Canadian Screen Awards 2017: Baroness von Sketch Show, Orphan Black big winners

In a fitting nod to International Women's Day, CBC's all-female comedy Baroness von Sketch Show was one of the knockout winners Wednesday night at the Canadian Screen Awards (CSAs).

CBC racks up 18 awards for shows like Kim's Convenience, Murdoch Mysteries Christmas special

The core four from CBC's Baroness von Sketch Show — Jennifer Whalen, Carolyn Taylor, Aurora Browne and Meredith MacNeill. The comedy nabbed three awards on the second night of the Canadian Screen Awards, including best variety or sketch comedy program or series. (Stephanie vanKampen/CBC)

In a fitting nod to International Women's Day, CBC's all-female comedy Baroness von Sketch Show was one of the knockout winners Wednesday night at the Canadian Screen Awards (CSAs).

And the timing wasn't lost on the female troupe.

As soon as the show's Carolyn Taylor stepped on stage to accept best variety or sketch comedy program or series — the night's final prize — she blurted out "What an International Women's Day. This is wild."

The comedy, which starts its second season this year, also took home prizes for writing and picture editing. The troupe's Aurora Browne told CBC News she was delighted about the response the show has gotten.

"Just know it's like great. Come up to me on the street. I am happy to have that. I am happy to be accosted on the playground, that's great."

CBC picks up 18 awards

Fellow CBC comedy Kim's Convenience also nabbed multiple awards, including best performance by an actor in a featured supporting role or guest role in a comedic series, which went to Andrew Phung. Post-win, he said he wanted to go cry in a corner.

"I didn't think this would ever happen in life ... I have a degree in economics and I quit like a legit job to pursue a career in the arts in Alberta and it blows my mind that these things happen," he said.

Kim's Convenience cast members, from left to right, Andrew Phung, Andrea Bang and Simu Liu, walked the CSA's 'gold' carpet together. Phung picked up best performance by an actor in a featured supporting role or guest role in a comedic series for his work on the show. (Haydn Watters/CBC)

"To see people's reaction of them coming up to me in malls and at improv shows, coffee shops and telling me how they connect to it makes me so happy that we get to tell those stories."

CBC picked up 18 of the 43 awards handed out as creative fiction was honoured. Some of those trophies included:

  • Best performance by an actress in a featured supporting role in a comedic series: Emily Hampshire, Schitt's Creek, Bob's Bagels / Moira's Nudes​.
  • Best writing in a variety or sketch comedy program or series: Carolyn Taylor, Meredith MacNeill, Jennifer Whalen, Jennifer Goodhue, Dawn Whitwell, Monica Heisey, Mae Martin, Baroness von Sketch Show — I Can't Believe This Used to Take Days.
  • Best writing in a dramatic program or limited series: Peter Mitchell, Murdoch Mysteries — A Merry Murdoch Christmas.
  • Best performance by an actor in a leading role in a dramatic program or limited series: Ben Carlson, The Taming of the Shrew.
  • Best performance by an actress in a leading role in a dramatic program or limited series: Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, Unclaimed.
  • Best performing arts program: The Taming of the Shrew.
  • Best animated program or series: The Curse of Clara: A Holiday Tale.
  • Best TV movie or limited series: Murdoch Mysteries — A Merry Murdoch Christmas.
  • Best variety or sketch comedy program or series: Baroness von Sketch Show.
The leading ladies of Schitt’s Creek joke around — and curse — at the Canadian Screen Awards. 2:40

'Who's that of Canadian celebrities'

Wednesday's gala was the second in the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television's week-long CSA celebrations. The evening, hosted by comedian Seán Cullen, recognized creative fiction content, in the drama, children's and youth, comedy and variety categories.

Cullen wasn't always politically correct, with jokes about deceased former Toronto mayor Rob Ford, as well as the performers in the room, whom he referred to as the "who's that?" of Canadian celebrities.

And while there were plenty of fresh faces, some Canadian industry veterans picked up trophies too.

Wendy Crewson, known for her roles in Saving Hope and the Santa Clause franchise, won best performance by an actress in a featured supporting role in a dramatic program or series for her role in Superchannel's Slasher.

"I'm stunned and shocked. I honestly did not think I was going to win," she said, where she feted the Canadian film industry. "I think we're the brand of this country and it doesn't always get recognized at home but it sure gets recognized abroad."

Space's sci-fi thriller Orphan Black took home the night's most trophies — seven — celebrating acting, writing, photography, editing, production design, direction and music achievements. Other notable winners included:

  • Best performance by an actor in a featured supporting role in a dramatic program or series: Kevin Hanchard, Orphan Black.
  • Best writing in a comedy program or series: Jacob Tierney, Jared Keeso, Letterkenny​​ — Super Soft Birthday.
  • Best writing in a dramatic series: Graeme Manson, Orphan Black — The Collapse of Nature.
  • Best performance in an animated program or series: Martin Short, The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Camping!
  • Best performance in a guest role, dramatic series: Edward Asner (yes, that Ed Asner!), Forgive Me — Blessed Is.
  • Academy board of directors' tribute: Helga Stephenson.

Two nights of the CSAs remain: Thursday's gala celebrates digital storytelling while Sunday is the flagship Howie Mandel-hosted awards show, which will be broadcast live on CBC-TV.

About the Author

Haydn Watters

Haydn Watters is a Toronto-based journalist. He has worked for CBC News and CBC Radio in Halifax, Yellowknife, Ottawa and Toronto, with stints at the politics bureau and the entertainment unit. He also ran an experimental one-person pop-up bureau for the CBC in Barrie, Ont.

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