Canadian Screen Award for Best Actor

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The Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television presents an annual award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role to the best performance by a lead actor in a Canadian film.[1] The award was first presented in 1968 by the Canadian Film Awards, and was presented annually until 1978 with the exception of 1969, when no eligible feature films were submitted for award consideration, and 1974 due to the cancellation of the awards that year.

From 1980 until 2012, the award was presented as part of the Genie Awards ceremony; since 2013, it has been presented as part of the new Canadian Screen Awards.

From 1980 to 1983, only Canadian actors were eligible for the award; non-Canadian actors appearing in Canadian films were instead considered for the separate Genie Award for Best Performance by a Foreign Actor.[2] After 1983, the latter award was discontinued, and both Canadian and foreign actors were eligible for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role.[3]

In August 2022, the Academy announced that it will discontinue its past practice of presenting gendered awards for film and television actors and actresses; beginning with the 11th Canadian Screen Awards in 2023, gender-neutral awards for Best Performance will be presented, with eight nominees per category instead of five.[4] Lead performances are now honoured with the Canadian Screen Award for Best Lead Performance in a Film.


Year Actor Film Ref
20th Canadian Film Awards
Gerard Parkes Isabel [1]
21st Canadian Film Awards
No award presented this year [1]


Year Actor Film Ref
22nd Canadian Film Awards
Paul Bradley Goin' Down the Road [1]
Doug McGrath
23rd Canadian Film Awards
Jean Duceppe Mon oncle Antoine [1]
24th Canadian Film Awards
Gordon Pinsent The Rowdyman [1]
25th Canadian Film Awards
Jacques Godin O.K. ... Laliberté [1]
No award presented [1]
26th Canadian Film Awards
Stuart Gillard Why Rock the Boat? [1]
27th Canadian Film Awards
André Melançon Bound for Glory (Partis pour la gloire) [1]
28th Canadian Film Awards
Len Cariou One Man [1]
David Petersen Skip Tracer [5]
Craig Russell Outrageous!
Marcel Sabourin J.A. Martin Photographer (J.A. Martin photographe)
29th Canadian Film Awards
Richard Gabourie Three Card Monte [1]
John Juliani Marie-Anne [6]
Frank Moore The Third Walker
Christopher Plummer The Silent Partner


Year Actor Film Ref
1st Genie Awards
Christopher Plummer Murder by Decree [1]
Geoffrey Bowes Something's Rotten [7]
Robin Gammell Jack London's Klondike Fever
Thomas Hauff Summer's Children
Stephen Lack The Rubber Gun
2nd Genie Awards
Thomas Peacocke The Hounds of Notre Dame [1]
Jocelyn Bérubé The Handyman (L'Homme à tout faire) [8]
Lewis Furey Fantastica
Winston Rekert Suzanne
August Schellenberg The Coffin Affair (L'Affaire Coffin)
3rd Genie Awards
Nick Mancuso Ticket to Heaven [1]
Gabriel Arcand The Plouffe Family (Les Plouffe) [9]
Gordon Pinsent Silence of the North
Christopher Plummer The Amateur
Winston Rekert Heartaches
4th Genie Awards
Donald Sutherland Threshold [1]
Gilles Renaud A Day in a Taxi (Une journée en taxi) [10]
Saul Rubinek By Design
Marcel Sabourin Sweet Lies and Loving Oaths (Doux aveux)
August Schellenberg Latitude 55°
5th Genie Awards
Eric Fryer The Terry Fox Story [1]
Pierre Curzi Lucien Brouillard [11]
Guy L'Écuyer Au clair de la lune
Nick Mancuso Maria Chapdelaine
Alan Scarfe Deserters
6th Genie Awards
Gabriel Arcand The Crime of Ovide Plouffe (Le Crime d'Ovide Plouffe) [1]
Xavier Norman Petermann Mario [12]
Winston Rekert Walls
Kiefer Sutherland The Bay Boy
Kenneth Welsh Reno and the Doc
7th Genie Awards
John Wildman My American Cousin [1]
Serge Dupire The Alley Cat (Le Matou) [13]
Ed McNamara Bayo
Alan Scarfe Overnight
R. H. Thomson Samuel Lount
8th Genie Awards
Gordon Pinsent John and the Missus [1]
Pierre Curzi The Decline of the American Empire (Le Déclin de l'empire américain) [14]
Rémy Girard The Decline of the American Empire (Le Déclin de l'empire américain)
Winston Rekert The Blue Man
Kenneth Welsh Loyalties
9th Genie Awards
Roger Lebel Night Zoo (Un Zoo la nuit) [1]
David Hemblen Family Viewing [15]
Jason St. Amour Train of Dreams
Gilles Maheu Night Zoo (Un Zoo la nuit)
10th Genie Awards
Jeremy Irons Dead Ringers [1]
Zachary Ansley Cowboys Don't Cry [16]
Elias Koteas Malarek
Jan Rubeš Something About Love
Saul Rubinek The Outside Chance of Maximilian Glick
Ron White Cowboys Don't Cry


