No award show is perfect. And no cultural community is perfect. But there was a lot to celebrate at last night’s Canadian Screen Awards. Paul Sun-Hyung Lee won the CSA for Best Actor Comedy Series for his work in Kim’s Convenience, Canada’s first sitcom about an Asian-Canadian family. We interviewed Paul on The Social last year and he told us of the experience of being an Asian actor and the lack of opportunity for him and other actors of colour to be offered roles beyond the “background”. And now, well, he’s up on stage with a trophy.
In his acceptance speech, Paul talked about what Kim’s Convenience represents, and why the show is essential, especially right now:
Later on, indigenous actress Tantoo Cardinal accepted the Earle Grey Award for her contribution to Canadian film and television over her 40 year career, for her talent but also for her activism as she has worked to ensure that the indigenous story is not only not forgotten but continues to have a place in Canadian culture, explaining in an interview that week that:
"It's a part of my raison d'etre to be able to tell our side of the story in whatever way is available to me. But yet at the same time, it's really important for our people to be seen as human beings, because we all come from that place."
How about Natasha Negovanlis, the star of Carmilla on YouTube, who won the Fan’s Choice Award and told the crowd – after acknowledging that most of them probably didn’t know her – that, “It has been an honour and a privilege to provide more positive on-screen representation for the queer community, for MY community”?
And then there was Christopher Plummer, recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, and his humble, delightful, elegant remarks.
“The curtain has not yet fallen,” he concluded. “It’s simply stuck.” I could have listened to him for another half hour.
For more from the Canadian Screen Awards, including an appearance by Dave Chappelle, please click here.
Yours in gossip,