CBC host George Stroumboulopoulos, Global news anchor Dawna Friesen and CBC News Network's Mark Kelley were among the big winners Tuesday night at an industry gala celebrating the best in news, sports, documentary, reality and lifestyles television.

The Gemini Awards handed out trophies for excellence in Canadian television at a private bash in Toronto hosted by comic Steve Patterson.

The celebration crowned Stroumboulopoulos's late night CBC talk show, George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight, as best talk series, Friesen best news anchor and Kelley best host or interviewer in a news program for Connect with Mark Kelley.

The bash also named Global BC's News Hour program best local newscast in a large market and CBC News: Saskatchewan best local newscast in a small market.

The Gemini gala for children's and youth, drama, and variety and comedy winners will be held Wednesday, while a televised gala Sept. 7 will hand out trophies for the best dramas and comedies.

Comic giant Russell Peters will host the CBC broadcast, where CTV's cop series Flashpoint leads the drama contenders with 17 nominations and HBO Canada's Call Me Fitz leads the sitcoms with 16 nods.

At Tuesday's gala, CBC's chief correspondent Peter Mansbridge presented the Gordon Sinclair Award for broadcast journalism to veteran newsman Lloyd Robertson, who leaves CTV National News on Thursday.

Other winners Tuesday included:

  • Slice channel's Til Debt Do Us Part, named best lifestyle series
  • Jay Onrait of TSN's SportsCentre, named best sportscaster
  • Jim Bannon, named best sports analyst for his work on CBC's broadcast of the 2010 Queen's Plate horse race
  • Hockey Night in Canada's broadcast of the NHL's Heritage Classic hockey game, named best live sporting event
  • CBC News: Marketplace, named best news information series
  • CBC News: The New Governor General, named best news special event coverage

In June 2006, CTV News announced it would no longer participate in the Gemini Awards, saying the time involved in preparing entries for the prizes was not worth the trouble.