Canada hands out Gemeaux Awards

The big winner at this year’s Prix Gemeaux–the annual French-language TV awards — was a miniseries about a Quebec snowmobile inventor. “Bombardier,” a bio of local entrepreneur Joseph-Armand Bombardier, which aired on public web Radio-Quebec, swept the awards Sunday, picking up 10 Gemeaux trophies.

Closest contender was popular prime time soap “Jamais Deux Sans Toi,” which nabbed six prizes.

The top-rated Radio Canada show “Scoop” was given the cold shoulder by the voters from the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, with the newsroom drama only garnering one trophy, for best supporting actor (Martin Drainville). “Scoop” was by far the year’s most talked-about TV event.

But the real losers were the private nets: All but four of the 60 awards handed out at the televised ceremony went to programs broadcast on Quebec’s two public webs, Radio Quebec and Radio Canada.

“Bombardier” took home awards in most major categories: Dramatic series; direction (Francois Labonte) and script (Jacques Savoie) for a dramatic series; and best male lead role (Gilbert Sicotte).

The French version of the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.’s World War II docudrama “The Valour and the Horror,” which was criticized by veterans groups and CBC management, won prizes for docu series and docu direction (Brian McKenna).

Radio Quebec’s “Le Club des 100 Watts” grabbed five trophies, including one for best youth show, and Radio Canada’s perennially popular year-end program, “Bye Bye ’91,” also won five awards, including best comedy special.

Senior Radio Canada news anchor Bernard Derome was awarded the Grand Prize of the Academy.

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