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
Taking place tonight at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, the fourth annual Canadian Screen Awards fêted the very best in both Television and Cinema this past year. Sweeping in the Film categories including Best Film, was Academy Award Nominee for Best Picture, ROOM, shot here in Toronto last winter and subsequently winning the Cadillac People’s Choice Award at TIFF 2015.
In addition to garnering Brie Larson her first Oscar victory last month, the American Actress won Best Film Actress tonight for her work in the Film Adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s best-selling novel, its screenplay also penned by the latter. Director Lenny Abrahamson and Donoghue herself also won in their respective categories.
Child Actor Jacob Tremblay stole the show, garnering a well-deserved victory for Best Film Actor for his portrayal of a child named Jack whom after living all his life isolated from the world with his Ma (Larson), is faced with the challenge of adapting to the real world after he manages to flee from his and his mother’s captor. He tells the Press Room with great pride that he will be displaying his award on his shelf alongside his Millennium Falcon. As we all know by now, he loves Star Wars.
I ask Tremblay what he has to say to Brie Larson whom he has navigated so successfully through Awards Season these past few months. He tells me, “I hope we can work together again”.
CBC Comedy Schitt’s Creek also dominated the Television categories with three wins tonight including Best TV Comedy Series, Best Actor (Eugene Levy) and Actress (Catherine O’Hara) in a TV Comedy. O’Hara and Levy both agree that the Canadian Screen Awards should be given an official nickname of the “Candies” for phonetic and sentimental reasons. The name pays tribute to their SCTV Co-Star John Candy, a Canadian icon who left us far too soon.
Orphan Black also once again was recognized tonight, its upcoming season having wrapped in Toronto just recently. Its star Tatiana Maslany won Best Actress in a TV Drama Series, but unfortunately was busy at the SXSW Festival promoting her new Film with partner Tom Cullen this weekend. Her Co-Star Ari Millen was honoured with Best Actor in a TV Drama Series.
Complete list of winners announced tonight:
Best Comedy Series Schitt’s Creek CBC (CBC)
(Not A Real Company Productions Inc.) Eugene Levy, Daniel Levy, Andrew Barnsley, Fred Levy, Ben Feigin, Mike Short, Kevin White, Colin Brunton
Best Dramatic Series Sponsor | Innovate By Day
19-2 Bravo! (Bell Media) (Sphere Media Plus, Echo Media) Jocelyn Deschenes, Virginia Rankin, Bruce M. Smith, Luc Chatelain, Greg Phillips, Saralo MacGregor, Jesse McKeown
Best International Drama Vikings History Channel Canada (Shaw Media) (Take 5 Productions) Sheila Hockin, John Weber, Michael Hirst, Morgan O’Sullivan, James Flynn, Alan Gasmer, Sherry Marsh, Bill Goddard
Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Comedic Role Schitt’s Creek – Carl’s Funeral CBC (CBC) Eugene Levy
Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role Orphan Black – Newer Elements of Our Defence Space (Bell Media) Ari Millen
Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Comedic Role Schitt’s Creek – Don’t Worry, It’s His Sister CBC (CBC) Catherine O’Hara
Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role Orphan Black – Certain Agony of the Battlefield Space (Bell Media) Tatiana Maslany
Best Performance in a Variety or Sketch Comedy Program or Series (Individual or Ensemble) Sunnyside – Top Hat City (Rogers Media) Kathleen Phillips, Pat Thornton, Patrice Goodman, Kevin Vidal, Alice Moran, Rob Norman, Norm Macdonald
Best TV Movie or Limited Series Sponsor | Entertainment One The Book of Negroes CBC (CBC) (Entertainment One, Conquering Lion Pictures, Out of Africa Entertainment) Damon D’Oliveira, Clement Virgo, Margaret O’Brien, Carrie Stein, Lance Samuels, Bill Niven, Michael Levine
Achievement in Art Direction / Production Design | Meilleure direction artistique Ethan Tobman, Mary Kirkland – Room
Achievement in Costume Design | Meilleurs costumes Joanne Hansen – Beeba Boys
Achievement in Direction | Meilleure réalisation Sponsor | Commanditaire | Pinewood Toronto Studios Lenny Abrahamson – Room
Achievement in Editing | Meilleur montage Sponsor | Commanditaire | The PostMan Post-Production Studio Nathan Nugent – Room
Achievement in Make-Up | Meilleurs maquillages Sponsor | Commanditaire | M●A●C Cosmetics Sid Armour, Jennifer Gould – Room
Achievement in Music – Original Score | Meilleure musique originale Michael Brook – Brooklyn
Achievement in Music – Original Song | Meilleure chanson originale Sponsor | Commanditaire | Slaight Music Jenny Salgado, André Courcy – Scratch – A Hip-opera | Scratch – Un Hip-Opéra – “C’est aujourd’hui que je sors”
Achievement in Overall Sound | Meilleur son d’ensemble Sponsor | Commanditaire | Deluxe Toronto Lou Solakofski, Ian Rankin, Joe Morrow, Russ Dyck, Graham Rogers, James Bastable, André Azoubel, Don White, Jack Hereen – Hyena Road
Achievement in Sound Editing | Meilleur montage sonore Jane Tattersall, David McCallum, Martin Gwynn Jones, Barry Gilmore, David Evans, Dave Rose, Brennan Mercer, Ed Douglas, Kevin Banks, Goro Koyama, Andy Malcolm – Hyena Road
