Canadian Screen Award for Best Actress

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The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television presents an annual award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role to the best performance by a lead actress 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 Canadian Screen Awards.

From 1980 to 1983, only Canadian actresses were eligible for the award; non-Canadian actresses appearing in Canadian films were instead considered for the separate Genie Award for Best Performance by a Foreign Actress.[2] After 1983, the latter award was discontinued, and from 1986 both Canadian and foreign actresses were eligible for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role.[3]


Year Nominee Film
20th Canadian Film Awards
Geneviève Bujold Isabel
21st Canadian Film Awards
No award presented this year


Year Nominee Film
22nd Canadian Film Awards
Geneviève Bujold The Act of the Heart
23rd Canadian Film Awards
Ann Knox The Only Thing You Know
24th Canadian Film Awards
Micheline Lanctôt The True Nature of Bernadette (La Vraie Nature de Bernadette)
25th Canadian Film Awards
Geneviève Bujold Kamouraska
No award presented
26th Canadian Film Awards
Margot Kidder A Quiet Day in Belfast
27th Canadian Film Awards
Marilyn Lightstone Lies My Father Told Me
28th Canadian Film Awards
Monique Mercure J.A. Martin Photographer (J.A. Martin photographe)
Jayne Eastwood One Man
Carole Laure The Angel and the Woman (L'Ange et la femme)
Hollis McLaren Outrageous!
29th Canadian Film Awards
Helen Shaver In Praise of Older Women
Micheline Lanctôt Blood and Guts
Celine Lomez The Silent Partner
Andrée Pelletier Marie-Anne


Year Nominee Film
1st Genie Awards
Kate Lynch Meatballs
Micheline Lanctôt A Scream from Silence (Mourir à tue-tête)
Louise Marleau Heartbreak (L'arrache-cœur)
Claire Pimparé Yesterday
Louise Portal Cordélia
2nd Genie Awards
Marie Tifo Good Riddance (Les Bons débarras)
Geneviève Bujold Final Assignment
Jennifer Dale Suzanne
Charlotte Laurier Good Riddance (Les Bons débarras)
Andrée Pelletier The Handyman (L'Homme à tout faire)
3rd Genie Awards
Margot Kidder Heartaches
Kim Cattrall Ticket to Heaven
Lesleh Donaldson Funeral Home
Ronalda Jones Alligator Shoes
Monique Spaziani Happy Memories (Les Beaux souvenirs)
4th Genie Awards
Rae Dawn Chong Quest for Fire
Sara Botsford By Design
Hélène Loiselle Sweet Lies and Loving Oaths (Doux aveux)
Monique Mercure Beyond Forty (La Quarantaine)
Andrée Pelletier Latitude 55°
5th Genie Awards
Martha Henry The Wars
Carole Laure Maria Chapdelaine
Barbara March Deserters
Marie Tifo Lucien Brouillard
Marie Tifo Just a Game (Rien qu'un jeu)
6th Genie Awards
Louise Marleau A Woman in Transit (La Femme de l'hôtel)
Pascale Bussières Sonatine
Linda Griffiths Reno and the Doc
Isabelle Mejias Unfinished Business
Andrée Pelletier Walls
Sonja Smits That's My Baby!
7th Genie Awards
Margaret Langrick My American Cousin
Charlotte Laurier The Dame in Colour (La Dame en couleurs)
Christine Pak 90 Days
Monique Spaziani The Alley Cat (Le Matou)
Mary Steenburgen One Magic Christmas
8th Genie Awards
Martha Henry Dancing in the Dark
Dorothée Berryman The Decline of the American Empire (Le Déclin de l'empire américain)
Jackie Burroughs John and the Missus
Tantoo Cardinal Loyalties
Helen Shaver Lost!
Marie Tifo Intimate Power (Pouvoir intime)
9th Genie Awards
Sheila McCarthy I've Heard the Mermaids Singing
Frédérique Collin Marie in the City (Marie s'en va-t-en ville)
Jacinta Cormier Life Classes
Kate Lynch Taking Care
Gabrielle Rose Family Viewing
10th Genie Awards
Jackie Burroughs A Winter Tan
Geneviève Bujold Dead Ringers
Kerrie Keane Hitting Home
Josette Simon Milk and Honey
Monique Spaziani The Revolving Doors (Les Portes tournantes)


