The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television (the Canadian Academy) announced the nominees in 135 film, television, and digital content categories for the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards, as well as the special awards that will be announced on air including The Kids in the Hall, who will receive the Academy Icon Award, Deepa Mehta, who will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, Mary Walsh who will receive the Earle Grey Award, and Stephan James, who will receive the inaugural Radius Award. The Awards will be presented over six days during Canadian Screen Week, including the Canadian Screen Awards: Broadcast Gala, live on CBC and the CBC Gem streaming service on Sunday, March 31 at 8 p.m. (9 p.m. AT/ 9:30 p.m. NT). Award-winning comedian Andrew Phung (CBC’s Kim’s Convenience) and Canadian Screen Award-nominated comedian Aisha Alfa (CTV’sThe Beaverton) hosted the Nominee Announcement event, presented in partnership with NATIONAL Public Relations, held at the Globe and Mail Centre in downtown Toronto.
Academy Icon Award: The Kids in the Hall
Inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2008, The Kids in the Hall are the epitome of sketch comedy in Canada and the United States. With sketches reminiscent of Monty Python, troupe members Dave Foley, Kevin McDonald, Bruce McCulloch, Mark McKinney, and Scott Thompson brought laughter into the homes of North Americans for five seasons on CBC, HBO, and CBS with their eponymous show. Known for their impressive drag performances, monologues that covered everyday life experiences, and notable characters including Head Crusher, Chicken Lady, Cabbage Head, and Queen Elizabeth II, The Kids in the Hall was an education in comedy for all who watched. Beyond The Kids in the Hall, the troupe took their comedy to the big screen with Brain Candy, back to the small screen with their mini-series Death Comes to Town, and on the road with their tour. Their impact on Canada’s comedy scene is invaluable and reverberates through the next generation of Canadian comedians we see today.
Earle Grey Award: Mary Walsh
From CODCO to This Hour Has 22 Minutes to Hatching, Matching, and Dispatching to Little Dog, multiple award-winning performer Mary Walsh has been a pillar of Canada’s comedic dominance around the world. Ms. Walsh’s brilliance has been widely recognized with numerous awards and honourary doctorates, as well as the Order of Canada, and the Governor General’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Performing Arts. A native of St. John’s, Newfoundland, Ms. Walsh’s comedy is rooted in East Coast humour, which she introduced to Canadians, putting the genre on the map. Using her humour to discuss Canadian and international political issues, she appeals to all generations. Ms. Walsh’s best-known character, Marg Delahunty, was made famous through the cornering of politicians, including Rob Ford and Stephen Harper, and conducting satirical interviews. Outside of her work, Ms. Walsh has served as a spokesperson for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind and Oxfam, has participated in the Bell Let’s Talk campaign since 2014 and supports the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health in Ottawa.
Lifetime Achievement Award: Deepa Mehta
Deepa Mehta is an Oscar-nominated trailblazer in the global film industry. A preeminent teller of Canadian stories, Ms. Mehta’s work focuses on her Indo-Canadian cultural identity, from exploring boundary-pushing ideas and controversial topics in films including the ground-breaking Sam & Me and the Elements Trilogy, which includes the Oscar-nominated Water, to the Genie Award-winning romantic comedy Bollywood/Hollywood. Ms. Mehta’s body of work also includes the Canadian Screen Award-nominated adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s novel Midnight’s Children, Jessica Tandy’s penultimate film Camilla, and Beeba Boys. Her last feature film was the 2016 film Anatomy of Violence, which explored the root causes leading to the 2012 Delhi attack on Jyoti Singh Pandey. She received the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement in 2012, was named to the Order of Ontario and appointed to the Order of Canada in 2013, as well as inducted into the Canadian Walk of Fame in 2016. Ms. Mehta’s recently completed Leila, Netflix’s Indian original series, where she served as creative executive producer and director. She is currently working on her next project, Funny Boy. The Canadian Academy is proud to recognize the artistry of Ms. Mehta and the tremendous impact she has had on the fabric of Canada’s entertainment industry.
Radius Award: Stephan James
The Radius Award is a newly created award to honour a Canadian who is making waves globally, and the Board of Directors elected to present the inaugural award to Stephan James. Toronto-born Stephan James has quickly become a household name in Canada, and around the world, for his impressive body of work, which includes Degrassi: The Next Generation and Selma. Mr. James won a Canadian Screen Award for his portrayal of Jesse Owens in Race, and was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award for Best Supporting Actor for his first major feature film role in the Canadian film Home Again. Most recently, he starred in Barry Jenkins’ Golden Globe-nominated, If Beale Street Could Talk and he was nominated for a 2019 Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama for his role as Walter Cruz in Homecoming, opposite Julia Roberts. Later this year, Mr. James will star opposite Chadwick Boseman and fellow Canadian Taylor Kitsch in 17 Bridges. The Canadian Academy is honoured to recognize Mr. James’ dedication to his craft and skillful portrayal of powerful characters and looks forward to watching him continue to make his mark on the world stage.
2019 Canadian Screen Awards Nominees
The Canadian Screen Awards celebrate the best in Canadian visual storytelling, and represent Canada’s content creators and storytellers, whom the Canadian Academy is committed to inspire and elevate, as well as the next generation of talent and creators in the industry. In particular, this year’s nominations reveal women are an incredible force of talent in Canada today. Women received 50 per cent of the nominations across all writing categories, and dominate nominations in film direction, feature film and web performance categories.
For the list of 2019 Canadian Screen Awards nominees, please visit academy.ca/nominees.