Achievement in Visual Effects | Meilleurs effets visuels Phil Jones, Sarah Wormsbecher, Eric Doiron, Anthony DeChellis, Lon Molnar, Geoff D.E. Scott, Nathan Larouche, Mark Fordham – Hyena Road
Adapted Screenplay | Meilleure adaptation Emma Donoghue – Room
Best Animated Short | Meilleur court métrage d’animation The Ballad Of Immortal Joe – Hector Herrera, Pazit Cahlon
Best Cinematography in a Feature Length Documentary | Meilleures images dans un long métrage documentaire Sponsor | Commanditaire | Sony of Canada Arnaud Bouquet – Last of the Elephant Men
Best Editing in a Feature Length Documentary | Meilleur montage dans un long métrage documentaire James Scott – How to Change the World
Best Live Action Short Drama | Meilleur court métrage dramatique She Stoops To Conquer – Zack Russell, Marianna Khoury
Best Motion Picture | Meilleur film Room – David Gross, Ed Guiney
Best Short Documentary | Meilleur court métrage documentaire Sponsor | Commanditaire | Hot Docs Bacon & God’s Wrath – Sol Friedman
Original Screenplay | Meilleur scénario Benjamin August – Remember
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role | Interprétation masculine dans un premier rôle Jacob Tremblay – Room
Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role | Interprétation masculine dans un rôle de soutien Nick Serino – Sleeping Giant
Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role | Interprétation féminine dans un premier rôle Brie Larson – Room
Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role | Interprétation féminine dans un rôle de soutien Joan Allen – Room
Ted Rogers Best Feature Length Documentary | Meilleur long métrage documentaire Ted Rogers Hurt – Peter Gentile, Alan Zweig
See our Snaps of the Talent on the Red Carpet tonight:
As the din of the screams, tears and cheers that greeted Shawn Mendes, the last person to walk down the red carpet, dissipated into the air, I entered the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts to watch returning Master of Ceremony, the very charming and professional Jason Priestley, host and introduce the most deserving inductees to this year’s CANADA’S WALK OF FAME.
Before each of the inductees had their moments to shine on the beautifully-adorned stage (which had screened clips and interviews of previous honorees that included Michael J. Fox and Anne Murray before the show started) there was a buzz of anticipation in the air. It is not very often that we get the chance to see some of the greatest talents this country has to offer.
Olympic gold medalist, Silken Laumann, spoke of courage and overcoming adversity. A somewhat unusually subdued Don Cherry and the very eloquent Ron MacLean showed us why they were so deserving of this accolade. After the effusive introduction from songstress extraordinaire Molly Johnson, author of “The Book of Negroes” (and brother to singer Dan Hill), a humble Laurence Hill, mesmerized the audience with his personal story of family and strength. Multi-talented and multiple Gemini Award winning actress, Wendy Crewson, gave the most passionate and fiery speech about the art of the craft that had the audience cheering. I have become even a bigger fan of Shawn Mendes, after he shyly and nervously accepted the Allan Slaight Award, then came back later in the show to sing two songs. This talented young man from Pickering has class AND talent!
There was then a lovely tribute to the late, Ottawa-born Lorne Greene who will be forever known as Ben Cartwright in the television classic, “Bonanza”. Vancouver Canucks‘ Trevor Linden had fun talking about the lack of hockey skills the last inductee. Michael Bublé, has, but what Bublé lacks on the ice, he more than makes up for in talent! Not only does he command the stage when he sings, in accepting his award, Michael Bublé was the consummate entertainer. His speech was funny, slightly ribald, modest and genuinely moving when he talked about his wife and son. Newly-minted Canadian, Johnny Reid, ended the show with an inspirational song from his new album.
You may have noticed that I have been vague about many of the exciting things that occurred on stage at the CANADA’S WALK OF FAME celebrations. My intent is to tease only and ensure you watch this show, as I will again, when it is televised on the Global Network on Thursday, December 17, 2015 at 8 PM EST. Watching it will give you another reason to be a proud Canadian! More here.
Canada’s Walk of Fame 2015 took place at Sony Centre for the Performing Arts yesterday and our George Kozera was there to partake in the festivities!
The ceremony now in its 17th year, rolls out the red carpet and shines a bright light on Canadian talent and excellence over an array of fields: entertainment, science, politics and sports. Among those honoured at the ceremony yesterday were:
Michael Bublé Don Cherry & Ron MacLean Lawrence Hill Silken Laumann Wendy Crewson Lorne Greene
While these names were celebrated, other Canadian notables also were present including this year’s Allan Slaight Award recipient and Pickering teen pop sensation Shawn Mendes, lauded for his musical accomplishments including a Billboard Hot 200-topping 2015 debut, Handwritten.