Year Nominee Film
11th Genie Awards
Rebecca Jenkins Bye Bye Blues
Colleen Dewhurst Termini Station
Megan Follows Termini Station
Margaret Langrick Cold Comfort
Gabrielle Rose Speaking Parts
Catherine Wilkening Jesus of Montreal (Jésus de Montréal)
12th Genie Awards
Pascale Montpetit H
Alice Diabo The Company of Strangers
Cissy Meddings The Company of Strangers
Kate Nelligan White Room
Nina Petronzio Vincent and Me (Vincent et moi)
13th Genie Awards
Janet Wright Bordertown Café
Janet-Laine Green The Shower
Viveca Lindfors North of Pittsburgh
Enrica Maria Modugno La Sarrasine
Valerie Pearson Solitaire
14th Genie Awards
Sheila McCarthy The Lotus Eaters
Élise Guilbault Cap Tourmente
Andrée Lachapelle Cap Tourmente
Pauline Lapointe La Florida
Aloka McLean The Lotus Eaters
15th Genie Awards
Sandra Oh Double Happiness
Nancy Beatty Henry & Verlin
Geneviève Bujold My Friend Max (Mon amie Max)
Valérie Kaprisky Desire in Motion (Mouvements du désir)
Marie Tifo Les Pots cassés
16th Genie Awards
Helena Bonham Carter Margaret's Museum
Pascale Bussières Eldorado
Pascale Bussières When Night Is Falling
Pascale Montpetit Eldorado
Isabel Richer Eldorado
17th Genie Awards
Martha Henry Long Day's Journey into Night
Marie Brassard Polygraph (Le Polygraphe)
Helene Clarkson Blood and Donuts
Brenda Fricker Swann
Louise Portal Not Me! (Sous-sol)
18th Genie Awards
Molly Parker Kissed
Isabelle Cyr Karmina
Sarah Polley The Sweet Hereafter
Gabrielle Rose The Sweet Hereafter
Alberta Watson Shoemaker
19th Genie Awards
Sandra Oh Last Night
Anne-Marie Cadieux
Pascale Montpetit Streetheart (Le Cœur au poing)
Ginette Reno It's Your Turn, Laura Cadieux (C't'à ton tour, Laura Cadieux)
Pierrette Robitaille It's Your Turn, Laura Cadieux (C't'à ton tour, Laura Cadieux)
20th Genie Awards
Sylvie Moreau Post Mortem
Elaine Cassidy Felicia's Journey
Jennifer Ehle Sunshine
Rosemary Harris Sunshine
Mary-Louise Parker The Five Senses


Year Nominee Film
21st Genie Awards
Marie-Josée Croze Maelström
Kim Hunter Here's to Life!
Ginette Reno Laura Cadieux II (Laura suite)
Pierrette Robitaille Laura Cadieux II (Laura suite)
Tilda Swinton Possible Worlds
22nd Genie Awards
Élise Guilbault The Woman Who Drinks (La Femme qui boit)
Jillian Fargey Protection
Anna Friel The War Bride
Sarah Polley The Law of Enclosures
Katja Riemann Desire
23rd Genie Awards
Arsinée Khanjian Ararat
Isabelle Blais Savage Messiah
Molly Parker Men With Brooms
Deborah Kara Unger Between Strangers
Polly Walker Savage Messiah
24th Genie Awards
Sarah Polley My Life Without Me
Rebecca Jenkins Marion Bridge
Micheline Lanctôt How My Mother Gave Birth to Me During Menopause (Comment ma mère accoucha de moi durant sa ménopause)
Molly Parker Marion Bridge
Karine Vanasse Séraphin: Heart of Stone (Séraphin: un homme et son péché)
25th Genie Awards
Pascale Bussières Bittersweet Memories (Ma vie en cinémascope)
Isabelle Blais Love and Magnets (Les Aimants)
Céline Bonnier Machine Gun Molly (Monica la mitraille)
Emily Hampshire Blood
Jacinthe Laguë The Five of Us (Elles étaient cinq)
26th Genie Awards
Seema Biswas Water
Gina Chiarelli[4] See Grace Fly
Macha Grenon[4] Familia
Arsinée Khanjian[4] Sabah
Sylvie Moreau[4] Familia
27th Genie Awards
Julie LeBreton The Rocket (Maurice Richard)
Jodelle Ferland Tideland
Fatou N'Diaye A Sunday in Kigali (Un dimanche à Kigali)
Ginette Reno A Family Secret (Le secret de ma mère)
Sigourney Weaver Snow Cake
28th Genie Awards
Julie Christie Away from Her
Anne-Marie Cadieux You (Toi)
Ellen Page The Tracey Fragments
Molly Parker Who Loves the Sun
Béatrice Picard My Aunt Aline (Ma tante Aline)
29th Genie Awards
Ellen Burstyn The Stone Angel
Isabelle Blais Borderline
Marianne Fortier Mommy Is at the Hairdresser's (Maman est chez le coiffeur)
Susan Sarandon Emotional Arithmetic
Preity Zinta Heaven on Earth
30th Genie Awards
Karine Vanasse Polytechnique
Madeline Ivalu Before Tomorrow (Le Jour avant le lendemain)
Karen LeBlanc Nurse.Fighter.Boy
Carinne Leduc 3 Seasons (3 saisons)
Gabrielle Rose Mothers & Daughters