Year Actor Film Ref
11th Genie Awards
Lothaire Bluteau Jesus of Montreal (Jésus de Montréal) [1]
Maury Chaykin Cold Comfort [17]
Michel Côté Cruising Bar
Michael McManus Speaking Parts
Stephen Ouimette The Top of His Head
12th Genie Awards
Rémy Girard Love Crazy (Amoureux fou) [1]
Brad Dourif Chaindance [18]
Matthias Habich The Savage Woman (La Demoiselle sauvage)
Saeed Jaffrey Masala
Jean Rochefort Love Crazy (Amoureux fou)
13th Genie Awards
Tony Nardi La Sarrasine [1]
Jacques Godin Being at Home with Claude [19]
Don McKellar Highway 61
Gildor Roy Requiem for a Handsome Bastard (Requiem pour un beau sans-coeur)
Peter Weller Naked Lunch
14th Genie Awards
Tom McCamus I Love a Man in Uniform [1]
Roy Dupuis Cap Tourmente [20]
Rémy Girard La Florida
Gilbert Sicotte Cap Tourmente
R. H. Thomson The Lotus Eaters
15th Genie Awards
Maury Chaykin Whale Music [1]
Martin Drainville Louis 19, King of the Airwaves (Louis 19, le roi des ondes) [21]
Gary Farmer Henry & Verlin
Elias Koteas Exotica
Gilbert Sicotte Les Pots cassés
16th Genie Awards
David La Haye Water Child (L'Enfant d'eau) [1]
Lothaire Bluteau The Confessional (Le Confessionnal) [22]
Matthew Ferguson Eclipse
Clive Russell Margaret's Museum
Peter Williams Soul Survivor
17th Genie Awards
William Hutt Long Day's Journey into Night [1]
Jason Cadieux Lilies [23]
Matthew Ferguson Lilies
Danny Gilmore Lilies
Tom McCamus Long Day's Journey into Night
Christopher Penn The Boys Club
18th Genie Awards
Ian Holm The Sweet Hereafter [1]
Robin Aubert The Countess of Baton Rouge (La Comtesse de Bâton Rouge) [24]
Bruce Greenwood The Sweet Hereafter
Peter Outerbridge Kissed
Alan Williams The Cockroach that Ate Cincinnati
19th Genie Awards
Roshan Seth Such a Long Journey [1]
Rémy Girard Les Boys [25]
Tony Nardi Mr. Aiello (La Déroute)
Jonathan Pryce Regeneration
Samuel West Rupert's Land
20th Genie Awards
Bob Hoskins Felicia's Journey [1]
Gabriel Arcand Post Mortem [26]
Denis Bouchard Winter Stories (Histoires d'hiver)
Joël Drapeau-Dalpé Winter Stories (Histoires d'hiver)
Ralph Fiennes Sunshine
Daniel MacIvor The Five Senses


