards Broadcast Gala took place tonight at Toronto’s Sony Centre for the Performing Arts. The week-long series of awards and events presented by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, serve to honour excellence across multiple platforms in the Country from Film, to TV to Digital Media.
Noticeably absent this year was these presence of English-language Feature films up for Best Motion Picture, with French-language films leading the way. Coming-of-Age Drama A Colony: Blackfly by Director Geneviève Dulude-De Celles won the coveted award ultimately. Teen Actress Emilie Bierre won Best Actress for her work in the Film which sees her grappling with bullying entering junior high school.
The Great Darkened Days earlier in the week swept the Gala Honouring Cinematic Arts, held at the Four Seasons Hotel, with wins for Sound Editing, Costume Design, Art Direction/Production Design, Cinematography and Actress in a Supporting Role (Sarah Gadon).
Ryerson graduate Jasmin Mozaffari was awarded for Direction with her debut effort FIRECRACKERS which premiered at TIFF to much acclaim. “I am honoured to be part of the group where 60% of the nominees were women” , she says.
ANNE WITH AN E had tied with SCHITT’S CREEK with 15 nominations apiece. The former would prevail though with seven wins at the Broadcast Gala including Best Drama Series and Best Lead Actress, Drama Series (Teen Actress Amybeth McNulty). CARDINAL also would win seven Awards in the Television categories including Best Actor and Actress in a Drama Program or Limited Series, Billy Campbell and Karine Vanasse.
Honouring a Canadian talent making waves abroad, the Radius Award was presented tonight for the first time ever to Toronto’s Stephan James who starred both in Awards Season contender and winning, IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK and also Amazon Prime Series HOMECOMING alongside Julia Roberts. He came with his brother Shamier Anderson and they told the Newsroom about their joint venture, The B.L.A.C.K Ball which earlier this Awards Season was held for the first time ever in Los Angeles with the likes of Tessa Thompson, Tiffany Haddish, Jesse Williams, Amandla Stenberg and more attending.
Other Awards handed-out tonight included the Academy Icon Award which honoured the Cast of THE KIDS IN THE HALL. The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Filmmaker Deepa Mehta (Water, Beeba Boys), while Funnywoman Mary Walsh was handed the Earle Gray Award. The first-ever Industry Leadership Award went to our dear friends at Entertainment One.
For the first time ever this year, the Canadian Screen Arts Festival took place at Cineplex theatres every Saturday in March from Iqaluit to Vancouver, giving audience a chance to see some of this year’s nominated Films including Sashinka, Stockholm, What Walaa Wants, Immaculate Memories and Just a Breath Away.
See some Snaps from the night:
The Cast of Schitt’s Creek
Four-time Canadian Screen Award winner, Catherine O’Hara
Beth Janson, CEO of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television
Billy Campbell, Cardinal: Blackfly
Karine Vanasse, Cardinal: Blackfly
Stephan James x Shamier Anderson
Cindy Sampson, Private Eyes
Melanie Scrofano, Wynonna Earp
Kim Coates, Bad Blood
The Cast of Kim’s Convenience
Aaron Ashmore, The Killjoys
Sarah Gadon, The Great Darkened Days
Tynomi Banks, Canada’s a Drag
Moira Walley-Beckett, Amybeth McNulty x Miranda de Pencier of Anne With an E
Natasha Negovanlis x Elise Bauman
Rebecca Romijn x Jerry O’Connell
Yannick Bisson, Murdoch Mysteries
Tori Anderson x Allan Hawco
Catherine Reitman x Danielle Kind x Philip Sternberg of Workin’ Moms
Jasmin Mozaffari x Caitlin Grabham, Firecrackers
The Kids in the Hall
See our Highlight Reel with our George Kozera (@PartyG):
Now in its sixth year, the Canadian Screen Awards Broadcast Gala caps-off a week of celebrations in Toronto honouring the Country’s very best in Film, Television and Digital Media. Held at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, the Awards are an answer to Canada’s humility and need for a real star system. The Gala was hosted by Jonny Harris and Emmy Hunter.
