CBC's flagship newscast "The National" and the documentary "The Accountant of Auschwitz" were the big winners on the first night of virtual presentations from the Canadian Screen Awards on Monday.

Canadian Screen Award winners won't be announced just yet even though the ceremony was cancelled due to fears around COVID-19. (https://www.facebook.com/TheCdnAcademy/)

TORONTO — CBC’s flagship newscast “The National” and the documentary “The Accountant of Auschwitz” were the big winners on the first night of virtual presentations from the Canadian Screen Awards on Monday.

Each got four trophies during the video announcements, which covered the categories of broadcast news, sports programming, and documentary and factual.

“The National” won honours including best news anchor for the original four co-hosts — Adrienne Arsenault, Rosemary Barton, Andrew Chang, and Ian Hanomansing.

In January, the CBC changed the four-person format, making Arsenault and Chang the show’s two main hosts and Hanomansing the main anchor on Friday and Sunday.

Barton took on a new position as the CBC News chief political correspondent while continuing to report on “The National.”

Meanwhile, “The Accountant of Auschwitz” took trophies including best history documentary program or series.

Toronto-based Matthew Shoychet directed the film, which aired on CBC’s documentary Channel.

The story profiles Oskar Groening, a German Nazi SS officer who worked as an accountant at the Auschwitz concentration camp in occupied Poland during the Second World War.

The Ted Rogers Best Feature Length Documentary award went to “nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up” by Tasha Hubbard.

The film looks at the case of Colten Boushie, a 22-year-old member of the Red Pheasant First Nation who died from a gunshot to the back of his head after the vehicle he was in with friends drove onto a rural farm property near Biggar, Sask., in August 2016.

In 2018 a jury acquitted farmer Gerald Stanley of second-degree murder after he testified his gun went off accidentally when he was trying to scare off young people who were on his property.

The Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television is revealing this year’s Canadian Screen Awards winners in a series of online presentations through Thursday.

The presentations are being live-streamed on the academy’s website as well as its Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube channels.

Presenters during Monday’s live-streams included actress-filmmaker Elle-Maija Tailfeathers, journalist Lloyd Robertson, and Toronto Raptors public address announcer Herbie Kuhn.

Other multiple winners Monday included the CBC documentary “Finding the Secret Path,” about the late Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie’s determination to raise awareness about Canada’s dark history of residential schools through the story of Chanie Wenjack.

The doc earned two trophies, including best direction in a documentary program for Mike Downie, who also wrote and co-produced the doc.

Also netting two awards apiece were TSN’s “2019 NBA Finals Game 6” and its docu-series “Engraved on a Nation: On the Line”; the documentary “Mr. Jane and Finch,” which aired on CBC; the CBC’s newsmagazine program “The Fifth Estate”; and CTV’s investigative journalism program “W5.”

Other winners included Paul Hunter of “The National,” who was declared best national reporter, while best national newscast went to “CTV National News with Lisa LaFlamme.”

The annual in-person Canadian Screen Awards galas celebrating homegrown film, TV and digital media were cancelled in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CBC comedy “Schitt’s Creek” had a leading 26 nominations going into this week’s presentations.

The leading film contender is Quebec director Francois Girard’s violin virtuoso drama “The Song of Names” with nine nominations.

There are 144 film, television, and digital media categories in total.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 25, 2020

By Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press