Canadian Screen Awards switching to gender-neutral performance categories

·1 min read
The Canadian Screen Awards will be switching to gender-neutral performance categories as of 2023. (Canadian Screen Academy/Facebook - image credit)
The Canadian Screen Awards will be switching to gender-neutral performance categories as of 2023. (Canadian Screen Academy/Facebook - image credit)

The Canadian Screen Awards are moving to gender-neutral performance categories next year.

Instead of separate prizes for best actor and actress, there will now be a single recipient in each category.

On the film side, there will be awards for performance in a leading role and performance in a supporting role. For television, there will be awards for both lead and supporting performances in the drama and comedy categories, and an award for best performance in a TV movie.

The number of nominations for each award will grow from five to eight.

In a statement, John Young, chair of the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, described the move as a necessary step toward an equitable screen-based industry.

In the same statement, interim CEO Louis Calabro said it is the academy's duty to ensure that every performer has the opportunity to fully participate in both the awards program and the film and TV industry in general.

"This move brings us closer to that goal," he said.

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The academy said the change comes after a large-scale consultation effort over the course of five years, and involving 40 industry organizations.

It also comes as a number of other awards shows are shifting to gender-neutral performance categories, including the Spirit Awards and the British Independent Film Awards.

The Canadian Screen Awards honour the country's top talent in film, television and digital media. They began in 2013 after a merger between the Genies and the Geminis, which had awarded separate prizes for cinema and television respectively.

Performance categories in the digital media awards stream have been gender neutral since 2019.

The 2023 edition of the awards will be handed out over the course of a week next April.