From Carmilla to Kim's, the Canadian Screen Award winners agreed: 'Representation matters'
Why representation in film and TV made waves at the 2018 Canadian Screen Awards
Above all else, one thing rang clear throughout last night's Canadian Screen Awards: the message of representation and strength in diversity on screen. Indigenous stories like The Secret Path took home awards alongside actors like Paul Sun-Hyung Lee from Kim's Convenience and Nabil Rajo from Boost. Over the course of the awards, women, people of colour and LGBTQ+ artists were honoured for their work in Canadian film and television.
Below, we've highlighted special moments from presenters and award winners.
Paul Sun-Hyung Lee - Best Lead Actor, Comedy
Representation matters because when communities and people see themselves reflected up on the screen, it is an inspiring and very powerful moment for them.- Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, actor
Kim's Conveniencestar Paul Sun-Hyung Lee won his second Canadian Screen Award for best lead actor in a comedy series. Lee wore a black pin during his acceptance speech in solidarity with the #AfterMeToo campaign. "When you give people a voice, other people start listening. And when people start listening, things start to change," said Lee.
Watch his full acceptance speech below.
Nabil Rajo - Performance by Actor in Leading Role
Nabil Rajo won a CSA for his role as Hakeem Nour in Boost. Born in Asmara, the capital of Eritrea, Rajo immigrated with his family to Canada when he was only six years old. "I've waited a very long time to see a character like Hakeem on the big screen," said Rajo.
Watch the full acceptance speech below.
The Secret Path - Donald Brittain Award for Best Social/Political Documentary Program
Television producer Lisa Meeches and actress Jennifer Podemski delivered an important message to the stakeholders in attendance before presenting the CSA for best social/political documentary. "There is a tsunami about to hit the industry of young Indigenous talent, so be prepared," said Podemski, while Meeches spoke about the untapped wealth of talent and stories in Indigenous communities. "Let this moment resonate to all the Indigenous youth watching. You are beautiful and we see you," she said.
As Gord Downie's multimedia documentary The Secret Path — about Chanie Wenjack's escape from residential school — was awarded the CSA, Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler and Harriet Visitor accepted on behalf of the Wenjack family.
Elise Bauman - Cogeco Fund Audience Choice Award
The co-star of the web series Carmilla urged audience members to continue supporting positive queer representation in media as she accepted her CSA. "If we want to see films and shows with inclusive representation both in front of and behind [the] camera, we need to support those projects," said Bauman.
Check out her full acceptance speech below.
Baroness von Sketch Show - presenting Best Limited Series or Program
The entire cast of the Baroness von Sketch Show took the stage to present the CSA for best limited series or program. "Women have been an integral part of this industry since it began. We stand on their shoulders," said Carolyn Clifford Taylor. Watch their presentation speech below.