Ryan Reynolds, Simu Liu and Catherine O’Hara are among the recipients of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television’s 2023 Special Awards.
The awards recognize those whose contributions have positively affected the industry, society and the medium. In total, the Academy named nine recipients ahead of Canadian Screen Awards week, which this year takes place in Toronto from April 11-16.
Among the recipients were “Schitt’s Creek” star and former “SCTV” actor Catherine O’Hara, who won the Academy Icon Award, and Ryan Reynolds, who received The Humanitarian Award. According to the Academy, the first recognizes a Canadian individual or institution “for their exceptional, ongoing contribution to the media industry at home or abroad,” while the second is in “recognition of an extraordinary humanitarian contribution or act of compassion by a professional working in the Canadian media industry in the prior year.”
“Receiving this honor is incredibly meaningful and deeply moving,” Reynolds said in a statement. “Particularly given the fact it’s grounded in so many of the values I acquired from my home country of Canada. I’m grateful to the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television for including me in this prestigious honor, and I’m excited to accept the award in person this April.”
This year’s Radius Award, which recognizes a Canadian whose work is making waves globally, was awarded to MCU star Simu Liu, who also starred in CBC comedy “Kim’s Convenience” for five seasons.
“I’m grateful to the Canadian Academy for this tremendous honor and vow to continue pushing on towards a more diverse and equitable screen,” Liu said.
Lisa LaFlamme, the former CTV National News anchor whose controversial summer 2022 ousting prompted an internal Bell Media investigation (which resulted in the replacement of CTV News head Michael Melling), also received recognition with the Gordon Sinclair Award for Broadcast Journalism.
Other winners included “Cityline” host Tracy Moore, who was awarded the Changemaker Award for her commitment to diversity and inclusion; Anishinaabe/Ashkenazi actor, writer, director and producer Jennifer Podemski, who received the Academy Board of Directors’ Tribute; actor Peter MacNeill, who received the Earle Grey Award; and journalist Pierre Bruneau, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Paul Pope, a veteran film and TV producer who died last summer in St. John’s, Newfoundland, at the age of 63, rounded out the list of winners. He was given the Academy Board of Directors’ Tribute posthumously for his advocacy for the industry in Newfoundland and his role in bringing productions like “Hudson & Rex,” “Rare Birds” and “Extraordinary Visitor” to the province.
“I am grateful to accept this award on behalf of my late husband, Paul Pope,” the producer’s wife, Lisa Porter, said in a statement. “Paul would have been so pleased. He would have flown in for the dinner and been the life of the party, as always. He also would have lobbied, cajoled, made a plan, cut a deal, made you laugh and become your next crush. That he was respected and beloved by so many is borne out by this honor.”