Forget spring, summer, fall and winter, for a lot of TV viewers Awards season is their favorite season of all. Having just experienced The Golden Globes, it’s now Canada’s turn as nominations were announced Tuesday morning for the 2017 Canadian Screen Awards. Much like the Globes, the CSAs cover a wide variety of categories from television, film and multimedia as they aim to celebrate the great work being done by Canadians over multiple genres.
The nominees for 2017 were announced by Maxim Roy (19-2), Simu Liu (Kim’s Convenience) and Amanda Brugel (Orphan Black) and the primary awards will be presented in a televised event March 12, 2017. The ceremony will be hosted by Toronto native Howie Mandel and Christopher Plummer is to receive a lifetime achievement award.
The CSAs are a very inclusive awards show, which means that they require a whole week to hand out awards to the winners. However, here at The TV Junkies we’re primarily concerned with the main TV categories and nominees and after checking through the extensive list (shown below), have a few snap judgements about the nominations. There were many we really loved, but also a few deserving shows and performers that we think are missing. Check out below what I did and did not like about the 2017 CSA nominations.
Like: Diverse Comedies
There was a lot of love for diverse comedies such as Kim’s Convenience and Mohawk Girls on Tuesday morning. CBC’s Kim’s Convenience was a hit with both critics and audiences alike this past fall and was rewarded from all angles with nominations in acting, writing and directing to go along with an overall nomination for Best Comedy. I was also glad to see a nomination for Best Comedy go to APTN’s Mohawk Girls, as well as recognition for director Tracey Deer and writer Cynthia Knight. Mohawk Girls is really a show more people who love Canadian TV should be aware of and checking out, and is certainly well-deserving of its CSA nominations.
Like: Schitt’s Creek continues to reign supreme
With legends Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy leading up the show it’s no surprise that the CSAs showed a ton of love for Schitt’s Creek. The comedy got even stronger in its second season, definitely earning those writing and directing nominations, and the acting nominations for O’Hara, Eugene Levy and Daniel Levy were all well deserved. Perhaps my favorite Schitt’s acting nomination though was for Emily Hampshire who plays “straight man” hotel desk clerk Stevie Budd.
Dislike: But where was Annie Murphy’s nomination?
While all of the Schitt’s acting nominations were well-deserved, I was a bit surprised to see Annie Murphy’s name missing. She was nominated for her role as Alexis in Season 1 of Schitt’s Creek, but I’d actually argue that she got much stronger and the character became much more fleshed out in Season 2. So I was a bit taken aback to see her name missing from the supporting actresses list.
Like: Love for This Life
If you follow along here at The TV Junkies then you know we’re pretty big fans of the CBC drama This Life. It’s well-written, beautifully directed and has a very strong ensemble cast, so the Best Dramatic Series nomination was a pleasant surprise to see. I’m also a big fan of Lauren Lee Smith’s role as Maggie Lawson so I loved seeing her name among the supporting actresses nominees.
Disklike: But why none for Torri Higginson?
While I loved the fact that This Life was recognized as Best Drama, I was shocked to see Torri Higginson’s name missing from the Best Actress nominees. So much of This Life’s success rests on Higginson’s shoulders and it’s a weight she deftly carries in every episode, giving Natalie Lawson a real grace, beauty, humor and a relatability that many other actresses simply could not do. Not only did the Academy snub Higginson for her role in This Life, but I was also surprised she was not nominated for another role she excelled in last year, Dr. Michelle Kessler in the web series Inhuman Condition.
Like: Recognition for the Saving Hope ladies
The women of Hope Zion Hospital had a big year last season and it was nice to see them reap the benefits of that with the CSA nominations. Erica Durance always shines as Alex and her lead actress award was certainly deserved, but it was particularly nice to see Michelle Nolden’s Best Supporting Actress nomination. Dawn went through quite a tumultuous year that eventually ended on a happy note with her relationship with Zack, and throughout it all one thing remained, Nolden’s strong, yet vulnerable performance. And while Wendy Crewson didn’t get nominated for her role as Dr. Dana Kinney on Saving Hope, but it was still great to see her Slasher role included in the nominees.
Dislike: X Company’s lack of nominations
In my opinion Season 2 of X Company was one of the best seasons of television you’ll find. With its direction, writing and stellar performances, each week of X Company’s second season was an adventure I could not wait to go on. While I was glad to see supporting nominations for Torben Liebrecht and Lara Jean Chorostecki, the fact the show is missing in writing, direction and overall series nominees is straight up baffling to me. Mark Ellis, Stephanie Morgenstern and company delivered some of the best television I watched last year and I can’t understand why they didn’t receive any nominations for that work here. Oh, and don’t even get me started on the lack of love for Evelyne Brochu and her performance as Aurora in Season 2…
Like: Wynonna Earp’s nominations
Award shows rarely recognize genre shows, but science fiction and genre shows are something that Canadian TV does so well. So it was great to see Wynonna Earp earn nominations not only in categories like makeup, costume and music, but to also get a writing nomination for showrunner Emily Andras. Throughout the first season, Andras created characters that audiences immediately fell in love with and seeing her get recognition for that was really great to see.
