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Mary Walsh walked away with three of them, and so did Rick Mercer. Mike Myers won two and so did Don McKellar.

They were among the big names who took home some of the 22 prizes being handed out last night in Toronto at the first, and expected to be annual, Canadian Comedy Awards. More than 100 people or productions were nominated in categories that covered comedy on TV and stage, and in film and clubs.

The host was former SCTV funny man Dave Thomas, and the event drew a large crowd to the Masonic Temple in downtown Toronto, the home of CTV affiliate The Comedy Network. A one-hour version of the ceremony is to be broadcast tonight on CTV at midnight, and the full program aired on Sunday at 9 p.m.

Mr. Myers, to no one's surprise, was named best actor in a comedic film for his reprise performance of Austin Powers in The Spy Who Shagged Me. He also took the award for best original comedic screenplay for the same film. Mr. McKellar received honours as best comedic film director for his apocalyptic feature Last Night and as best new playwright (along with colleagues Bob Martin, Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison) for The Drowsy Chaperone.

Ms. Walsh, star of CBC-TV's This Hour Has 22 Minutes,was named best female performer in a TV comedy and shared best-writing credits with her colleagues on that same program in the categories "writing in a TV comedy series" and "writing in a comedic episode or TV special."

Her colleague Rick Mercer was chosen best male performer in a TV comedy for Made in Canada and, like Ms. Walsh, shared the awards in the two TV writing categories with her associates in This Hour Has 22 Minutes (Tim Steeves, Cathy Jones, Greg Thomey, Mark Farrell, Chris Finn and Edward Kay).

Other awards went to:

Ms. Lambert (best female performance in a comedic play, The Drowsy Chaperone);

Mike Kennard and John Turner (a.k.a. Mump and Smoot; best actor[s]in a comedic play, for Something Else);

Paul O'Sullivan (best direction of an existing play, for Pinata Full of Bees);

Steve Morel (direction, new play, for The Drowsy Chaperone).

In television, awards went to Henry Foner (best director of a comedic special, for This Hour Has 22 Minutes New Year's Special) and Mike Kennedy (direction in a comedy series, for Made In Canada).

In film, Sarah Polley (best female actor in a feature, for Go!) and Tim Burns (best adapted screenplay, for Jacob Two-two Meets the Hooded Fang) took home awards.

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