Live-Tweet/Article | Thoughts on The 2016 Canadian Screen Awards (CBC)

It’s become quite clear to me over the past few years that a site like Gloryosky’s, with erratic update times and run by one easily irritated person (as I fully admit), is currently not going to have the reputation required for agencies that expect a consistent, level-headed, high-quality product. I contribute to Canadian Screenwriter, but that and Gloryosky is the extent of my current involvement with the Canadian film and television industries.

When I look at the #CdnScreen16 Twitter tag, though, it bothers me far more than it should. It is mostly a wall of self-promotion by people who work in or cover the film and television industries. I have no problem with self-promotion. It’s necessary to a business that needs promotion. It’s the lack of professional dissent that bothers me, which Gloryosky finds unhealthy in industries reliant on fandom. It comes across to Gloryosky that the film and television industries’ default position is to outright ignore the bad, which is like knocking a barn down while the animals are still in it.

Gloryosky wants healthy discussion about the film and television industries’ future, not just pictures of celebrities and afterparties. I realize awards galas aren’t the place for said discussion, yet in industries filled with uncertainty over where the money currently is and how big a part digital media plays in the future, the wider questions shouldn’t be ignored. Gloryosky doesn’t want people to lose sight of the bigger picture: how to get people to care about industries that, historically, the Canadian public is reluctant to trust. The current wave of consolidation doesn’t do the film and television industries any favours, especially with companies that partially support films through channels that no longer exist.

I’m actually impressed with Norm Macdonald’s hosting performance. Macdonald has the ability to elevate weak material, and not come across as going through the motions. Martin Short and Andrea Martin were good hosts, yet Macdonald proves that an ability to ad-lib is crucial to an awards ceremony. Norm Macdonald has the timing and the attitude for a relatively low-key awards ceremony. I want to see him return for 2017.

As for the non-Norm parts of the 2016 Canadian Screen Awards broadcast gala, the most embarrassing moment is This Hour Has 22 Minutes castmembers either pretending to be or actually drunk (Shaun Majumder holding a glass of wine) as they present the Best Comedy Series award. It’s the small things that keep the Screenies/CSAs/Candys from becoming as accepted as they could be. If I was a new prospective viewer to 22 Minutes, that display would have turned me off the show instantly. I assume it’s open bar, but don’t show a half-full wine glass on camera.

Admittedly, the 2016 Canadian Screen Awards broadcast gala is an improvement over previous years, in that production snafus are relatively minor and there are no satellite-related problems like in previous years. I hope the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television and producer Barry Avrich keeps the current format, aside from the unnecessary musical number that helped knock the 2016 broadcast gala into an overrun. Musical numbers were out-of-place when the Gemini Awards still existed. They’re out of place now. If the current low-key presentation works – and it does – then keep it. Keep the Canadian Screen Awards at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, as well. Consistency does the Canadian Screen Awards a world of good.

Screen captures from the 2016 Canadian Screen Awards. ©2016 Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television/Frank Content/CBC.

C. Archer
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