Sara Canning

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Sara Canning
Sara Canning.jpg
Canning in May 2011
Born (1987-07-14) July 14, 1987 (age 29)
Gander, Newfoundland, Canada
Occupation Actress
Years active 2008–present

Sara Canning (born July 14, 1987) is a Canadian actress. She co-starred on The CW television series The Vampire Diaries as Jenna Sommers, and appeared in the 2009 feature film, Black Field. She starred as Dylan Weir in the Canadian television series, Primeval: New World, and as Dr. Melissa Conner on the Global medical drama Remedy.

Early life[edit]

Canning was born in Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador.the daughter of Wayne and Daphne Canning.[1] She lived in Gander until age eleven, and was then raised in Sherwood Park, near Edmonton, Alberta.[2][3] She competed as a figure skater in her childhood and early adolescent years, and became interested in theatre as a student at F.R. Haythorne Junior High.[4] Canning starred in several stage productions while attending Bev Facey Community High School, and acted in shows at her hometown stage at Festival Place.

Canning made her professional acting debut in George Orwell's 1984 at the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton at the age of 18. She began studying general arts at the University of Alberta, and considered going into journalism. Still interested in performing, Canning left university at 19 and moved to Vancouver to pursue a career in acting.[1] She graduated from a year-long screen acting program at Vancouver Film School in 2007.[5]


Canning found an agent and began acting in television series and TV films produced in Vancouver. She worked in a restaurant and would take time off to film.[6] Her first role was in 2008, playing Nicky Hilton in Paparazzi Princess: The Paris Hilton Story.[7] In 2009, she guest-starred on Smallville and Kyle XY, and starred in the based-on-real-events TV movie, Taken in Broad Daylight. She played Anne Sluti, a 17-year- old girl who was abducted by a demented criminal (James Van Der Beek).

In 2009, Canning filmed a pilot episode for the CW network television series, The Vampire Diaries. She then starred in the feature film Black Field, a 19th-century gothic period piece directed by Danishka Esterhazy. Canning shot the drama near Tyndall, Manitoba, Canada in May 2009.[8] She played Maggie McGregor, the older of two Scottish sisters struggling take make their way on the Canadian Prairies. The film premiered at the Vancouver International Film Festival in 2009.[9] The Vampire Diaries series was picked up three weeks after she completed work on the film.[1]

Canning co-starred as Jenna Sommers on The Vampire Diaries, the aunt and guardian of Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev) and her younger brother Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen).[10] Canning was younger or the same age as her fellow cast members who played high school students.[11] Makeup artists and the wardrobe team worked to make her look older.[12] Canning also downplayed her Canadian accent for the role. Matthew Davis played her character's love interest, Alaric.[12] Canning appeared on the second season of The Vampire Diaries from 2010–2011 until her character was killed in the episode, "The Sun Also Rises".

Canning is interested in writing and directing. As of September 2010, she was co-writing a love story set in the Western time period.[6] In 2011, she worked on a short film noir, titled Corvus, and shot the Lifetime network film, Hunt for the I-5 Killer, in Vancouver.[13] She filmed the Hallmark Movie Channel Western, Hannah's Law, in Calgary, Alberta in late-2011, starring alongside Greystone Holt.[14]

Canning appeared in I Think I Do, which began filming in January 2012 in Edmonton. She starred as Audrey, an event planner who runs a business alongside her two sisters (Mia Kirschner and Jenny Cooper).[15] The romantic comedy aired in 2013 on the W and Lifetime networks.[16] Canning filmed the independent romantic comedy, The Right Kind of Wrong, in Banff, Alberta in late-2012. She starred alongside Ryan Kwanten and Catherine O'Hara, directed by Jeremiah Chechik.[17]

Canning next starred in the 2012–2013 Space channel television series, Primeval: New World, a Canadian spin-off of the British sci-fi series Primeval.[18] She played predator control expert Dylan Weir, a member of a dinosaur hunting team; the series was filmed in Vancouver.[5] Canning also starred with Aaron Ashmore in the dark romantic comedy, I Put a Hit on You, in 2012.[19] In 2013, she joined the cast of the psychological drama film, Eadweard, starring Michael Eklund. She plays Flora, the wife of 19th-century photographer Eadweard Muybridge.[20]

Canning plays general surgeon Mel Conner in the Global medical drama, Remedy, which co-stars Sarah Allen, Dillon Casey, and Enrico Colantoni. The television series was in production in Toronto from October 2013–January 2014.[21] Broadcast company Shaw Media renewed the series for a second 10-episode season.[22] Canning won the 2014 UBCP/ACTRA best actor, and the 2015 Leo Award for Best Lead Performance, for her role.[23][24] She joined the cast of War for the Planet of the Apes in 2015, a sequel to the 2014 film, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.[25] She will also star as Ms. Brixil, the head of a boarding school, in the thriller Level 16, written and directed by Danishka Esterhazy.[26]

Personal life[edit]

Canning relocated to Atlanta, Georgia to film The Vampire Diaries. She stated to Parade that she found that the Southern U.S. had "a much different culture than the west coast of Canada", but it became like her "second home".[11] Canning lived in Atlanta for two years and returned to Vancouver, Canada after finishing the series.[27]


