CSA’s ’18: Anne, Kim’s Convenience, Cardinal lead TV noms

The CBC/Netflix drama topped the list with 13 nominations, while there were also strong showings from fellow newcomers Mary Kills People and Alias Grace.

CBC and Netflix’s Anne leads all 2018 Canadian Screen Award TV nominees, with 13 nominations. Following close behind were CBC comedy Kim’s Convenience and CTV’s limited series Cardinal, which each netted 12 nominations.

The Northwood Entertainment-produced Anne (pictured) received nods for best drama series, as well as four nominations for members of its cast. It will compete in the dramatic series category against two other new shows: eOne and Cameron Pictures’ Mary Kills People and Two East Production and Cineflix Media’s Pure. The rookies will compete against veteran hits 19-2 (Sphère Média Plus and Echo Media), which moved from Bravo to CTV for its fourth and final season, and season five of Take 5 Productions/World 2000′s international juggernaut, Vikings.

Mirroring a trend in Hollywood, the limited series category will be one of the most competitive races at the CSAs. Sienna Films and eOne’s Cardinal topped the category with 12 nominations, but Halfire Entertainment’s Alias Grace (CBC/Netflix), is hot on its heels with 11. They’ll compete for the honour against six-parter The Disappearance (Productions Casablanca), which was one of Bell Media’s most-watched Canadian series of 2017; Muse Entertainment’s The Kennedys: After Camelot, which stars Katie Holmes and Matthew Perry and aired on Bravo in Canada and Reelz in the U.S.; as well as the latest installment in Aircraft Pictures’ Bruno & Boots trilogy, This Can’t Be Happening at Macdonald Hall.

On the comedy front, Thunderbird Entertainment’s Kim’s Convenience will go up against last year’s winner Letterkenny (New Metric Media), Viceland’s Nirvanna the Band the Show, Wolf + Rabbit Entertainment’s Workin’ Moms and Rhombus Media’s Michael: Every Day. Notably absent from the category is CBC’s Schitt’s Creek, which received 11 nominations, including seven acting nods. (Daniel and Eugene Levy will once again compete for best lead actor in a comedy, while Annie Murphy and Catherine O’Hara will compete for lead actress.)

Frantic Films’ Baroness Von Sketch Show picked up six nominations, including one for best sketch comedy program or series. It will compete against Pier 21 Films’ The Beaverton, Island Edge’s Rick Mercer Report, and DHX/Hour Productions XXIV’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes. All the nominated series will also compete for best writing in a variety or sketch comedy program. 

The best reality/competition series category was dominated by local versions of international formats. Amazing Race Canada, Big Brother Canada and Top Chef Canada (all from Insight Production Co.), will go up against The Bachelorette Canada (Good Human Productions) and Masterchef Canada (Proper Television).

In the best documentary program category, Vice Studio Canada’s Rise for Viceland will compete against CBC’s Sickboy (Dream Street Pictures) and Kosher Love (Bunbury Films). Also nominated in the category are Nomad Films’ Much Too Young for TVOKids and Murmur Media’s Cheer Up for CBC’s documentary Channel.

Up for the Donald Brittain Award for best social/political documentary are White Pine Pictures’ All Government’s Lie: Truth, Deception and the Spirit of I.F. Stone, Decolonization Roads Productions’ Colonization Road, Tiger Spirit Productions’ Migrant Dreams, Antica Productions’ The Secret Path and 90th Parallel Productions’ The Skin We’re In. 

Up for the best children or youth fiction series are DHX Studios’ Degrassi: Next Class, Breakthrough Entertainment’s L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables: Fire & Dew, Radical Sheep Productions’ The Next Step, and Sinking Ship Entertainment’s Odd Squad. Meanwhile, Beat Bugs (Thunderbird Entertainment), Camp Lakebottom (9 Story Media), Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (DHX Media), Hotel Transylvania (Nelvana) and Wandering Wenda (Breakthrough Entertainment) were all selected for best animated program.

While it didn’t receive a best comedy series nod, Schitt’s Creek grabbed two best director of a comedy series nominations for TW Peacock (“Grad Night”) and Paul Fox (“New Car”). Letterkenny‘s Jacob Tierney (“The Election”), Kim’s Convenience‘s Aleysa Young (“Date Night”) and Mohawk Girls‘ Tracey Deer (“Traitor”) also were nominated.

On the drama series side, three of five directing nominees were women, while all the writing of the nominated series were led by women.

