Awards season remains in full swing and now it’s Canada’s turn to get in on the action. Nominations were announced Tuesday morning for the 2018 Canadian Screen Awards, highlighting the great work being done by Canadians in a wide variety of categories including film, television and multimedia. The nominees for 2018 were announced by Paul Sun-Hyung Lee (Kim’s Convenience), Karine Vanasse (Cardinal) and Sarain Fox (Rise), with the primary awards being presented in a televised event on Sunday, March 11 at 8 p.m. ET on CBC.
The CSAs cover such a vast array of fields and categories that the awards are actually presented over the course of an entire week. However, here at The TV Junkies we know what we’re about, and that’s the TV categories and nominees. So after checking through and reading over the extensive list of nominees, I have a few snap judgements to make about the nominees this year. It was great to see so many shows and talent that we know and love get nominated, but there were definitely a few names I think were very deserving that are missing from the list. Check out below what I liked and disliked about this year’s CSA nominees.
Like: Lots of love for Mary Kills People
The Global drama series about an ER doc by day and angel of death by night was one of the best Canadian series out there last season. So it was especially nice to see the Academy recognize this by throwing lots of love its way in all the major categories. Mary Kills People received a Best Drama Series nomination, along with nods in writing and directing. The series also swept the drama acting categories as Caroline Dhavernas, Richard Short and Greg Bryk all received nominations.
Like: The Comedy Gold Standards
Once again quality comedies such as Kim’s Convenience, Letterkenny and Schitt’s Creek all received a lot of due recognition this year. While Schitt’s missed out on being included in the Best Comedy nominees, all three of these genuine Canadian comedies received nominations for writing and directing, to go along with multiple cast members being nominated in the performance categories. These series are great examples of how to tell diverse, funny and relatable stories.
Like: Noah Reid nominated for Schitt’s Creek
As mentioned, almost every single member of the Schitt’s Creek cast was nominated for an award, but the one that made me the most happy was Reid’s nomination for Patrick, David’s love interest. The Schitt’s gang is pretty close and a well-oiled machine at this point, so it takes a special actor to come aboard in Season 3 and give such warmth and heart to a character like Patrick. Reid was such a welcome addition and I’m so glad the Academy recognized his performance.
Dislike: The lack of love for X Company
I’m absolutely baffled by the lack of nominations for X Company. In my opinion, the WWII drama series about spies was one of the best, most beautifully written, directed and acted shows on TV during its three season run. To see no Best Drama nomination, nor any writing or directing nods, really depresses me. But perhaps the biggest oversight is once again not nominating Evelyne Brochu in the Lead Actress category. Brochu’s Aurora was the team leader and carried so much emotional weight on her shoulders each and every week. She turned in a masterful performance and I simply cannot fathom how she was left off the ballot here. The one bright spot was that Madeleine Knight, who brought all kinds of sinister brilliance to the show, was nominated in the Best Supporting Actress, Drama category. Then again, that just brings up more mysteries as to how Torben Liebrecht, the deliciously complicated Franz Faber, was not given a nomination.
Dislike: No love for those saying Goodbye
In addition to the lack of love for X Company during its final season, other shows that the Academy has recognized in the past, such as Orphan Black, Mohawk Girls and 19-2, failed to receive many nominations in their final seasons on air. While Tatiana Maslany was nominated for Orphan, it was a surprise to not see either Jared Keeso or Adrian Holmes nominated as Lead Actor for 19-2.
Like: Workin’ Moms has a solid showing
The CBC comedy Workin’ Moms had a good showing in these nominations in its first year on air. In addition to earning a Best Comedy nomination, Workin’ Moms got several acting nominations for lead and show creator Catherine Reitman, as well as supporting and guest actors Dan Aykroyd and Peter Keleghan. It was also lovely to see some of the behind the scenes Workin’ Moms talent like Maya Bankovic, nominated for Best Photography, Comedy, get some recognition.
Dislike: But what about the other moms?
While I loved all the nominations for Workin’ Moms, I was disappointed to see Reitman’s onscreen pals left off the ballot. There were no nominations for Dani Kind or Juno Rinaldi, both of whom turned in multi-layered performances in Season 1, as both of their characters dealt with very emotional issues that aren’t often talked about on television. It would’ve been great to see the Academy award them for those performances here with a nomination.
Like: The Battle for Best Limited Series or Program
Every single aspect of the Best Limited Series or Program category is dominated by the likes of Alias Grace, Cardinal and The Disappearance. All three series were exceptionally well written, directed and acted and there’s going to be a huge battle for each award. If people are curious about how good Canadian television is, they should look no further than this category and these three series for proof.
Dislike: No nomination for Melanie Scrofano
I kept reading through the list trying to find Melanie Scrofano’s name on the list of acting nominees thinking I must surely be skimming over it and just missing it. Alas, Scrofano was not nominated and I’m completely baffled as to why. She pulled off what few actresses could as she delivered a pregnant, demon hunting superhero during Season 2 of Wynonna Earp. Scrofano can do it all, from huge action sequences to the most emotional moments that you swear are going to rip your heart right out of your chest. The fact that she was not given a nomination here is almost criminal after the season she delivered.
Like: Female Directors!
Contrary to what we’ve seen out of other recent awards shows, it was nice to see the names of many talented female directors listed among the nominees. Two out of five nominees in comedy are women (Aleysa Young and Tracey Deer), Mary Harron is nominated for Alias Grace in the limited series category and then three of the five nominees in drama are women with Helen Shaver (Anne), Niki Caro (Anne) and Holly Dale (Mary Kills People) all rightfully getting nods.