Like: Slasher slays in the Limited Series nominations
Slasher was one of the most fun series of the last year, taking viewers on a wild ride and bringing back the classic horror movie vibe to the small screen. The limited series’ cast also contained many of my favorite Canadian TV actors, including CSA nominees Steve Byers and Wendy Crewson. It was great to see the Academy recognize the series with not only a nomination for Best TV Movie or Limited Series, but also throwing some love to director Craig David Wallace and writer Aaron Martin.
Like: All the Letterkenny love
CraveTV’s Letterkenny has been a huge hit and one of Canada’s best comedies over the last year. Seeing the CSAs acknowledge that fact and give nominations out to Jared Keeso and Company was well deserved as it was one of the best written and well acted comedies of the past year.
Disklike: Only 1 nomination for Killjoys?
While I just praised the Academy for recognizing a genre show in the writing category, I have to call them out for the complete lack of nominations for the always excellent sci fi drama Killjoys. From top to bottom the cast is excellent and the same goes for its writing and direction. I simply can’t understand how it got only one nomination in visual effects.
Canadian Screen Awards 2017 Television Nominees
Best Dramatic Series
Blood and Water
Best Comedy Series
Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Comedic Role
Gerry Dee, Mr. D
Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Kim’s Convenience
Jared Keeso, Letterkenny
Eugene Levy, Schitt’s Creek
Daniel Levy, Schitt’s Creek
Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role
Louis Ferreira, Motive
Eric Schweig, Blackstone
Jason Momoa, Frontier
Landon Liboiron, Frontier
Adrian Holmes, 19-2
Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Comedic Role
Kim Cattrall, Sensitive Skin
Jennifer Dale, What Would Sal Do?
Jean Yoon, Kim’s Convenience
Andrea Bang, Kim’s Convenience
Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek
Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role
Kristin Lehman, Motive
Erica Durance, Saving Hope
Megan Follows, Reign
Carmen Moore, Blackstone
Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Supporting Role in a Dramatic Program or Series
Torben Liebrecht, X Company
Evan Williams, Versailles
Simu Liu, Blood & Water
Kevin Hanchard, Orphan Black
Dan Petronijevic, 19-2
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Supporting Role or Guest Role in a Comedic Series
Ryan McDonald, What Would Sal Do?
Jonathan Torrens, Mr. D
John Hemphill, Schitt’s Creek
Andrew Phung, Kim’s Convenience
Nathan Dales, Letterkenny
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Supporting Role in a Dramatic Program or Series
Shailyn Pierre-Dixon, Between
Michelle Nolden, Saving Hope
Wendy Crewson, Slasher
Lauren Lee Smith, This Life
Lara Jean Chorostecki, X Company
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Supporting Role or Guest Role in a Comedic Series
Mary Walsh, Sensitive Skin
Laine MacNeil, You Me Her
Naomi Snieckus, Mr. D
Kathleen Phillips, Mr. D
Emily Hampshire, Schitt’s Creek
Best Reality/Competition Program or Series
Knock Knock Ghost
Canada’s Smartest Person
Big Brother Canada
The Amazing Race Canada
Best TV Movie or Limited Series
Murdoch Mysteries – A Merry Murdoch Christmas
Odd Squad: The Movie
Best Variety or Sketch Comedy Program or Series
Baroness Von Sketch Show
This Hour Has 22 Minutes
Canada’s Walk of Fame 2015
Best Direction in a Comedy Program or Series
Paul Fox, Schitt’s Creek
Jerry Ciccoritti, Schitt’s Creek
Tracey Deer, Mohawk Girls
Jacob Tierney, Letterkenny
Peter Wellington, Kim’s Convenience
Best Direction in a Dramatic Series
John Fawcett, Orphan Black
Jeff Woolnough, Vikings
Helen Shaver, Vikings
Brad Peyton, Frontier
Louis Choquette, 19-2
Best Writing in a Comedy Program or Series
Andrew DeAngelis, What Would Sal Do?
Cynthia Knight, Mohawk Girls
Ins Choi, Kevin White, Kim’s Convenience
Garry Campbell, Kim’s Convenience
Jacob Tierney, Jared Keeso, Letterkenny
Best Writing in a Dramatic Series
Bruce M. Smith, 19-2
Graeme Mason, Orphan Black
Aubrey Nealon, Orphan Black
Russ Cochrane, Orphan Black
Emily Andras, Wynonna Earp
Thoughts? Tell us below.
The Canadian Screen Awards air Sunday, March 12 at 8 p.m. ET on CBC.