Year Actor Film Ref
21st Genie Awards
Tony Nardi My Father's Angel [27]
David Cubitt The Perfect Son [28]
Colm Feore The Perfect Son
Timothy Webber My Father's Angel
James Whitmore Here's to Life!
22nd Genie Awards
Brendan Fletcher The Law of Enclosures [29]
Zachary Bennett Desire [30]
David La Haye Soft Shell Man (Un crabe dans la tête)
Peter Outerbridge Marine Life
Chris Owens The Uncles
Zinedine Soualem Tar Angel (L'Ange de goudron)
23rd Genie Awards
Luc Picard Savage Messiah [31]
David Alpay Ararat [32]
Philip DeWilde Turning Paige
Christopher Plummer Ararat
Colin Roberts Flower & Garnet
24th Genie Awards
Rémy Girard The Barbarian Invasions (Les Invasions barbares) [33]
Raymond Bouchard Seducing Doctor Lewis (La Grande séduction) [34]
Philip Seymour Hoffman Owning Mahowny
Robert Lepage Far Side of the Moon (La Face cachée de la lune)
Barry Pepper The Snow Walker
25th Genie Awards
Roy Dupuis Looking for Alexander (Mémoires affectives) [35]
Michel Côté The Last Tunnel (Le Dernier Tunnel) [36]
David La Haye Battle of the Brave (Nouvelle-France)
Ian McKellen Émile
Nick Stahl Twist
26th Genie Awards
Michel Côté C.R.A.Z.Y. [37]
Adam Butcher Saint Ralph [38]
Marc-André Grondin C.R.A.Z.Y.
Paul Kaye It's All Gone Pete Tong
Luc Picard Audition (L'Audition)
27th Genie Awards
Roy Dupuis The Rocket (Maurice Richard) [39]
Colm Feore Bon Cop, Bad Cop [40]
Olivier Gourmet Congorama
Patrick Huard Bon Cop, Bad Cop
Luc Picard A Sunday in Kigali (Un dimanche à Kigali)
28th Genie Awards
Gordon Pinsent Away From Her [41]
Roy Dupuis Shake Hands With the Devil [42]
Marc Labrèche Days of Darkness (L'Âge des ténèbres)
Claude Legault The 3 L'il Pigs (Les 3 p'tits cochons)
Viggo Mortensen Eastern Promises
29th Genie Awards
Natar Ungalaaq The Necessities of Life (Ce qu'il faut pour vivre) [43]
Paul Gross Passchendaele [44]
Rupinder Nagra Amal
Christopher Plummer Emotional Arithmetic
Aaron Poole This Beautiful City
30th Genie Awards
Joshua Jackson One Week [45]
Jean-Carl Boucher 1981 [46]
Paul-Dylan Ivalu Before Tomorrow (Le Jour avant le lendemain)
Clark Johnson Nurse.Fighter.Boy
Stephen McHattie Pontypool


Year Actor Film Ref
31st Genie Awards
Paul Giamatti Barney's Version [47]
Jay Baruchel The Trotsky [48]
Robert Naylor 10½
Timothy Olyphant High Life
François Papineau Route 132
32nd Genie Awards
Mohamed Fellag Monsieur Lazhar [49]
Garret Dillahunt Oliver Sherman [50]
Michael Fassbender A Dangerous Method
Patrick Huard Starbuck
Scott Speedman Citizen Gangster
1st Canadian Screen Awards
James Cromwell Still Mine [51]
Patrick Drolet All That You Possess (Tout ce que tu possèdes) [52]
Marc-André Grondin L'Affaire Dumont
David Morse Collaborator
Melvil Poupaud Laurence Anyways
2nd Canadian Screen Awards
Gabriel Arcand The Dismantling (Le Démantèlement) [53]
Brendan Gleeson The Grand Seduction [54]
Jake Gyllenhaal Enemy
Daniel Radcliffe The F Word
Rajesh Tailang Siddharth
3rd Canadian Screen Awards
Antoine Olivier Pilon Mommy [55]
Evan Bird Maps to the Stars [56]
Bruce Greenwood Elephant Song
Michael Murphy Fall
Ryan Reynolds The Captive
4th Canadian Screen Awards
Jacob Tremblay Room [57]
Maxim Gaudette Our Loved Ones (Les Êtres chers) [58]
Jasmin Geljo The Waiting Room
Christopher Plummer Remember
Rossif Sutherland River
5th Canadian Screen Awards
Stephan James Race [59]
Jared Abrahamson Hello Destroyer [60]
Lawrence Barry Riverhead
Chen Gang Old Stone
Andrew Gillis Werewolf
6th Canadian Screen Awards
Nabil Rajo Boost [61]
Antoine L'Écuyer The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond of Matches (La petite fille qui aimait trop les allumettes) [62]
Tzi Ma Meditation Park
Émile Proulx-Cloutier We Are the Others (Nous sommes les autres)
Gabriel Sabourin It's the Heart That Dies Last (C'est le cœur qui meurt en dernier)
7th Canadian Screen Awards
Théodore Pellerin Family First (Chien de garde) [63]
Martin Dubreuil The Great Darkened Days (La grande noirceur) [64]
Paul Nutarariaq The Grizzlies
Brandon Oakes Through Black Spruce
Michael Rowe Crown and Anchor
8th Canadian Screen Awards
Mark O'Brien Goalie [65]
Dan Beirne The Twentieth Century [66]
Marc-André Grondin Mafia Inc.
Ryan McDonald Black Conflux
Gilbert Sicotte And the Birds Rained Down (Il pleuvait des oiseaux)


Year Actor Film Ref
9th Canadian Screen Awards
Michael Greyeyes Blood Quantum [67]
Lance Henriksen Falling [68]
Joakim Robillard Underground (Souterrain)
Saul Williams Akilla's Escape
Alex Wolff Castle in the Ground
10th Canadian Screen Awards
Liam Diaz Scarborough [69]
Rogelio Balagtas Islands [70]
Pavle Čemerikić The White Fortress (Tabija)
Phillip Lewitski Wildhood
Thomas Antony Olajide Learn to Swim