Winning top honours this year was the Aisling Walsh Film MAUDIE based on the life of Canadian folk artist Maudie Lewis starring Ethan Hawke and Sally Hawkins. The Drama won a total seven Canadian Screen Awards tonight including Best Picture, Best Director, Supporting Actor (Hawke), Best Actress (Hawkins) and more. Walsh in what was a common theme of female empowerment and inclusion in light of the #AfterMeToo movement in Canada, tells the audience,“Every woman in this room who has dreamed of directing, writing or acting in a Film, go ahead and do it!”.
CBC‘s ALIAS GRACE scored two Canadian Screen Awards including Best Limited Series or Program and Best Actress in a Drama or Limited Series (Sarah Gadon). Based on Canadian literary icon Margaret Atwood‘s Book of the same name, tonight we saw the Author herself honoured with the Academy Board of Directors’ Tribute Award. Atwood says “I am very lucky to work with the brightest talent including Sarah Polley. I am supporting #AfterMeToo (and what their actual mission is) and the Canadian Women’s Foundation.”.
Tying in the Television categories tonight were fellow CBC Series KIM’S CONVENIENCE and ANNE with two wins each. The former is a Sitcom centering on a Korean-Canadian family in Toronto and their convenience shop and it won Best Comedy Series and repeated for Best Actor in a Comedy Series (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee). The latter is based on the internationally-adored Children’s Book Series Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery and it scored for Best Drama Series and Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Program or Series (R.H. Thompson).
Hochelaga, Land of Souls would take home four Canadian Screen Awards for Visual Effects, Art Direction, Cinematography and Overall Sound.
Angelina Jolie-produced Animated Feature The Breadwinner nabbedAdapted Screenplay, Music, Original Score, Sound Editing and Original Song.
Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World would win forFeature Length Documentary and Editing in Feature Length Documentary.
The Gala was a star-studded affair graced by the likes of Presenters: Kawa Ada, Shamier Anderson, Jann Arden, Adrienne Arsenault, Andrea Bang, Amanda Brugel, Billy Campbell, Nicholas Campbell, Saara Chaudry, Kim Coates, Wendy Crewson, Gerry Dee, Caroline Dhavernas, Sadaf Foroughi, Sarain Fox, Sarah Gadon, Marc-André Grondin, Allan Hawco, Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Daniel Levy, Eugene Levy, Tatiana Maslany, Lisa Meeches, Amybeth McNulty, Natasha Negovanlis, Catherine O’Hara, Charles Officer, Amanda Parris, Jasmeet “JusReign” Raina, Catherine Reitman, Maxim Roy and Aurora Browne, Meredith MacNeill, Carolyn Taylorand Jennifer Whalen.
In addition to honouring the most notable Canadian productions of the past year, the Gala paid tribute to longstanding excellence. Media personality Peter Mansbridge, known as the face of CBC‘s The National, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from AdrienneArsenault. Rick Mercer received an Icon Award from adored Singer/Songwriter Jann Arden for his work on now-concluded The Mercer Report. Actor/Director Clark Johnson was awarded the Earle Grey Award, presented by his sisters Molly and Taborah.
In addition to critical merit, popularity too was awarded at the Broadcast Gala. The Golden Screen Award for TV Drama went to CBC‘s Murdoch Mysteries, while the Golden Screen Award for TV Reality Show was handed to CTV‘s The Amazing Race Canada. The Cineplex Golden Screen Award for Feature Film was given to De père en flic 2.
The Cogeco Fund Audience Choice Award, decided upon by fans online went to star of Webseries Carmilla, Elise Bauman, whom last year saw her Co-Star Natasha Negovanlis win the same award.
Earlier in the week, awards were handed for Excellence in Non-Fiction Storytelling, Excellence in Creative Fiction Storytelling and Excellence in Digital and Storytelling. Also, fans got to meet up-close some of their favourite stars of the Canadian productions at Family Fan Day, including the likes of Jerry O’Connell, Allan Hawco, Amybeth McNulty, Daniel Maslany, Elise Bauman, Natasha Negovanlis, Viviane Hicks, the Cast of Kim’s Convenience and many more.
