The Canadian Screen Awards (French: Les prix Écrans canadiens) are awards given annually by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television recognizing excellence in Canadian film, English-language television, and digital media productions. The new awards were first presented in 2013 as the result of a merger of the Gemini Awards and Genie Awards—the Academy's previous awards presentations for television (English-language) and film productions.
They are widely considered to be the most prestigious award for Canadian entertainers and filmmakers, often referred to as the equivalent of the Oscars and Emmy Awards in the United States, the BAFTA Awards in the United Kingdom, the AACTA Awards in Australia and the IFTA Awards in Ireland.
The award's historic roots are in the Canadian Film Awards, which were presented for film from 1949 to 1978, and the ACTRA Awards, which were presented for television from 1972 to 1986. The Academy took over the CFAs in 1978 to create the new Genie Awards, and took over the ACTRAs in 1986 to create the Gemini Awards.
In April 2012, the Academy announced that it would merge the Geminis and the Genies into a new awards show that would better recognize Canadian accomplishments in film, television, and digital media. On September 4, 2012, the Academy announced that the new ceremony would be known as the Canadian Screen Awards, reflecting the multi-platform nature of the presentation's expanded scope and how Canadians consume media content. The inaugural ceremony, hosted by comedian Martin Short and broadcast by CBC Television, was on March 3, 2013.
As of 2016 the Academy had not announced an official nickname for the awards, such as "Oscar" for the Academy Awards. Many Canadian television and film critics and others have suggested potential nicknames, including the straightforward abbreviation "Screenies"; tributes to film and television legends including "Candys" in memory of actor John Candy, "Pickfords" in honour of actress Mary Pickford and "Normans" in honour of director Norman Jewison; "Angels" as a descriptive reference to the trophy's "wings"; and "Gemininies" as a portmanteau of the awards' former names.
The Academy invited suggestions from viewers via social media, with CEO Helga Stephenson suggesting that the board would consider the suggestions and potentially announce a naming choice in time for the 2014 ceremony. No formal nickname was announced at the time; numerous media outlets settled on the informal "Screenies".
At the 4th Canadian Screen Awards in 2016, host Norm Macdonald called in his opening monologue for the awards to be named the Candys; several presenters and winners followed his lead throughout the evening, referring to the award as "The Candy" in their presentation announcements or acceptance speeches, and John Candy's former SCTV colleagues Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara both endorsed Macdonald's proposal in the press room. The nickname had not been officially adopted by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television by March 2016, although the Academy's social media division immediately adopted the hashtag #TheCandys alongside the official #CdnScreen16, and Academy chair Martin Katz personally endorsed it in a follow-up interview with the Toronto Star. Macdonald had not sought input from the Academy itself prior to his monologue, although he ran the idea past the ceremony's broadcast producer Barry Avrich.
|Ceremony||Date||Best Motion Picture||Best Dramatic Series||Best Comedy Series||Host||Location||Broadcaster|
|1st||March 3, 2013||War Witch (Rebelle)||Flashpoint||Less Than Kind||Martin Short||Sony Centre for the Performing Arts||CBC|
|2nd||March 9, 2014||Gabrielle||Orphan Black||Call Me Fitz|
|3rd||March 1, 2015||Mommy||Andrea Martin||Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts|
|4th||March 13, 2016||Room||19-2||Schitt's Creek||Norm Macdonald||Sony Centre for the Performing Arts|
|5th||March 12, 2017||It's Only the End of the World (Juste la fin du monde)||Orphan Black||Letterkenny||Howie Mandel|
The Canadian Screen Awards has 134 categories in total. There are 24 film categories, 100 television categories, and 10 digital media categories. As with the Genie Awards, all Canadian films, regardless of language, are eligible to receive awards in the film categories. However, as with the Gemini Awards, only English-language productions are eligible for television categories: the Academy continues to hold the Prix Gémeaux, a separate ceremony honouring French-language television productions.
- Best Cross-Platform Project – Children’s and Youth
- Best Cross-Platform Project – Fiction
- Best Cross-Platform Project – Non-Fiction
- Best Immersive Experience
- Best Original Interactive Production Produced for Digital Media
- Best Original Program or Series Produced for Digital Media – Fiction
- Best Original Program or Series Produced for Digital Media – Non-Fiction
- Best Direction in a Program or Series Produced for Digital Media
- Best Actor in a Program or Series Produced for Digital Media
- Best Actress in a Program or Series Produced for Digital Media
- Social Innovator Award