Baroness von Sketch Show leads Canadian Rockie Award winners

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The Baronesses claimed a trio of prizes including the Canadian Award of Distinction, while Fleabag, Gentleman Jack and Mytho were among the big international winners.

Baroness von Sketch Show was the top Canadian winner in the 2020 Rockie Awards International Program Competition.

The CBC sketch comedy, produced by Frantic Films, took home the award for Comedy & Variety Program as well as the Rogers Prize for Excellence in Canadian Content, which is given to the highest-scoring Canadian program in the competition and comes with a $25,000 cash prize.

The Baronesses themselves – Aurora Browne, Carolyn Taylor and Jennifer Whalen, sans Meredith MacNeill – hosted the virtual awards ceremony, which streamed live on YouTube. The comedians were also honoured with the Canadian Award of Distinction, marking the first time the prize was given to a group, rather than an individual.

A variety of Canadian talent joined the Baronesses during the awards ceremony to present awards, including comedy legends Colin Mochrie and Mary Walsh, Private Eyes stars Jason Priestley and Cindy Sampson, Transplant stars Hamza Haq and Ayisha Issa, and CBC’s Gary the Unicorn. The virtual ceremony also included a rare “live” appearance of Fred Keating, the long-running Voice of God at the awards.

Wattpad Studios was honoured with the Innovative Producer Award, which honours the achievements and “entrepreneurial excellence” of an independent producer in TV and digital media, while Télé-Québec’s MAMMOUTH 2019 (Attraction Images, Pamplemousse Média) won the Francophone Prize, given to the highest-scoring French-language submission.

Rounding out the Canadian winners is AMI’s Employable Me (Thomas Howe Associates) for Lifestyle Program, and the podcast This Sounds Serious from Vancouver’s Kelly&Kelly and San Francisco’s Castbox.

Canadian programs and media walked away with seven awards total. The U.K. won the most awards with 14, followed by the U.S. with 11, France with three, and Australia and Belgium taking two awards each. This year’s awards included 128 nominations from 35 countries.

Among the biggest international winners at the Rockies is BBC Three’s Fleabag, taking home the award for Comedy Series: English Language and the Grand Jury Prize, which denotes the top scoring overall program in the competition. The award for best English-language drama went to BBC and HBO’s Gentleman Jack, the best limited series prize went to HBO’s Chernobyl, while the non-English awards for comedy and drama went to ARTE France and Netflix’s Mytho (France) and BBC Two and Netflix’s Giri/Haji (Japan/U.K.), respectively.

Actor and producer Niecy Nash (Mrs. America, Never Have I Ever) was on-hand to accept the A+E Inclusion Award, which recognizes a body of work that “champions and reflects the diversity of the world in which we live.”

Rounding out the winners were Hardball (Australia, U.K.) for Children’s & Youth Fiction Series; Science Fair (U.S.) for Science & Technology Program; His Dark Materials (U.S./U.K.) for Sci-Fi & Genre-Based Series; Who Are You Calling Fat? (U.K.) for Docusoap & Docuseries; and Free Solo (U.S.) for History & Biography Program.

The 2020 Rockie Awards will be followed by BANFF day tomorrow (June 16), which will feature a full day of panels and sessions, including events for Canadian series Trickster and Canada’s Drag Race.