Geminis eye road to success

Gala night shifted to Vancouver

TORONTO Organizers hoping to add sizzle to Canada’s Gemini Awards by taking the show on the road have their work cut out for them.

The 21st Gemini Awards gala night, recognizing the best in local TV, will be uprooted from its Toronto base for the first time and held in Vancouver on Nov. 4.

The lineup of presenters includes the closest Canada can come to household names; Evangeline Lily, Cheryl Hickey, Brent Butt and Nicholas Campbell, as well as musical performance by Lukas Rossi and Gilby Clarke of “Rock Star Supernova” fame.

The idea is to spark some of the same energy that the musical counterpart, the Juno Awards, have created after the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences began moving it around several years ago.

Cities now vie to host the Junos, last year held in Halifax, where Pamela Anderson hosted, and with perfs by Coldplay among others. Eleven international networks picked up the feed.

The Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television has an uphill battle, however.

There are a mind-numbing 97 Gemini Awards. And while three nights of craft awards held in Toronto on Oct. 16-18 dispensed with all but 15 statuettes, Canadians do not have the same appreciation for their homegrown TV fare as they do for their indigenous music.

Few have seen many of the TV shows nommed. While shows like “CSI” and “Desperate Housewives” routinely pull in 2.5 million viewers, there is great celebration when the local half-hour comedy “Corner Gas” manages to consistently bag more than a million households and cracks the top 20.

In addition, Gemini Awards show ratings, never robust, have been on life support in recent years, and broadcaster Global Television has not been as adept at creating buzz as Juno broadcaster CTV.

Having said that, Global has its “Entertainment Tonight Canada” entourage tubthumping the project.

If the magic works this year, organizers may continue to move the show around.

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