Year Nominee Film
31st Genie Awards
Lubna Azabal Incendies
Tatiana Maslany Grown Up Movie Star
Molly Parker Trigger
Rosamund Pike Barney's Version
Tracy Wright Trigger
32nd Genie Awards
Vanessa Paradis Café de Flore
Catherine de Léan Nuit #1
Pascale Montpetit The Girl in the White Coat
Rachel Weisz The Whistleblower
Michelle Williams Take This Waltz
1st Canadian Screen Awards
Rachel Mwanza War Witch (Rebelle)
Évelyne Brochu Inch'Allah
Geneviève Bujold Still Mine
Marilyn Castonguay L'Affaire Dumont
Suzanne Clément Laurence Anyways
2nd Canadian Screen Awards
Gabrielle Marion-Rivard[5] Gabrielle
Cara Gee[6] Empire of Dirt
Isabelle Guérard[6] The Storm Within (Rouge sang)
Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs[6] Rhymes for Young Ghouls
Tatiana Maslany[6] Cas & Dylan
3rd Canadian Screen Awards
Anne Dorval Mommy
Ahn Ji-hye[7] In Her Place
Julianne Côté[7] Tu dors Nicole
Julianne Moore[7] Maps to the Stars
Yoon Da-gyeong[7] In Her Place
4th Canadian Screen Awards
Brie Larson[8] Room
Céline Bonnier[8] The Passion of Augustine (La Passion d'Augustine)
Leah Goldstein[8] Diamond Tongues
Karelle Tremblay[8] Our Loved Ones (Les Êtres chers)
Hadas Yaron[8] Felix and Meira (Félix et Meira)
5th Canadian Screen Awards
Tatiana Maslany The Other Half
Nathalie Doummar Boundaries (Pays)
Carmen Ejogo Born to Be Blue
Sasha K. Gordon Natasha
Bhreagh MacNeil Werewolf
6th Canadian Screen Awards
Sally Hawkins Maudie
Denise Filiatrault It's the Heart That Dies Last (C'est le cœur qui meurt en dernier)
Shirley Henderson Never Steady, Never Still
Mahour Jabbari Ava
Marine Johnson The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond of Matches (La petite fille qui aimait trop les allumettes)
7th Canadian Screen Awards
Émilie Bierre A Colony (Une colonie)
Valeria Henríquez The Padre
Rose-Marie Perreault Fake Tattoos (Les faux tatouages)
Brigitte Poupart Les Salopes, or the Naturally Wanton Pleasure of Skin (Les salopes ou le sucre naturel de la peau)
Carla Turcotte Sashinka


  1. ^ 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. ^ a b c d "Key Genie nominees". Toronto Star, January 26, 2006.
  5. ^ "'Orphan Black,' 'Gabrielle' big winners at Canadian Screen Awards". CTV News, March 9, 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d "Canadian Screen Awards: Orphan Black, Less Than Kind, Enemy nominated". CBC News, January 13, 2014.
  7. ^ a b c d "Reynolds, Pattinson among film nominees at Canadian Screen Awards". Global News, January 13, 2015.
  8. ^ a b c d e "Room, Schitt’s Creek lead 2016 Canadian Screen Award nominations". National Post, January 20, 2016.