Like: Women know drama
It’s clear that when it comes to drama, women seem to know a thing or two. In addition to the women directors nominated, seven of the 10 nominees for writing in a drama series or limited drama series were also women. Sarah Polley (Alias Grace), Geneviève Simard (The Disappearance) and Carol Hay and Michelle Ricci (Murdoch Mysteries: Once Upon a Christmas) were nominated for Best Writing Drama or Limited Series. For Best Writing, Drama Series, women once again dominated the category with nominations going to Moira Walley-Beckett (Anne), Tara Armstrong (Mary Kills People), Marsha Greene (Mary Kills People) and Emily Andras (Wynonna Earp). I can’t help but get excited to see so many talented women get recognized.
Canadian Screen Awards Television Nominees
Best Dramatic Series
Mary Kills People
Best Comedy Series
Michael: Every Day
Nirvanna the Band the Show
Best Lead Actor, Comedy
Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Kim’s Convenience
Jared Keeso, Letterkenny
Gerry Dee, Mr. D
Eugene Levy, Schitt’s Creek
Daniel Levy, Schitt’s Creek
Best Lead Actor, Drama
Shawn Doyle, Bellevue
Richard Short, Mary Kills People
Brian Markinson, The Romeo Section
Christopher Heyerdahl, Van Helsing
Alexander Ludwig, Vikings
Best Supporting Actor, Drama
Benz Antoine, 19-2
Dan Petronijevic, 19-2
Robert H. Thomson, Anne
Ennis Esmer, Brace for Impact
Greg Bryk, Mary Kills People
Best Supporting or Guest Actor, Comedy
Andrew Phung, Kim’s Convenience
Trevor Wilson, Letterkenny
Noah Reid, Schitt’s Creek
Dan Aykroyd, Workin’ Moms
Peter Keleghan, Workin’ Moms
Best Lead Actor, Drama Program or Limited Series
Edward Holcroft, Alias Grace
Kim Coates, Bad Blood
Billy Campbell, Cardinal
Alan Thicke, It’s Not My Fault and I Don’t Care Anyway
Yannick Bisson, Murdoch Mysteries – Once Upon a Murdoch Christmas
Best Lead Actress, Comedy
Andrea Bang, Kim’s Convenience
Jean Yoon, Kim’s Convenience
Annie Murphy, Schitt’s Creek
Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek
Catherine Reitman, Workin’ Moms
Best Lead Actress, Drama
Amybeth McNulty, Anne
Caroline Dhavernas, Mary Kills People
Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
Meaghan Rath, Rogue
Jennie Raymond, Sex & Violence
Best Supporting Actress, Drama
Geraldine James, Anne
Allie MacDonald, Cardinal
Katy Breier, FANatic
Suzanne Clément, Versailles
Madeleine Knight, X Company
Best Supporting or Guest Actor, Comedy
Nicole Power, Kim’s Convenience
Naomi Snieckus, Mr. D
Emma Hunter, Mr. D
Jennifer Robertson, Schitt’s Creek
Emily Hampshire, Schitt’s Creek
Best Lead Actress, Drama Program or Limited Series
Sarah Gadon, Alias Grace
Maxim Roy, Bad Blood
Karine Vanasse, Cardinal
Camille Sullivan, The Disappearance
Hélène Joy, Murdoch Mysteries – Once Upon a Murdoch Christmas
Best Sketch Comedy Program or Series
Baroness Von Sketch Show
Rick Mercer Report
This Hour Has 22 Minutes
Best Direction, Comedy
Aleysa Young, Kim’s Convenience
Jacob Tierney, Letterkenny
Tracey Deer, Mohawk Girls
T.W. Peacocke, Schitt’s Creek
Paul Fox, Schitt’s Creek
Best Direction, Drama Program or Limited Series
Mary Harron, Alias Grace
Daniel Grou, Cardinal
Peter Stebbings, The Disappearance
Jon Cassar, The Kennedys: After Camelot
T.W. Peacocke, Murdoch Mysteries – Once Upon a Murdoch Christmas
Best Direction, Drama Series
Helen Shaver, Anne
Niki Caro, Anne
Holly Dale, Mary Kills People
Ken Girotti, Pure
Jeff Woolnough, Vikings
Best Writing, Comedy
Matt Kippen, Kim’s Convenience
Anita Kapila, Kim’s Convenience
Jacob Tierney, Jared Keeso, Letterkenny
Jay McCarrol, Matthew Miller, Robert Hyland, Curt Lobb, Jared Raab, Andrew Appelle, Nirvanna the Band the Show
Daniel Levy, Schitt’s Creek
Best Writing, Drama or Limited Series
Sarah Polley, Alias Grace
Michael Konyves, Bad Blood
Aubrey Nealon, Cardinal
Geneviève Simard, Normand Daneau, The Disappearance
Carol Hay, Michelle Ricci, Paul Aitken, Murdoch Mysteries – Once Upon a Murdoch Christmas
Best Writing, Drama Series
Moira Walley-Beckett, Anne
Tara Armstrong, Mary Kills People
Marsha Greene, Mary Kills People
Graeme Manson, Renee St. Cyr, Orphan Black
Emily Andras, Wynonna Earp
What are your thoughts on the nominations? Tell us below.
The Canadian Screen Awards air Sunday, March 11 at 8 p.m. ET on CBC.
Editor in Chief Bridget Liszewski comes from a long line of TV Junkies who fostered her love of television from a very young age. She's channeled that passion into covering both US and Canadian television shows, and is thankful everyday for the invention of the DVR. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, she loves college football and is a fan of sports in general. Bridget is always up for talking TV and you can follow her on twitter at @BridgetOnTV.