Canada's Academy Launches Canadian Screen Awards With 6-Day Celebration

Martin Short Pirates Premiere 2011
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ANAHEIM, CA - MAY 07:  Actor Martin Short arrives at premiere of Walt Disney Pictures' "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" held at Disneyland on May 7, 2011 in Anaheim, California. Proceeds from the world premiere of Walt Disney Pictures' "Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" will benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

From pre-TV show shindigs to red-carpet arrivals, the consolidated film, TV and digital media kudosfest will get underway with the Banff Industry Day.

TORONTO - The first Academy Awards in 1929 took five minutes to hand out statuettes to winners, according to historians.

The inaugural Canadian Screen Awards plans six days of celebration as the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television continues its glitzy makeover of the country’s film and TV awards.

Taking a page out of the Oscars, the Academy unveiled plans for a Canadian Screen Week from Feb. 26 to March 3, to give nominees more to think about than what to wear and where celebrities will party afterwards.

The Banff World Media Festival is to host a kick-off Banff Industry Day, a Davos-style summit of Canadian media leaders.

“We bring people together at Banff over four days, so we can expect this event to bring the industry together mid-way through the year to hear directly from industry leaders about the state of the world,” Banff executive director Ferne Cohen said of the Canadian Screen Week launch event in Toronto.

The six-day event also comes as the Academy replaces the former Genies, which celebrated homegrown film, and the Geminis, Canada’s TV awards, with a single annual broadcast to honor all screen-based Canadian content.

Before the first combined kudosfest on March 3, 2013, to be hosted by Canadian-born funnyman Martin Short and airing on the CBC, the Academy will host two nights of pre-telecast award-giving on Feb. 27 and 28, a nominees reception hosted by the Canadian Film Center on March 1 and nominee appearances at Bell Lightbox on March 2.

Academy CEO Helga Stephenson said Canadian Screen Week, besides consolidating the Genies and Geminis, will also help local players explore a converged film, TV and digital media business.

“It’s time to get together to explore the emerging combination of the three disciplines,” Stephenson explained.

“I’m hoping that this Canadian Screen Week will take root and have the potential to become an annual summit where new ideas are discussed,” she added.