See more Photos of the night. Hover cursor left and right to navigate slideshows.
Saara Chaudry (The Breadwinner), Billy Campbell (Cardinal), Allan Hawco (Caught), #AFTERMETOO, Caroline Dhavernas (Mary Kills People) Natasha Negovanlis (Carmilla), Elise Bauman (Carmilla) and more in the Highlight Reel below:
(Photo/video credit: Mr. Will Wong/Amanda Gilmore)
Taking place tonight at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, the fifth annual Canadian Screen Awards honoured the year’s best in Television, Film and Digital Media. Earning top honours tonight was ORPHAN BLACK with five wins for Best Dramatic Series, Original Score, Supporting Actor (Kevin Hanchard), Writing and Lead Actress (Tatiana Maslany). The Toronto-made Series, which currently is filming its final episode, will be premiering its fifth and final season Saturday,June 10, 2017.
Leading the way in the Film categories was Xavier Dolan‘s IT’S ONLY THE END OF THE WORLD. The French-Canadian Film which was Canada’s submission at the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film this year, took home Best Picture, Best Director (Dolan), Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Makeup and Best Supporting Actor (Vincent Cassel).
Regina-born Actress Tatiana Maslany was the queen of the night, winning for both her work on Orphan Black and as Lead Actress in the Feature Film The Other Half in which she stars opposite her real-life partner Tom Cullen.
Toronto’s Stephan James took home Lead Actor for his work on sports drama RACE. He stated, “The greatest honour of my career was to portray Jesse Owens.”. The Film also won for Visual Effects, Overall Sound and Sound Editing.
Hosted by a spirited Howie Mandel, the evening also saw icon Christopher Plummer win a Lifetime Achievement Award. He says, “I’ve spent almost 70 years making a fool of myself in this crazy profession of ours. And I’ve had the time of my life.”.
Comedian Dave Chappelle also flew-in for the occasion, presenting the Icon Award to JUST FOR LAUGHS. He credits the organization for helping him achieve his big break, joking “I’d never came to Canada before I came to this festival and when I did, I found that Canada was kinder and gentler, like a little gay brother I didn’t know about.”.
See Red Carpet Highlights from the 2017 Canadian Screen Awards:
See Amanda Gilmore‘s and my Interviews with some of the evening’s stars on the Red Carpet including the cast of Kim’s Convenience and Dave Chappelle:
Some Snaps from the Evening:
Shailyn Pierre-Dixon, “Between”
Sangita Patel, “ET Canada”
Dylan Authors x Mike MacMillan, “WEIRDOS”
Simu Liu, “Kim’s Convenience”
Karine Vanasse, “Cardinal”
Michelle Nolden, “Saving Hope”
Erica Durance, “Saving Hope”
Chloe Wilde, “eTalk”
Penny Oleksiak, Gold Medal Olympian
Kim Coates, GOON
Kevan Funk x Jared Abrahamson, “Hello Destroyer”
Christopher Plummer, Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient
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
Nominations were announced earlier today at Oliver & Bonacini‘s Aperture Room for the 2017 Canadian Screen Awards, now in their fifth year. Announcing nominees were a trio of Canadian talent including actors Maxim Roy (Shadowhunters), Simu Liu (Kim’s Convenience) and Amanda Brugel (The Handmaid’s Tale).
With 134 categories, divided by Digital Media, Television and Film, the Awards brought out some familiar and new names. Leading the Television nominees once again is ORPHAN BLACK with a stellar 14 nominations (and wins in the past three consecutive years) including Best Dramatic Series and Actress (Tatiana Maslany).SCHITT’S CREEK, also a multi-CSA winner which just premiered in its third season, follows closely in second with 13 nominations, while KIM’S CONVENIENCE gets 11 nominations in its debut. The latter two, both from CBC, compete for Best Comedy Series.
Leading the Film nominations with nine nods is Xavier Dolan‘s IT’S ONLY THE END OF THE WORLD including Best Motion Picture and Direction, Canada’s Best Foreign Picture entry at the upcoming Academy Awards. RACE, also filmed in Montreal like WORLD, gets eight nominations, while BEFORE THE STREETS, OPERATION AVALANCHE and WEIRDOS each get six nods apiece.