Anne‘s Niki Caro (“Your Will Shall Decide Your Destiny), who just picked up a DGA nomination, and Helen Shaver (“I Am No Bird, And No Net Ensnares Me”) received best director nominations, as did Mary Kills People‘s Holly Dale (“The River Styx”). Joining them in the category are Pure‘s Ken Girotti (“Ordination”) and Vikings‘ Jeff Woolnough (“Revenge”).

Writers Moira Walley-Beckett (Anne, “I Am No Bird, And No Net Ensnares Me”), Tara Armstrong (Mary Kills People, “Bloody Mary”), Marsha Greene (Mary Kills People, “Wave The White Flag”), Emily Andras (Wynonna Earp, “I Hope You Dance”) and Renee St. Cyr and Graeme Manson (Orphan Black, “To Right the Wrongs of Many”) will compete for best writing.

In the best writing in a limited series category, Sarah Polley received a nod for Alias Grace, as did Bad Blood‘s Michael Konyves, Cardinal‘s Aubrey Nealon, The Disappearance’s Geneviève Simard and Normand Daneau, and the team behind Murdoch Mysteries: Once Upon a Murdoch Christmas (Carol Hay, Michelle Ricci and Paul Aitken).

Best direction in a limited series nominations went to Alias Grace‘s Mary Harron, Cardinal‘s Daniel Grou, The Disappearance‘s Peter Stebbings, After Camelot‘s Jon Cassar and Murdoch Mysteries: Once Upon a Murdoch Christmas‘s TW Peacock.

In the acting categories, Kim’s Convenience‘s cast received five nods, including best actor in a comedy for Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, which he won last year. Mary Kills People‘s and Anne‘s casts received four nominations, including best lead actress in a drama for Caroline Dhavernas and Amybeth McNulty. Meanwhile, Workin’ Moms received three nominations for its cast, including best lead actress for Catherine Reitman.

Turning to the CSA’s digital media nominations, Secret Location led the pack with four nominations, while Aircraft Pictures, iThentic and Foreshadow Films followed close behind with three each. Duqesne Island Productions’ The Neddeaus of Duqesne Island also received three nods for its lead actors (Aaron Schroeder and Tara Samuel) and best direction for Sam Zvibleman.

Aircraft’s CBC digital original comedy Terrific Women received a best fiction web program nod, as well as recognition for its two leads Sara Hennessey and Stephanie Kaliner. The show will compete for best fiction web series with Mira Studios’ sci-fi thriller Played (syndicated on Vice.com), Rakhee Morzaria’s Note to Self on CBC Comedy, and Lapaire productions’ peopleWatching. 

Foreshadow Films was also acknowledged for its 2D animated stop motion project Soggy Flakes, about breakfast cereal mascots. The series received nods for best fiction web program, best direction (Heath Affolter, Jon Affolter, Nathan Affolter, Thomas Affolter) and best actor for Peter New.

Meanwhile, iThentic’s The Beaverton Digital will compete for best fictional cross-platform project, alongside Boat Rocker Digital’s Orphan Black: The Game, Stitch Media’s Thornwood Heights Interactive and Digital Howard’s Wynonna Earp Digital. 

Last year’s winner Vice Canada Reports (from Vice Studio Canada Inc.) was included in the best non-fiction web series or program lineup. Other contenders for the category include the NFB’s Hungry Month of March (co-production with Rock Island Productions), Secret Alberta: The Former Life of Amber Valley from Telus and Fifth Ground Entertainment’s Reggie from the Road.

In the children and youth best cross-platform project category, Sinking Ship Entertainment was selected for Odd Squad 1.5 and Compubot: Annedroids. Toronto-based Secret Location’s Winston Steinburger & The Distractor Beam, marblemedia’s Opie’s Home and Industrial Brothers’ Dotopedia were also selected.

Montreal’s Felix & Paul Studios took home two nominations in the best immersive experience category for Miyubi, a 1980s comedy about a Japanese toy robot observing a family (in collaboration with Funny or Die), and Through the Masks of Luzia, based on the Cirque du Soleil production. Meanwhile, Secret Location is also nominated in the category for Blasters of the Universe, alongside the NFB’s Blind Vaysha and SESQUI’s Horizon.

With files from Lauren Malyk 

For a full list of the TV nominees click here, and for digital media nominees click here. Winners will be announced across a number of gala events during Canadian Screen Week, which runs from March 6 to 12.