The Writers Guild of Canada held their 23rd annual WGC Screenwriting Awards gala on Monday night in front of a full house at the TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning’s Koerner Hall in Toronto. Winners of the night’s top prizes included Sarah Dodd (Cardinal: Blackfly Season), Daegan Fryklind (The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco), Rupinder Gill (Schitt’s Creek) and Michael McNamara (Catwalk: Tales from the Cat Show Circuit).
Special awards were also presented by the WGC, including the WGC Showrunner Award, which went to Wynonna Earp‘s Emily Andras. Presenter and Wynonna Earp writer Noelle Carbone said that “her story room feels like family because she hires good writers who are good people and she empowers and nurtures them, and that fosters an incredible team dynamic.” The win comes during a time where Wynonna Earp is currently fighting to get back into production after IDW Entertainment, who functions as the studio behind the series, has been unable to find the funding to put the show back in production.
Carbone went on to praise Andras for her connection with the Wynonna Earp fandom, citing how much the fans mean to Andras. It’s that connection that has helped keep the show alive during uncertain times and led to the #FightForWynonna. Carbone explained that “these ‘Wynonna Earp people’ have kept the show alive against all odds. They fight every day for this show, in part because under Emily’s leadership the fandom has become a safe haven for LGBTQ fans. At a time when queer female TV characters were being killed off en masse, Emily put a queer relationship front and center on her show and told that couple’s story with compassion and optimism.” Furthermore, Carbone said that “Emily goes out of her way every single day to ensure that our most marginalized and vulnerable fans feel seen and heard and yes, even loved. Because she isn’t just running a TV show, she’s spearheading a movement.”
Andras called working on Wynonna Earp “a dream come true” in her acceptance speech. She also acknowledged how special it is that she gets to make the show in Canada. “I truly feel that I could not make this show anywhere else in the world but Canada and for that I am just thrilled. I’m so happy that Canadian genre is on the map and being celebrated worldwide.” She also encouraged others in the audience to keep making content there. “I would encourage you, now more than ever, to keep trying to get your shows made in Canada.” After all, “if Wynonna Earp, where a girl gets possessed by tentacle goo and then gets really aggressive with her girlfriend and gets nominated for a People’s Choice Award, you too can succeed.”
Other special awards included the McGrath Service Award to Bruce Smith, the Sondra Kelly Award to Jinder Oujla-Chalmers, and Pat Holden and Amir Kahnamouee each receiving the Jim Burt Screenwriting Prize.
The WGC Screenwriting Awards were hosted by Gavin Crawford and written by Kyle Tingley, with awards presented by Noelle Carbone, Jennica Harper, Carol Hay, Jordan Johnson-Hinds, Elena Juatco, Adam Pettle, Kathleen Phillips, Sugith Varughese and Jennifer Whalen.
The full list of winners include:
Best New Series Script
The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco, “Presidio”, written by Daegan Fryklind
Wishfart, “I Wear This Hat Ironically”, written by Josh Sager and Jerome Simpson
Schitt’s Creek, “RIP Moira Rose,” written by Rupinder Gill
Cardinal: Blackfly Season, “Red,” written by Sarah Dodd
Catwalk: Tales from the Cat Show Circuit, written by Michael McNamara
22 Chaser written by Jeremy Boxen
MOW & Miniseries
Odd Squad: World Turned Odd, written by Tim McKeon
Shorts & Webseries
We’ve Come to the End of Our Time, written by Alex Epstein and Lisa Hunter
Tweens & Teens
Star Falls, “The Picnic Auction,” written by Cole Bastedo
Thoughts on the WGC award winners? Sound off below.
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.