Newly-appointed Academy CEO Beth Janson who returned to Canada recently after a stint in the U.S., comments on the lack of a star system in Canada and hence the necessity of recognizing our own Canadian talent which she is certain has no shortage of. “The stories we tell are increasingly reflective of our diverse experiences as Canadians, and that is a trend to cherish”, she tells a room of industry, media and nominees.
Some Snaps from the Breakfast:
Academy President, Martin Katz
Actress, Amanda Brugel
Actor, Simu Liu
Actress, Maxim Roy
Nominees Jennifer Dale and Adrian Holmes
Team Schitt’s Creek congratulate Catherine O’Hara on her nod!
The 2017 Canadian Screen Awards air live on CBCSunday, March 12, 2017 at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, hosted by Howie Mandel. Academy Award winner Christopher Plummerthat night is slated to be honoured with aLifetime Achievement Award. The Awards cap-off Canadian Screen Week, which takes place between Monday, March 6 – Sunday, March 12, 2017. Academy Award winner Christopher Plummer that night is slated to be honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Like previous years, Fans will have a chance to engage with various events set to take place leading up to the Awards. Visit ACADEMY.CA for updates.
Unless you really aren’t paying attention, ads for KIM’S CONVENIENCE have taken over the City these past few weeks. Billboards, bus shelters, you name it – CBC wants you to know about this groundbreaking new comedic series led by an Asian-Canadian cast, based on Playwright Ins Choi‘s play of the same name which won rave reviews. The Series, premiering Tuesday, October 11, 20169 PM EST hones-in on the inter-generational conflict between a family of Korean immigrants. We had the chance to chat with up-and-coming actor Simu Liu who not only stars in KIM’S CONVENIENCE as Jung, but also appears on upcoming NBC Series, TAKEN – both filmed here in Toronto.
1. Tell us what drew you most to your role on KIM’S CONVENIENCE and tell us about the casting process.
Liu: What drew me to this role is Jung’s troubled relationship with his father. I related a lot to the struggle of growing up with one culture at home and another at school, and I found a lot of catharsis doing scenes between Jung and Appa. My own relationship with my parents is not what’s on the show, but there are some definite similarities. I hope that a lot of children from immigrant families watching this can learn to appreciate their parents’ hard work and sacrifice in coming to Canada.
2. Tell us a bit more about your character Jung.
Liu: Jung is a guy who has a bit of a rebellious past. He ran with the wrong crowd in high school, got kicked out of the house, and ended up getting in a bit of trouble with the law. Jung begins the show doing grunt work at a car rental company. He’s confident, charismatic and a natural leader, and he’s made a commitment to make something better of his life. While he still keeps in contact with his mom and sister, Jung’s relationship to his father is still rocky; in fact, they haven’t spoken in almost ten years.
3. We see your extensive stunt work on your résumé. Tell us about some of the most dangerous work you’ve done thus far.
Liu: Oh jeez – well it would have to be on Heroes Reborn. I was on supposed to do a simple fall in the fight sequence but when we got on set the director wanted something more. So the coordinator asked if I could get clotheslined in the neck, do a backflip and then land on my face. I had practiced the stunt on soft floor before but we were on set already and I hadn’t rehearsed it. I was fairly confident in my abilities and we were able to get the shot!
4. We see you are working on two Toronto productions at once, TAKEN and KIM’S CONVENIENCE. How do you juggle both?
Liu: I gave up sleep for a few weeks! On more than one occasion I would be waking up at 5:30am to do a full 14 hr day on one set, have a car waiting to transport me to the other to work an 8 hr day, go home to shower and then be on set again at 6 the next day. I am eternally grateful to the production managers of both shows as well as my eternally dedicated agent Andrea Britton for making it possible to shoot two shows at once. Looking back it truly was the craziest, most memorable summer I have ever had.
5. Okay, you’re at a convenience store. We give you a $10 budget. What do you buy?
A bag of Jalapeño chips, an ice cream sandwich and a can of Diet Coke!