TV star Jason Priestley returned home to Canada to host the affair, while Actress/Singer Jill Hennessy who was in town supporting her new disc I Do, walked the carpet also. The Vancouver Canucks’ Trevor Linden also was on-hand to present to Michael Bublé and Canadian crooners Johnny Reid and Molly Johnson also were on-hand.
This year’s inductees join a prestigious trail of stars who have been immortalized with their names engraved on stars situated on the sidewalk around King Street West x Simcoe Street in our Entertainment District.
Canada’s Walk of Fame 2015 airs Thursday, December 17, 2015 at 8pm EST/PST on Global Television. George‘s recap to come.
The stars shined bright tonight on the yellow carpet at Sony Centre for the Performing Arts as the 2014 Canada’s Walk of Fame Tribute Show commenced on a chillier-than-average October day. The annual Fixture which originated in 1998 honouring individuals who have contributed greatly to the Canadian Cultural landscape, saw representatives from multiple disciplines recognized with an equally star-studded list of Presenters. Their achievements are commemorated via a star plaque situated between John to Simcoe Streets in Toronto, in and around the Entertainment District.
Among those honoured this year were the likes of Actor Ryan Reynolds, Actress Rachel McAdams, Olympian and Hockey Icon Hayley Wickenheiser, Philanthropist Louise Arbour, Musician Jeff Healey and iconic Rock Outfit, The Band. Their Peers including Jian Ghomeshi,Wendy Crewson, Tom Cochrane, Jay Baruchel, Clara Hughes, Peter Fonda and more were on-hand to introduce each of this year’s Star Recipients.
Director and Film/Television Star Jason Priestley filled Host’s duties more than ably with his quick wit, poking fun at everything from the traffic in Toronto to the perception that all Canadian Actors hang with one another while in Hollywood. We had the pleasure of chatting with Priestley on who his Canadian Heroes are and why it is he chose to be involved with Canada’s Walk of Fame. On his Idol, he says “It was The Relic on The Beachcombers back in the day. That’s how long ago I left Canada.”. He adds, “I left Canada in the mid-80s but I’m so thankful every day I grew up here. I want to Theatre School here and Canada’s been extremely important to me as an Artist and a Man. That’s why it’s important for me to be here recognizing these great Entertainers and Political Figures.”.
We spoke quickly to Ryan Reynolds who arrived sans pregnant Wife Blake Lively and he reveals to us his greatest Canadian Heroes. “Michael J. Fox for starters, Atom Egoyan (whom he collaborated with on 2014’s The Captive), Gordon Lightfoot… I loved Barenaked Ladies growing-up” says the Vancouver-born Honouree. “There’s no shortage of Canadian Heroes, I could definitely do this all day!”. Reynolds upon receiving his Star, spoke to some of the highs and lows he’s faced in his Career, telling the Audience “My ability to laugh at myself has saved my life. Canada’s greatest export in fact is sarcasm.”. He proceeded to thank his Mother Tammy who was in-attendance and Lively, whom he describes as “An Alien. Like MacGyver-meets-Brigitte Bardot!“.
Prized Hockey Olympian Hayley Wickenheiser had full control of the stage today, speaking eloquently about her success and how our national treasure of a sport, Hockey, has afforded her many privileges in life. She brought along a ten-year-old Cancer-surviving Hockey Player named Grace whom had her leg amputated, lauding her courage to continue fighting in the name of the Sport. Wickenheiser also thanked her Son Noah on-stage, whom she admits isn’t a Hockey Fan. She went-on to thank him for his understanding in all her travels away from home, drawing emotional reactions from some of the Audience members.
McAdams certainly was the Belle of the Ball, looking one-part Classic Hollywood Starlet and one-part Grecian Goddess in a dual-tone flowy number. Despite being rushed-in and unable to accommodate many Media interviews, she made a strong impression, tearfully receiving her Star on the Walk of Fame. The Actress, in-town currently filming the Drama Spotlight, admits “As much as I love adventure, there is nothing more nourishing to my soul than coming home.”. McAdams went-on to credit York University for giving her a foundation and skills which she still draws-upon still to this day as one of Hollywood’s top Actresses.
Musical Tributes also were given to Inductees Jeff Healey and The Band, with JUNO Winner Sean Jones and The Treasures (ft. Tom Cochrane and more) putting on a dazzling display for the Audience respectively. Scarborough’s The Weeknd (Abel Tesfaye) was named Recipient of the Allan Slaight Award, honouring one young Canadian for making a positive impact. His latest Disc KISS LAND debuted atop the iTunes Album Chart and in three short years, he has seen his star rise on the international front.
Global Television airs the 2014 CANADA’S WALK OF FAMETRIBUTE SHOW on Friday, December 19, 2014 at 8:00 PM EST.