Canadian Screen Week is underway with trophies handed out in four categories so far, including News, Documentary & Factual. Among the evening’s multiple award winners were History docuseries BLK: An Origin Story, which picked up a leading five awards, followed by Crave’s We’re All Gonna Die (Even Jay Baruchel), which came away with four wins. Global National News anchor Dawna Friesen was named Best News Anchor, National, with Global National also picking up the honour for Best National Newscast. Find the full list of winners here. Winners for Sports Programming included Gord Miller (Best Sports Play-by-Play Announcer); Craig Simpson (Best Sports Analyst); and Andi Petrillo (Best Sports Host) for her work on the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games. Multiple award winners in the Children’s and Animation categories, included The Hardy Boys and PAW Patrol – Rescue Knights, with TVO and TVO Kids’ productions securing a leading six awards. Canada’s Drag Race was the big winner at the Lifestyle & Reality Awards, claiming six awards, including three for Canada’s Drag Race – Girls Trip: The Rusical and Brooke Lynn Hytes, Brad Goreski, and Traci Melchor winning Best Host or Presenter, Factual or Reality/Competition.
The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television has announced the Sustainable Production Award, presented by CBC, recognizing a production that has had a measurable reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and/or innovations in circularity, and has also contributed positively to the Canadian media landscape and local communities. Created by the Academy’s Sustainability Committee, consisting of industry experts Zena Harris (Founder and President – Green Spark Group), Leaticia Kaggwa (Environmental Sustainability Lead – CBC), David Hardy (Vice President, Sustainability and Stakeholder Affairs – William F. White International), Elizabeth Wong (Manager, Operations and Partnerships – Bullfrog Power), and Academy staff, the award will launch this summer.
Screen Nova Scotia has announced the nominees for the 9th annual Screen Nova Scotia Awards, set to take place May 13 at Casino Nova Scotia. Among the nominees are those up for Best Nova Scotia Director including Rachel Bower (The Noodle Group); Leah Johnston (Mother’s Skin); Koumbie (Bystanders); and Jackie Torrens (Bernie Langille Wants to Know What Happened to Bernie Langille). Voting is open until April 18 for the Groundbreaking Performance Award, which shines a spotlight on emerging, diverse Nova Scotia talent who are delivering outstanding performances, but are not eligible for the ACTRA Maritimes awards.
Seneca College has announced it’s establishing the Seneca Film Institute (SFI), building on the Greater Toronto institution’s reputation for its film production, animation, and acting training programs. Operating within Seneca’s Faculty of Communication, Art & Design, SFI will work with students across more than 30 programs, offering them “the skills and experiences that will allow them to thrive in Canada’s booming screen industry,” according to a college announcement. SFI will be led by Mark Jones, Academic Chair of Seneca’s School of Creative Arts & Animation, who’ll also serve as the Director of SFI. Award-winning documentarian and journalist Sunny Yi, will serve as SFI’s academic lead. Read more here.
Elemental Post has opened a brand new post production studio in Vancouver. Headed by Post Supervisor and Sound Designer Matt Drake and Senior Colourist Dave Tomiak, it brings together colour, sound and finishing services under one roof. The award-winning duo’s recent work includes Anthony Shim’s Riceboy Sleeps and Marie Clements’ Bones of Crows, in addition to current projects like Borderline, the directorial debut from Cocaine Bear writer Jimmy Warden. The studio, located in Vancouver’s Railtown district, features a brand new 4K theatre with laser projection, three colour suites, two sound stages and other suites for finishing, titling and dailies. Elemental says its seven-member team will likely grow with demand, opening up opportunities for other post-production freelancers to find a place to work on other projects.
The Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) has released a new Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Report. Including contract data from 52 live action and 36 animated series that started production in 2021, in addition to 342 series previously covered in the period from 2017-20, the data shows the percentage of diverse members joining the Guild continues to grow, with 59% of new members identifying as diverse in 2021. The percentage of WGC diverse writers working on TV has increased steadily from 18% in 2017 to 35% in 2021, largely explained by a higher participation of Black writers and writers of colour. In live action, 39% of writers identified as diverse and held 45% of the jobs in 2021, while in animation, 30% of writers identified as diverse and held 34% of jobs. WGC says the findings suggest that despite broad gains, there remains a “glass ceiling” for diverse writers.
Mark McKinney has signed a development deal with Sphere Media that will see The Kids in the Hall alum develop, star and executive produce his first-ever unscripted series. The untitled project is described as a comedy docuseries that will see McKinney travel the world meeting ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
Red Ketchup arrives on Télétoon la nuit Thursdays at 10 p.m., starting April 20. The cult Quebec comic strip hero heads to the small screen with Jacques Bilodeau of Sphère Animation producing, and Martin Villeneuve directing. Based on the character created by Pierre Fournier and Réal Godbout, it will follow FBI agent Red Ketchup on perilous missions he succeeds in every time. The cast includes Benoît Brière (Red Ketchup), France Castel (Sally Ketchup), Gabriel Lessard (Peter Plywood), Alain Zouvi (Dr K), Widemir Normil (Chef Sullivan ), Émilie Bibeau (Olga Dynamo) and Martin Villeneuve (Bill Bélisle).
Coming Out in Politics premieres on Amazon Prime Video, AppleTV+, FrootTV, and OUTtv.com on April 19, and on OUTtv on April 20. Directed by Ottawa-based journalist and filmmaker Christopher Guly, the doc features politicians from Canada’s major political parties discussing the challenges they’ve faced holding public office as members of the LGBTQ community. Among others, the documentary includes former NDP MP Svend Robinson, who in 1988 became the first Canadian parliamentarian to publicly acknowledge he was gay, in addition to Labour Min. Seamus O’Regan, Tourism Min. Randy Boissonnault, Edmonton Griesbach MP Blake Desjarlais, and Quebec MP Pascale St-Onge.
Media Technology Monitor (MTM) has released new data from Netflix to YouTube: How Anglophones are Using Internet-Connected TVs. Key findings from the report include that nearly three-quarters of anglophones (74%) use internet-connected TV sets, with the use of the TV screen for online content more than tripling over the past decade. The growth of internet-connected TVs mirrors the growth of Subscription Video on Demand services (SVODs) with connected TVs the most commonly used screen among viewers of all SVOD services included in the survey. MTM also found that different age groups use different intermediaries for making the connection. Two-fifths of 18-34-year-olds use a game console as an intermediary. They are also most likely to connect via a computer or laptop.