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Digital Gala co-presented by

TORONTO, ON – (March 21, 2019) – The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television (the Canadian Academy) announced today that the Gala Honouring Digital Storytelling, as part of the Canadian Screen Awards, will be available to view live across Canada on the free CBC Gem streaming service starting at 7:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 28. Co-presented by CBC Gem and the Independent Production Fund, and featuring comedians Bit Playas (Kris Siddiqi and Nigel Downer), the Digital Gala will be held at The Globe & Mail Centre in Toronto as part of Canadian Screen Week (March 25-31).

“So many of these projects and storytellers are known to fans around the world. We could not be more excited about sharing this fun Gala with a broader audience,” said Beth Janson, CEO of the Canadian Academy.

“CBC is thrilled to be able to share this celebration of our country’s best digital content creators with audiences across Canada via CBC Gem,” said Gave Lindo, Executive Director, OTT Programming, CBC. “For the first time, CBC Gem’s live stream will provide a significant nationwide platform for these storytellers and their diverse and innovative projects on their big night.”

“Not only is this a wonderful opportunity for audiences to check out the nominees and winners,” noted Andra Sheffer, CEO of the Independent Production Fund, “but also to be inspired to binge on the outstanding digital content that is being made in Canada – and especially the terrific digital short-form web series funded by the Independent Production Fund over the past 10 years!”

Canadian Screen Awards: Gala Honouring Digital Storytelling

Presented by CBC Gem and the Independent Production Fund

Thursday, March 28, 2019

The Gala Honouring Digital Storytelling, featuring Bit Playas, will recognize Canadian content makers who are working at the forefront of our industry, often using innovative technologies. Awards will be handed out in 13 categories, including the following new additions: Best Supporting Performance, Web Program or Series; Best Writing, Web Program or Series; Best Immersive Experience – Non-Fiction; Best Immersive Experience – Fiction; and Best Virtual Reality Game. Presenters for the evening include: Keara Graves (Lost & Found Music Studios); nominee Mark Little (Gary and His Demons); nominee Vanessa Matsui (Ghost BFF); Justine Nelson (Mind Fudge); nominee Alex Ozerov (PYOTR495); Jae and Trey Richards of 4YE Media; and Kate Ross from nominated series Chateau Laurier.

Offering more than 4,000 hours of live and on-demand programming for free, the free CBC Gem streaming service is Canada’s destination for acclaimed, authentically Canadian programming and a curated selection of best-in-class content from around the world. CBC Gem provides live and on-demand access to CBC’s full programming slate, spanning drama, comedy, factual entertainment, documentaries, arts, kids, sports, and national and local news programming, including the ability to live stream CBC TV at any time with access to 14 CBC channels and their local newscasts across the country. The streaming service also offers French-language programming from ICI Radio-Canada. CBC Gem is available for free as an app for iOS and Android devices and online at, and on television via Apple TV and Google Chromecast.

Canadian Screen Week kicks off March 25 and runs through March 31, 2019, showcasing this country’s best screen talent and recognizing their achievements. Canadian Screen Week includes five galas, the annual Members Lounge, fan favourite Family Fan Day, and the newly added Canadian Screen Arts Festival and documentary screenings with Hot Docs. The industry’s biggest week of celebration will conclude with the Canadian Screen Awards Broadcast Gala, live on CBC and CBC Gem on Sunday, March 31 at 8 p.m. (9 p.m. AT/ 9:30 p.m. NT).

For a full schedule of events, please see visit:

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About the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television

The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television is the largest non-profit professional arts organization in Canada. We are dedicated to recognizing, advocating for, and celebrating Canadian talent in the film, television, and digital media sectors.

Our more than 4,500 members encompass industry icons and professionals, emerging artists, and students. Collectively, we deliver professional development programs and networking opportunities that foster industry growth, inclusion, and mentorship.

The Canadian Academy produces Canadian Screen Week. This annual celebration of excellence in media features a multi-platform, national program of events and celebrations, and culminates with the Canadian Screen Awards: Broadcast Gala live on CBC, Sunday, March 31, 2019 at 8 p.m. (9 p.m. AT/ 9:30 p.m. NT).

For information on membership and programming visit


For more information, please contact:

Jennifer Stewart, VP Partnerships and Communications, Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television

416.366.2227 ext. 243

Tanya Koivusalo, Publicist, CBC