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af Maria Topalovich, And the Genie Goes To...: Celebrating 50 Years of the Canadian Film Awards. Stoddart Publishing, 2000. ISBN 0-7737-3238-1.
  2. ^ Jay Scott, "Canadian films do Jekyll and Hyde act". The Globe and Mail, February 27, 1982.
  3. ^ "Genie rules changed to include Americans". Toronto Star, October 9, 1985.
  4. ^ Joseph Pugh, "Canadian Screen Awards switching to gender-neutral performance categories". CBC News, August 25, 2022.
  5. ^ "Back stage". The Globe and Mail, October 15, 1977.
  6. ^ "Four films nominated for Etrogs". The Globe and Mail, August 24, 1978.
  7. ^ Jay Scott, "Changeling leads Canadian Film Award nominees". The Globe and Mail, February 8, 1980.
  8. ^ Jay Scott, "Genie nominations released". The Globe and Mail, February 10, 1981.
  9. ^ Jay Scott, "Les Plouffe, Ticket to Heaven lead the pack: Academy lists Genie nominees". The Globe and Mail, February 4, 1982.
  10. ^ Jay Scott, "Top Genie prospects for Jack Miner move". The Globe and Mail, February 10, 1983.
  11. ^ Jay Scott, "11 nominations for Chapdelaine in Genie race". The Globe and Mail, February 10, 1984.
  12. ^ Jay Scott, "Bay Boy reels in 11 Genie nominations". The Globe and Mail, February 15, 1985.
  13. ^ "Scorecard of major nominees for tonight's Genie Awards on TV". Toronto Star, March 20, 1986.
  14. ^ John Allemang, "Arcand's Decline tops Genie nominations with 13". The Globe and Mail, February 5, 1987.
  15. ^ Liam Lacey, "Quebec film picks up 14 nominations: Zoo paces race for Genies". The Globe and Mail, February 17, 1988.
  16. ^ "Genie Award Nominees 1989". Cinema Canada. February–March 1989. pp. 27–35.
  17. ^ "Bye Bye Blues in running for Genie Awards". Vancouver Sun, February 14, 1990.
  18. ^ Craig MacInnis, "Too many jokers, not enough aces: Genie deck stacked for Black Robe". Toronto Star, November 24, 1991.
  19. ^ "Genie Award nominations". Toronto Star, November 20, 1992.
  20. ^ "Genie nominations". Calgary Herald, October 20, 1993.
  21. ^ "The 1994 Genie nominees". Playback. November 7, 1994.
  22. ^ "Nominees for the 1995 Genie Awards". Canadian Press, November 7, 1995.
  23. ^ "Over-the-edge Canadian films poised for Genie nod". Canadian Press, November 24, 1996.
  24. ^ "The 1997 Genie Awards". Playback. November 17, 1997.
  25. ^ "Two films lead Genie pack". Waterloo Region Record, December 8, 1998.
  26. ^ Kelly, Brendan (December 13, 1999). "Genies bottle `Sunshine,' `Journey' for kudo noms". Variety. Vol. 377, no. 5. p. 8.
  27. ^ "Maelstrom sweeps Genie Awards". Cape Breton Post, January 31, 2001.
  28. ^ Lacey, Liam (December 13, 2000). "Maelstrom storms the Genies". The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on February 11, 2018.
  29. ^ "Inuit film earns top honours at Genie Awards". CBC News. February 8, 2002.
  30. ^ "Atanarjuat and The War Bride share lead for Genie Awards". Guelph Mercury, December 15, 2001.
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  32. ^ "Egoyan's Ararat scoops nine Gemini nominations". Timmins Daily Press, December 12, 2002.
  33. ^ The Canadian Press (May 2, 2004). "Barbarian Invasions is gem of Genies". The Globe and Mail.
  34. ^ Staff (29 March 2004). "Genie countdown: Who will get the nod?". Playback. Archived from the original on 19 April 2017.
  35. ^ Peter Howell, "Quebec films rule Genies; Aging Triplets named country's best film of 2004". Toronto Star, March 22, 2005.
  36. ^ "Being Julia up for best picture at Canada's Genies". St. Catharines Standard, February 9, 2005.
  37. ^ McKay, John (March 13, 2006). "Jean-Marc Vallee's C.R.A.Z.Y. wins big at 2006 Genie awards". The Globe and Mail.
  38. ^ Guy Dixon, "Forget the awards. Watch the party". The Globe and Mail, January 26, 2006.
