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March 10, 2017

Alberta at the Canadian Screen Awards: Who to cheer for on Sunday


Eric Volmers / Calgary Herald

Sunday’s Canadian Screen Awards gala is being held in Toronto on Sunday, and there are plenty of Albertans or ex-Albertans who could walk away with trophies.

The awards, which cover film, TV and digital media, will broadcast live from Toronto’s Sony Centre for the Performing Arts.

Some have already emerged winners during Canadian Screen Week, which features three awards ceremonies before Sunday. Calgarian Andrew Phung picked up a win as best supporting actor in a comedy series for his role on Kim’s Convenience Wednesday night. Wynonna Earp Interactive, the online version of the Calgary-shot sci-fi western series picked up a win for best cross-platform project — fiction. Former Calgarian John Fawcett won for best direction in a dramatic series for Orphan Black, the hit sci-fi show he co-created.

Here’s some Calgarians and Albertans who are still up for awards on Sunday.

Kevan Funk, Hello Destroyer

After cutting his teeth on music videos and some fantastic short films, Banff native Kevan Funk turned his attention to making his debut feature film. Hello Destroyer, shot in Prince George, may rank as the quietest hockey movie ever made, but it’s also one of the best; a perceptive rumination on hockey culture that unfolds with the low-key social realism of a Ken Loach film. A critics’ favourite on the festival circuit, Hello Destroyer is up for four Canadian Screen awards, including best motion picture, best director and best original screenplay for Funk and a best actor nod for Jared Abrahamson.

Erica Durance, Landon Liboiron

It’s been a banner year for Alberta thespians and the Academy has been paying attention. That includes Landon Liboiron, who grew up in Jenner and is up for best performances by an actor in a continuing leading dramatic role for playing the resourceful Michael Smyth in Discovery’s fur-trade epic, Frontier. Calgary native Erica Durance is up for best actress in a drama for her for her role on the medical drama Saving Hope.

Battle of the Calgary hosts

Jann Arden and Jon Montgomery showed great chemistry last year hosting the Juno Awards here in Calgary, kicking things off at the Saddledome with a comical back and forth about Cowtown. So it’s hardly surprising that the Academy decided they were worthy of sharing a nomination for best host for a variety or reality/competition series. But they will have stiff competition from fellow Calgary native Jessi Cruickshank, who holds her own against Canuck Einsteins each week as host of Canada’s Smartest Person. (As an aside, she pulled double duty in 2016 signing up to co-host of the daytime talk show The Goods.)