Canada’s got talent.
Telefilm Canada, the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, and the Consulate General of Canada in Los Angeles hosted a wonderful and star-filled tribute celebrating Canadian excellence in the film and television industries this past Thursday.
And guess what? We were there to see it all happen.
Presented by ETALK, the glamorous and chic Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills Hotel was shining bright with the who’s who of the industry that included Canadian Academy Awards nominees, select Canadian Screen Awards nominees, and other high-profile Canadian talent such as Grey’s Anatomy Sandra Oh, Jason Priestley, Marco Polo’s Olivia Cheng, and many more.
We caught up with host of the night, ETALK anchor and Canada’s golden boy, Ben Mulroney, who gave us some words of wisdom and shared his thoughts on the industry:
“By virtue of being the host of ETALK for 13 years now, the mission of the night is to celebrate Canadian talent. A Canadian actor deserves as much recognition as an American actor and a Canadian film deserves as much recognition as an American film.”
When we asked about what it takes to make it, it came down to basics:
“Having very little ego about working your way to the top and patience. The cycle doesn’t work as fast in Canada as in the U.S. We don’t get things to TV as fast the Americans and we don’t have the resources to do that so we have to be more selective, meaning there are fewer chances that you can have your break. You have to make your own break.”
Also present was Toronto-born Primetime Emmy Award-winning actor Eric McCormack, of our always favourite Will & Grace, who acted as Honourary Chair for the event.
McCormack will star in a new pilot titled Studio City where he plays, according to what he shared with us, “A lover, a poet, and a drug dealer.”
Media darling Lainey ‘Gossip’ Lui was on premise and gave us some inspirational thoughts to share with Notable readers on how to make it in this industry:
“I think that you have to really believe it and if you believe it, you’ll be willing to do it for free for a long time. People make the mistake of wanting quick success overnight because of these stories that we always hear of people that seemingly go from zero to hero from a day to a week. There is so much time in-between and passion that gets fueled into it without reward. You have to just keep going.”
Once red carpet hour was over we headed inside for the real show.
To honour its 40th anniversary, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) received the newly minted Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television’s Legacy Award – for bringing international acclaim to Canadian talent in film, television, or digital media.
“When Canadian filmmakers shine on the international stage, it leads to increased visibility both at home and abroad; it’s therefore important for the Canadian industry to continue to work together on creating strategic opportunities to promote our homegrown talent,” said Carolle Brabant, Executive Director of Telefilm Canada.
“The Canada Stars in Awards Season event is also the perfect occasion to congratulate and honour TIFF in recognition of their efforts in making Canada one of the film capitals of the world and creating a home for Canadian cinema.”
We heart TIFF.
If you were wondering who some of the Canadian talent was that were also part of the Academy Awards nominees being honoured, here’s a little breakdown:
Cameron Waldbauer, Best Achievement in Visual Effects for X-Men: Days of Future Past
Craig Mann, Best Achievement in Sound Mixing for Whiplash
Dean DeBlois, Best Animated Feature for How to Train Your Dragon 2
Graham Annable, Best Animated Feature for The Boxtrolls
Joshua Bartholomew, Best Original Song for The Lego Movie: “Everything is Awesome”
Lisa Harriton, Best Original Song for The Lego Movie: “Everything is Awesome”
Torill Kove, Best Short Film, Animated for Me and My Moulton
Not too shabby, Canada. Not too shabby at all.
Cover, event and inside images by: George Pimentel
Red carpet interview images by: Amanda Eland