The jumbo-sized Canadian Screen Week festivities culminate with glitz and glam tonight at the Canadian Screen Awards broadcast gala, honouring the best in homegrown TV, film and digital production of the past year. Here are five things to know before tonight's big show.

A host who won't go all Ricky Gervais

Stand-up comedy veteran and former SNL Weekend Update anchor Norm Macdonald is known for a sarcastic, tell-it-like-it-is brand of humour, with the likes of O.J. Simpson, Donald Trump and Bill Maher all falling prey to his barbs. But the 2016 CSAs host says he doesn't plan to go all Ricky Gervais on the celebs at tonight's gala.

While working with writers to prepare his monologue and introductions, he was surprised at what was submitted.

"Some of the jokes the writers were sending me were kind of like I was insulting everybody, and I was like, 'Oh God, I don't want to do that,"' Macdonald told The Canadian Press in a recent interview.

"They had shown me ads where it was like, 'Guarantee to be offended.' It sounded like that was their tag line, and I said, 'I'm not going to offend anybody.'"

Famous faces

Canadian Screen Awards

Revenge's Emily VanCamp, Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly, The Book of Negroes star Aunjanue Ellis and comic actress Mary Walsh are among the presenters at tonight's gala. (Canadian Screen Awards)

The stars appearing at Canadian award shows aren't always of the same glamorous constellation as at Hollywood counterparts, but this year celeb-watchers are in luck. Both the evening's roster of contenders and pantheon of presenters are packed with individuals who have made a splash on both sides of the border. And then there are those who are simply Canadian favourites.

Just a few of the big names slated to appear:

  • Christopher Plummer

  • Jacob Tremblay

  • Waris Ahluwalia

  • Donald and his son Rossif Sutherland

  • Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara

  • Emily VanCamp

  • Rick Mercer

  • Aunjanue Ellis

  • Seán Cullen

  • Stephan James

  • Jay Baruchel

  • This Hour Has 22 Minutes' Mark Critch, Cathy Jones, Susan Kent and Shaun Majumder

  • The Social's Lainey Lui and Cynthia Loyst

  • Mary Walsh

Mini SCTV reunion?

With Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara in attendance for the top TV contender Schitt's Creek and Martin Short to be honoured with a lifetime achievement award, we're all expecting to see some sort of a warm reunion between the three SCTV alums.


After being a major contender at the Oscars, Room is a top nominee at the CSAs, with performances by co-stars Brie Larson and Vancouver's Jacob Tremblay among the film's 11 nominations. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

That post-Oscars glow

It's rare that a homegrown production gets to bask in the Oscars spotlight, but this year, two Canadian co-productions did so: Room and Brooklyn (both co-produced with Ireland). Both films will lend some of that Academy Awards glow to the Canadian Screen Awards tonight, where they are among the 10 best motion picture contenders here, as well.

Along with best picture, the team behind top film contender Room (which earned 11 nominations overall) will assuredly be rooting for its actors, Brie Larson (the best-actress Oscar winner), Jacob Tremblay and Joan Allen, as well as for author-turned-screenwriter Emma Donoghue.

Also nominated for best picture are: Corbo; The Demons; Felix and Meira; The Forbidden Room; My Internship in Canada; Our Loved Ones; Remember; and Sleeping Giant.

Meanwhile, some key TV categories to watch tonight include:

  • Best Drama: 19-2; Blackstone; Motive; Saving Hope; X Company.

  • Best Comedy: Mr. D; Mohawk Girls; Schitt's Creek; Tiny Plastic Men; Young Drunk Punk.

  • Best Reality/Competition Program: The Amazing Race Canada; Big Brother Canada; Dragons' Den; Game of Homes; MasterChef Canada.

How to watch?

The 2016 Canadian Screen Awards, a weeklong celebration of Canadian achievement in film, television and digital media, ends in a star-studded gala tonight, broadcast from Toronto's Sony Centre for the Performing Arts.

The gala will be broadcast on CBC-TV at 8 p.m. ET (9 p.m. AT, 9:30 p.m. NT).

Watch the live stream of the 2016 Canadian Screen Awards right here, beginning at 8 p.m. ET (9 p.m. AT, 9:30 p.m. NT).