  39. ^ Jay Stone, "Bon Cop, Bad Cop wins top Genie as best movie". Ottawa Citizen, February 14, 2007.
  40. ^ Randall King, "The Rocket scores with 13 Genie nominations". Winnipeg Free Press, January 10, 2007.
  41. ^ Mark Medley, "Away From Her scoops six Genies, including best picture". Alaska Highway News, March 5, 2008.
  42. ^ Bruce Kirkland, "They dream of Genies; Canadian directors see films scoop 12 noms each". Winnipeg Sun, January 29, 2008.
  43. ^ "Passchendaele, Necessities of Life dominate Genie Awards". CBC News. April 4, 2009.
  44. ^ Dumais, Manon (April 3, 2009). "Génie 2009 : Ça Intéresse-T-I Quelqu'un ?". Voir.
  45. ^ Howell, Peter (April 12, 2010). "Polytechnique sweeps Genie Awards". Toronto Star.
  46. ^ Strauss, Marise (March 1, 2010). "Polytechnique leads Genie race". Playback.
  47. ^ "Incendies, Barney's Version dominate Genies". CBC News. March 10, 2011. Archived from the original on August 15, 2016.
  48. ^ Cassandra Szklarski, "Genie nominations offer a look at the diversity of Canadian film". Moose Jaw Times-Herald, March 9, 2011.
  49. ^ Johnson, Brian D. (March 8, 2012). "Monsieur Lazhar sweeps the Genies". Maclean's.
  50. ^ Katherine Monk, "Who's afraid of Canadian film?; Genies aside, turns out we are". Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, March 6, 2012.
  51. ^ "Canadian Screen Awards raises the star wattage". Toronto Star. March 3, 2013.
  52. ^ "A look at the nominees for the Canadian Screen Awards". Canadian Press, January 15, 2013.
  53. ^ "'Orphan Black,' 'Gabrielle' big winners at Canadian Screen Awards". CTV News. March 9, 2014.
  54. ^ "Canadian Screen Awards: Orphan Black, Less Than Kind, Enemy nominated". CBC News. January 13, 2014.
  55. ^ "'Mommy' and 'Orphan Black' win big". Trail Times, March 3, 2015.
  56. ^ Simon Houpt, "Mommy, Maps to the Stars set for showdown at Canadian Screen Awards". The Globe and Mail, January 14, 2015.
  57. ^ Cummins, Julianna (March 13, 2016). "Room cleans up at final night of 2016 Screenies". Playback. Archived from the original on January 3, 2018.
  58. ^ Wong, Jessica (January 19, 2016). "Canadian Screen Awards 2016 nominations led by Room, Schitt's Creek, Orphan Black". CBC News.
  59. ^ Charlie Smith, "Tatiana Maslany wins big at Canadian Screen Awards". The Georgia Straight, March 12, 2017.
  60. ^ Furdyk, Brent (March 12, 2017). "2017 Canadian Screen Awards: And The Winners Are..." Entertainment Tonight Canada. Corus Entertainment. Archived from the original on March 13, 2017.
  61. ^ Jessica Wong (March 11, 2018). "Canadian Screen Awards 2018: Maudie, Anne, Kim's Convenience win top prizes". CBC News. Archived from the original on March 11, 2018.
  62. ^ Victoria Ahearn, "Anne leads with 13 Canadian Screen Award nominations". Prince George Citizen, January 17, 2018.
  63. ^ Duchesne, Andre (March 31, 2019). "Cinq prix Écrans canadiens à La grande noirceur". La Presse (in French).
  64. ^ Barry Hertz, "2019 Canadian Screen Awards lean toward Quebec and the obscure, and thank goodness for that". The Globe and Mail, February 7, 2019.
  65. ^ Weaver, Jackson (May 28, 2020). "Antigone named best picture on final night of Canadian Screen Awards". CBC News.
  66. ^ Norman Wilner, "Canadian Screen Awards 2020: Prepare for a Schitt's show". Now, February 18, 2020.
  67. ^ Naman Ramachandran, "‘Schitt’s Creek,’ ‘Blood Quantum’ Triumph at Canadian Screen Awards". Variety, May 21, 2021.
  68. ^ Brent Furdyk (March 30, 2021). "Canadian Screen Awards Announces 2021 Film Nominations". ET Canada. Archived from the original on March 30, 2021.
  69. ^ Adina Bresge, "'Scarborough' top film winner at Canadian Screen Awards". CP24, April 10, 2022.
  70. ^ Brent Furdyk, "2022 Canadian Screen Award Nominees Announced, ‘Sort Of’ & ‘Scarborough’ Lead The Pack". ET Canada, February 15, 2022.