Rick Mercer Report wins Rose d'Or award

Canadians have made a big splash at the annual Rose d'Or festival in Lucerne, Switzerland, taking home two honourary awards and four Golden Roses, including one for The Rick Mercer Report.

Canadians have made a big splash at the annual Rose d'Or festival in Lucerne, Switzerland, taking home two honourary awards and four Golden Roses, including one for The Rick Mercer Report.

The Rose d'Or festival focuses on television entertainment programming and its prestigious Golden Rose has been awarded since 1961.

The Rick Mercer Report, the half-hour lampoon of the week's events that is hosted by comedian Rick Mercer, won the Rose d'Or for best comedy. It is produced by Island Edge and aired on CBC-TV.

An episode in which Mercer experiences zero gravity at the Canadian Space Agency and visits the recycling depot in Edmonton was entered in the competition, which attracted entries from 424 programs in 33 countries.

"I was thrilled," Mercer told CBC News in an interview from Calgary International Airport. "I guess Ricky Gervais must have taken a year off.

"The Mercer Report, it's a bit of an odd animal. It looks like a one-man show, but really it's the best comedy writers in the country making me look funny every week, " Mercer added.

Mercer said he's been nominated before but never won. CBC writer-producer George Anthony, who was in Lucerne Tuesday accepting an honorary award, accepted on Mercer's behalf.

Anthony also was presented with a prestigious Honorary Rose d'Or, which is given annually in recognition of individuals who have made a significant impact on the television industry.

Anthony is creative consultant for TV Arts & Entertainment at CBC and played a role in the long-running comedy series Royal Canadian Air Farce and ThisHour Has 22 Minutes. He is also creative point person on TheRick Mercer Report.

Another honorary Rose D'Or was presented to Sheena Macdonald, director of special projects at the Canadian Film Centre, the Toronto organization that provides advanced training in film, television and new media.

As former president of Rhombus International, she played a role in producing films such as The Red Violin and Thirty Two Short Films about Glenn Gould and the TV show Slings and Arrows.

The best of 2009 award went to a U.S. reality TV show, I Survived a Japanese Game Show.

Other Canadian winners:

  • Best drama, Windfall & Misfortunes, about a family that wins the lottery, produced by Locomotion TV.
  • Best multi-platform: MI High, Whack The Mole, The MI High Alternate Reality Game, from Canada's Xenophile Media, created for the BBC.
  • Best pitch pilot: The Telephone, a show that features a phone meeting of two publicly known personalities by Canada's Productions Pixcom Inc.

The multi-platform and pitch pilot categories were just introduced this year.

Other winners:

  • Best arts documentary, The Curse of Mona Lisa, from Britain's Channel 4.
  • Best entertainment: The Anthill, a live daily show from Spain's 7 y acción.
  • Best game show: Relentless from Britain's ITV.
  • Best performing arts program: The Eternity Man, from the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
  • Special mention for La Traviata At Zurich Main Station from Switzerland.
  • Best reality TV: I Survived a Japanese Gameshow(U.S.)
  • Best sitcom: My Family from Britain's DLT Entertainment.