Schitt's Creek, Anne with an E take top honours at Canadian Screen Awards

Schitt's Creek and Anne with an E took the top TV trophies at the Canadian Screen Awards in Toronto, while the French-language drama Une colonie scored best film.

French-language coming-of-age drama Une colonie (A Colony) wins best film

Schitt's Creek, which includes cast members Annie Murphy, Eugene Levy, Daniel Levy (at microphone) and Catherine O'Hara, won best comedy series. O'Hara also won an award for her role on the show. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

Schitt's Creek and Anne with an E took the top TV honours at the Canadian Screen Awards, while the French-language drama Une colonie scored best film.

"I am so proud to be part of a show that laughs at the ridiculous of all that we are," said Schitt's Creek star Catherine O'Hara, who also took home an acting award at the ceremony in Toronto on Sunday evening. "Without malice or homophobia or racism or ageism."

She jokingly added: "But this [award] is what it's all about!"

Anne with an E, based on the classic novel Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery, won a total of seven awards throughout the week, tying the crime drama series Cardinal for the most wins overall.

Amybeth McNulty, who stars as Anne Shirley in Anne with an E, took home an acting award while the show won for best drama series. (Chris Reardon)

Salute to small-town Ontario

Cardinal: Blackfly Season actors Billy Campbell and Karine Vanasse both scored trophies for their roles on the series, which is filmed in Northern Ontario.

"If there is a more professional and friendly and passionate place to make films, I just haven't been there yet," said Campbell in his speech, mentioning Sudbury and North Bay by name.

Billy Campbell accepts his award at the Canadian Screen Awards Sunday, for his role on the TV series Cardinal. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

"I want to thank Canada for being Canada. I'm a Yank and I'm particularly thankful to Canada these days."

The annual show was the culmination of a week-long celebration which honours the best in Canadian film, TV, news and digital storytelling.

Letterkenny, a comedy about two friends living in a small Ontario community, won for its writing.

Letterkenny's Jared Keeso, left, and Jacob Tierney won for comedy writing. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

Une colonie (A Colony), a French-language coming-of-age drama about high school and family, won best motion picture. Jasmin Mozaffari won for directing the teenage drama Firecrackers. She was one of three women nominated in the category — notable given the lack of any female directing nominees at this year's Oscars.

Directing winner Jasmin Mozaffari was one of three women in her category, a marked difference from the lack of female directors nominated for an Oscar this year. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

Stephan James, Deepa Mehta among special honourees

Special honours were given to comedian Mary Walsh. A writer-actress-comedian well known for This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Walsh was acknowledged for her achievements with the Earle Grey award. The comedy troupe The Kids in the Hall, whose eponymous TV series ran from 1989-95, received the Academy Icon Award. 

Stephan James was recognized with a special award for 'making waves globally.' (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

If Beale Street Could Talk star Stephan James was given the inaugural Radius Award. According to the Canadian Academy's website, it's "in recognition of a Canadian in the entertainment industry for making waves globally."

James received a Golden Globe nomination earlier this year for his role on the limited series Homecoming and rose to prominence with the 2016 film Race.

He credited his hometown of Scarborough, Ont. — where he was raised with his brothers by a single mother —for laying the groundwork for his success.

From left: Scott Thompson, Dave Foley, Mark McKinney and Kevin McDonald are shown in a scene from, The Kids in the Hall: Death Comes to Town, which aired in 2010. (Michael Gibson/IFC/Associated Press)

"I want to dedicate this award to young black boys and girls across the country," said James.

"I want to tell you that your craziest dreams, your wildest imaginations are all possible. No matter where you are. No matter where you come from."

Filmmaker Deepa Mehta received a lifetime achievement award.

Deepa Mehta poses for a photo after winning a lifetime achievement award. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

"Many of us are immigrants in this country and, from the outset, are searching for a sense of home," Mehta said on stage after a montage highlighting her work was shown.

"We, in this room, must ensure that we continue to create a country that is not divisive and where dialogue continues to be possible."

A full list of the evening's gala winners is below.

Best motion picture: Une colonie (A Colony)

Best drama series: Anne with an E

Best comedy series: Schitt's Creek

Performance by an actress in a leading role: Émilie Bierre, Une colonie (A Colony)

Performance by an actor in a leading role: Théodore Pellerin, Chien de garde (Family First)

Best lead actress, comedy: Catherine O'Hara, Schitt's Creek

Best lead actor, comedy: Jared KeesoLetterkenny

Best lead actress, drama series: Amybeth McNulty, Anne with an E

Best lead actor, drama series: Kim Coates, Bad Blood City

Best lead actress, drama or limited series:  Karine VanasseCardinal: Blackfly Season 

Best lead actor, drama or limited series: Billy Campbell, Cardinal: Blackfly Season

Best writing, comedy: Letterkenny (Letterkenny Spelling Bee), Jared Keeso, Jacob Tierney

Achievement in direction: Jasmin MozaffariFirecrackers

Best reality/competition program or series: The Amazing Race Canada

Ted Rogers best feature length documentary: Anthropocene: The Human Epoch


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