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Can’t we all just celebrate ourselves for once? In defence of the Canadian Screen Awards

Meet Hannah and Mackenzie, two women standing at the intersection of legacy media and new tech, making 'Internet odysseys,' like their new Web series Whatever, Linda, alongside TV and films. In the coming months, they’ll take Globe readers on a journey about what it's like to be 'upcoming' in a business that won't stop changing.

Earlier this month, Whatever, Linda was nominated for three Canadian Screen Awards, a yearly awards showcase, sometimes called the “Screenies,” and most often described as this country’s version of the Emmys and Oscars (combined).

Our nods were, of course, in digital categories: Best Original Program or Series produced for Digital Media – Fiction; 2 x Best Performance in a Program or Series Produced for Digital Media (Hannah for the role of Linda and Terra Hazelton for the role of Annabelle).

We. Were. Stoked. As was our whole Linda team. It’s recognition on the national level, and with worthy opponents in our categories.

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Hannah headed to the CSA press conference after a cryptic e-mail suggesting that it was a “REALLY GOOD IDEA” she go. Hannah REALLY DIDN’T GET IT, but she put on a dress and headed out – with a mean January cold and pair of heels. O, Canada.

After the nominations were announced, team Linda got a lot of congratulations from a lot of people, mostly online. And THANK YOU to everyone who said a word about it to any of us. We truly appreciate the support.

But in person, the reception was a bit different.

During a night out with friends (who also happen to be in the industry), the response was divided. One pal warned, with an ironic tone, “Just enjoy it for what it is, the night you go,” alluding to the fact that it’s really not that meaningful at all. Meanwhile, another friend couldn’t stop saying how great it was: “So well-deserved. For everyone who made Linda. It’s so good for all of you.” And yet another: “Why the CSAs separate digital from film and TV is ridiculous. It’s all just content, regardless of the length of the content itself, or the platform it’s shown on.”

As with any awards, there is always the pall of politics: a questioning of the true worth of the awarding body, of the academy behind it. The whole idea of hundreds of people sitting around and patting each other on the back for making some “great” film and TV, judged by the people themselves who make the work … well, let’s just all agree that it isn’t the most humble of events and leave it at that.

Regardless of the polemic whenever the CSAs (or Junos or Oscars or Emmys or Grammys) roll around, we think it’s a serious honour to be recognized at this level by our professional colleagues. We don’t love our work enough in Canada, we don’t give our homegrown artists and producers enough credit for the great work that they create and we like to hate on ourselves. And we think we should adjust this thinking.

We should celebrate.

We should celebrate our diverse filmmakers, projects, genres and talent. We should put them up on a stage and give them awards. We should want to do this and we should have fun doing it.

Maybe winning a CSA won’t change our lives, but it certainly could bring more viewers to the table, secure meetings that were once impossible or bring more recognition for our next project.

So instead of dismissing the awards as a one-night event or acting like we aren’t taking the CSAs seriously, we are doing the opposite. We’re so honoured. We are so appreciative and humbled that our peers like our work enough to nominate it. We are picking out our outfits and allowing ourselves to be hella excited about it all.

And we do truly hope that Linda gets to bring home a piece of hardware, or two.

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