Canadian drama, comedy and children’s programming were honoured in Toronto Wednesday night at the second of three ceremonies for the annual Canadian Screen Awards.
The award for best direction in a dramatic program or mini-series went to CBC’s The Phantoms, a miniseries based on the Bathurst, N.B., high school basketball team that lost seven of its members in a bus crash in 2008.
CBC’s comedy program The Rick Mercer Report received three awards in the variety or sketch comedy program or series category, including best program, direction and performance. This Hour Has 22 Minutes, won the award for best writing in a variety or sketch comedy program or series, while Gavin Crawford's Wild West won best writing in a comedy program or series.
Bell Media walked away with 27 awards, followed by CBC with eight, Shaw with three and Corus Entertainment with eight (including co-productions with Bell Media), although numerous smaller production companies that worked on the winning programs shared some of those honours.
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The Space television science fiction series Orphan Black won a total of eight awards, including best direction in a dramatic series for an episode entitled “Endless Forms Most Beautiful,” while best direction in a youth or children’s program or series went to the Degrassi episode "Time of My Life.”
Degrassi, which airs on Bell’s MuchMusic channel, also got the award for best children’s or youth fiction program or series. One of the long-running show’s stars, Dylan Everett, who played the character of Campbell Saunders up until last year, won the award for best performance in that category while Ramona Barckert won for best writing for the episode “Bittersweet Symphony, Part 2.”
There was one award given out Wednesday for digital content, and it went to young actor and writer Katie Boland for her performance in the web series Long Story Short. Boland, who divides her time between Toronto and Los Angeles and also stars in the CW series Reign, created the series with her mother, director Gail Harvey.
Although most of the evening was devoted to Canadian programming, one international series was also honoured. The Borgias, the historical fiction series based on the notorious Italian family dynasty of the 15th and 16th centuries that produced two popes and had a reputation for debauchery and ruthlessness, won the award for best international drama.
Wednesday’s gala was the second of three nights of award ceremonies that began Tuesday night with honours for news, sports, documentary and other non-fiction programming. The final gala takes place Sunday night at the Sony Centre for Performing Arts in Toronto.
For a full list of winners, see www.academy.ca.