CSAs ’18: peopleWatching, Secret Alberta claim top digital prizes

Cross-platform companion pieces to Wynonna Earp, Canada The Story of Us and Odd Squad also claimed awards at Screen Week's third gala.

CSA Digital Gala 2018Digital media took centre stage for the third gala of Canadian Screen Week, with Lapaire Productions’ peopleWatching and TELUS’ Secret Alberta: The Former Life of Amber Valley claiming two of the night’s top prizes.

peopleWatching, a 10-part animated series created by Geoff Lapaire and Winston Rowntree, nabbed the Best Web Program or Series, Fiction award, while TELUS’ doc series Secret Alberta: The Former Life of Amber Valley won the non-fiction equivalent.

In the Best Cross-Platform Project awards, the digital extension of Wynonna Earp Digital (Digital Howard) won the fiction prize, with Canada The Story of Us 360 (Secret Location, Bristow Global Media) claiming the non-fiction award and children’s property Odd Squad 1.5 (Sinking Ship Entertainment) winning the children’s and youth award.

Meanwhile, interactive doc The Space We Hold (Cult Leader and NFB) won Best Original Interactive Production and Miyubi (Felix & Paul Studios), a VR project that places the viewer in the body and mind of a Japanese toy robot, won Best Immersive Experience.

In the night’s other awards, Sam Zvibleman won best direction in a web series for The Neddeaus of Duqesne Island, Dave Keystone won best host for Small Talk, Emma Hunter won best actress in a web series for Save Me and Peter Oldring won best actor for This is That.

The awards ceremony, held at Toronto’s Daniels Spectrum, also paid tribute to long-time TVO children’s exec Pat Ellingson, who won the Outstanding Media Innovation Award. Ellingson, who retired in 2015, spent more than 20 years with the broadcaster and was responsible for building its signature educational brand, as well as rebuilding the TVOKids website and leading the transition to multiplatform production for TVOKids.