Canadian Screen Awards to honour best in homegrown film, TV and digital work

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TORONTO - Say goodbye to Canada's Genie and Gemini Awards, which honoured the best in homegrown film and television.

And say hello to the Canadian Screen Awards — a new prize meant to recognize the best in Canuck film, TV and digital work.

The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television says the combined award is "a true reflection of the multiplatform universe of today" since news, sports and entertainment are now available on screens of many sizes.

The trophy will be handed out for the first time March 3, when comic Martin Short will host a two-hour bash airing on CBC-TV.

It replaces the Genie Awards, which celebrated the best in film, and the Gemini Awards, which honoured homegrown television.

French-language television and digital media will continue to be recognized by the annual Prix Gémeaux, with this year's show on Sept. 16 on Radio-Canada.

Academy boss Helga Stephenson said Tuesday that the revamped awards followed extensive consultation with academy members.

And while the old prizes were commonly referred to as the Genies and Geminis, she was confident a more casual nickname would emerge for the Canadian Screen Awards.

"Our ultimate aim is for the Canadian public to identify with these awards, to experience Canadian pride in these awards and to make it crystal clear what we are celebrating every year," says Stephenson.

Short said the inaugural show was in good hands.

"I applaud the fine judgment of the CBC and the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television in letting me take the wheel of the brightest new awards show in Canada," Short said in a release.

"I shall endeavour to return it to them at the end of the night with nary a scratch nor door-ding."

Organizations: Radio-Canada, Academy of Canadian Cinema Television

Geographic location: Canada, TORONTO, Canuck

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