Canadian Screen Awards 2017: The National, CBC Olympics win top awards

CBC's The National, CBC Olympics coverage, Tragically Hip concert among first CSA winners

CBC’s flagship newscast The National, CBC’s broadcast of the Tragically Hip’s emotionally-charged Kingston show and CTV’s highly-rated The Amazing Race Canada were among the winners at this year’s Canadian Screen Awards (CSAs).

The night marked Peter Mansbridge’s last CSAs as host of The National before he leaves the post this July, something referenced in his speech while accepting for best national newscast, one of the night’s big prizes.

Later on the red carpet, he called the award “a nice way to head out.” The show scored four additional awards.


“It’s a very competitive business. This is one of those rare opportunities we all get to sit together and think about the work we’ve done, admire the work we’ve done, no matter what network we’re in,” he said. “Tomorrow we’ll be back beating each other over the head trying to do a better job than everybody else.”

The public broadcaster was a big winner, nabbing 18 of the night’s 49 awards, for shows, stories and specials that aired on CBC or CBC’s Doc Channel. The wins included:

  • Best host or interviewer in a news or information program or series: Wendy Mesley, CBC News: The National.
  • Best reportage, national: CBC News: The National — Trapped at the Border.
  • Best news or information segment: CBC News: The National — Catching Up with the Farwans.
  • Best live sports event: Rio 2016.
  • ​Best science or nature documentary program or series: Moose: A Year in the Life of a Twig Eater.
  • Best factual program or series: Still Standing.
  • Best local newscast: CBC News: Here and Now.
  • Best national newscast: CBC News: The National​.
  • Best host in a lifestyle, talk or entertainment news program or series: Jonny Harris, Still Standing.
  • Best live entertainment special​: The Tragically Hip – A National Celebration.

Not ‘partying the way we used to’

The CBC’s Wendy Mesley beat out Mansbridge for her hosting duties on The National, winning best host or interviewer in a news or information program or series over the chief correspondent, who was also nominated.

A thankful Mesley said the award comes at an interesting time for the industry.

“Journalism awards used to be a huge deal in this country and in the last little while, we’ve kind of been eclipsed a little bit,” she said, post-win. “It’s been a really rough year for journalists so to be part of this parade and to be one of the people who is honoured for trying to do a good job really means an awful lot to me.”

The dampened mood was brought up several times during the ceremony, including by retired CTV host Lloyd Robertson, who was a presenter.