A new wave of Canuck talent shared the stage with industry luminaries at Sunday’s Canadian Screen Awards gala, which honoured current creators shaping the industry and paid tribute to Cancon trailblazers.
The relatively speedy two-hour broadcast ceremony — the culmination of nearly a week’s worth of celebrations — awarded trophies in the remaining, high-profile cinema and television categories. As well, a quartet of special honourees were feted for their career achievements.
Here’s a peek at a few notable moments from the night.
Scarborough to the world
Rising Canadian star Stephan James might have had a stellar year after starring in the Oscar contender If Beale Street Could Talk and earning a Golden Globe nomination for Homecoming. But the inaugural winner of the CSAs new Radius Award had his mind on those who might be coming up behind him.
"I want to dedicate this award to young Black boys and girls across this country."
Congratulations, @realstephj. You are a legend.
— The Canadian Academy (@TheCdnAcademy) April 1, 2019
“I want to dedicate this award to all the little black boys and girls across the country. Perhaps you are watching this now. 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. Scarborough to the world,” James declared as he accepted the fledgling honour, established to recognize a current talent “making waves globally.”
Backstage, he spoke of the B.L.A.C.K. Ball, an initiative he and his brother Shamier Anderson have created to spotlight young filmmakers of colour
“We’ve always wanted to try and trailblaze … and try and create the blueprint for young men and young women who look like us to be inspired by seeing themselves on the screen,” he explained.
Women behind the lens
As the entertainment industry grapples with gender balance and increasing representation, a factoid off the top of Sunday’s ceremony was notable: 60 per cent of the night’s film nominees were directed by women. The awards show itself had an all-female writers’ room and was also directed by women.