List of acting performances in film and television
Year Title Role Notes
2008 Paparazzi Princess: The Paris Hilton Story Nicky Hilton Television film
2008 Smallville Tess' Assistant
  • TV series, episodes:
  • "Odyssey"
  • "Plastique"
2008 Slap Shot 3: The Junior League Hope Direct-to-video film
2009 Black Rain Dorothy TV film
2009 Taken in Broad Daylight Anne Sluti TV film
2009 Kyle XY Redhead TV series, episode: "In the Company of Men"
2009 Come Dance at My Wedding Andrea Merriman TV film
2009 Black Field Maggie McGregor Feature film
2009–14 The Vampire Diaries Jenna Sommers TV series, series regular (seasons 1, 2 guest appearance in 3 and 5)
2011 The Hunt for the I-5 Killer Beth Williams TV film
2012 Supernatural Lydia TV series, episode: "The Slice Girls"
2012 Hannah's Law Hannah Beaumont TV film
Nominated – Leo Award for Best Lead Performance by a Female in a Feature Length Drama[28]
2012–13 Primeval: New World Dylan Weir TV series, lead role
2013 I Think I Do Audrey Ryan
2013 King & Maxwell Claire Culpepper TV series, 2 episodes
2013 The Right Kind of Wrong Colette
2013 Garage Sale Mystery Hannah TV film
2013 Republic of Doyle Jessica Dwyer TV series, 2 episodes
2014 I Put a Hit on You Harper
2014–15 Remedy Dr. Melissa Conner TV series
Won – 2014 UBCP/ACTRA Best Actress Award[23]
Won – 2015 Leo Award for Best Lead Performance by a Female in a Dramatic Series[24]
2014 Hell on Wheels Charlotte Royce TV series, 3 episodes
Nominated – 2015 Leo Award for Best Guest Performance by a Female in a Dramatic Series[24]
2015 Eadweard Flora Shallcross Stone Nominated – 2015 UBCP/ACTRA Best Actress Award[29]
2017 War for the Planet of the Apes[30] Filming


  1. ^ a b c Hall, Jamie (July 27, 2010). "Canning sinks her teeth into television and movie career". The Edmonton Journal. Retrieved on October 2, 2013.
  2. ^ Rae, Kate (September 6, 2013). "Sara Canning: Her closet is ‘totally nuts’". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved on October 2, 2013.
  3. ^ Brioux, Bill (August 13, 2009). "TV brimming with Canadians". The Toronto Star. Retrieved on October 17, 2009.
  4. ^ "The Vampire Diaries – Cast – Sara Canning". The CW. Retrieved on October 17, 2009. Archived September 14, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ a b Leiren-Young, Mark (January 3, 2013). "Hollywood North: Vancouver’s Sara Canning takes a vacation from vampires and velociraptors". The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved on January 5, 2013.
  6. ^ a b Proulx, Ben (September 1, 2010). "Vampires draw in Park actor". Sherwood Park News. Retrieved on September 4, 2010.
  7. ^ "Acting Like A Hilton". January 29, 2008. Vancouver Film School. Retrieved on October 9, 2009.
  8. ^ Caddell, Ian (October 2009). "Field of Dreams". Reel West. Retrieved on October 9, 2009.
  9. ^ Mithrush, Fawnda (April 30, 2010). "Vampire Vixen". Avenue Magazine. Retrieved on May 1, 2010. Archived May 3, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ Gilovoy, Jackie (September 25, 2009). "In Review: The Vampire Diaries". Ponte Vedra Recorder. Retrieved on October 17, 2009.[dead link]
  11. ^ a b Hill, Erin (January 28, 2010). "Sara Canning: 'Vampire Diaries' Will Pave Its Own Way". Parade. Retrieved on January 30, 2010.
  12. ^ a b MacKenzie, Carina (March 25, 2010). "'The Vampire Diaries': Sara Canning makes her own luck". Los Angeles Times Retrieved on May 8, 2010.
  13. ^ Wilkinson, Amy (May 5, 2011). "'Vampire Diaries' Post-Mortem: Sara Canning Talks About Last Night's Shocking Episode". MTV. Retrieved on May 13, 2011.
  14. ^ Nordyke, Kimberly (October 3, 2011). "'Vampire Diaries' Actress to Star in Hallmark Movie Channel Western (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved on November 9, 2011.
  15. ^ Baxter, Meaghan (January 31, 2012). "Park actress branches out to comedy". Sherwood Park News. Retrieved on January 31, 2012.
  16. ^ Hall, Jamie (January 12, 2012). "A movie 'for the world to see'". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved on January 14, 2012.
  17. ^ Volmers, Eric (October 4, 2012). "Alberta ranch plays host to stars of romantic comedy, The Right Kind of Wrong". Calgary Herald. Retrieved on October 5, 2012.
  18. ^ Vlessing, Etan (March 7, 2012). "Sara Canning Stars in Canadian 'Primeval: New World' Sci-Fi Drama". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved on March 9, 2012.
  19. ^ Vlessing, Etan (November 9, 2012). "Sara Canning, Aaron Ashmore Cast in Canadian Indie 'I Put a Hit on You'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved on November 10, 2012.
  20. ^ Kit, Borys (June 28, 2013). "'Vampire Diaries,' 'Continuum' Actors Join Eadweard Muybridge Movie". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved on June 29, 2013.
  21. ^ Vlessing, Elan (October 2, 2013). "Sara Canning, Sarah Allen Board Canadian Medical Drama 'Remedy'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved on October 2, 2013.
  22. ^ Vlessing, Elan (May 1, 2014). "Sara Canning-Starring Medical Drama 'Remedy' Gets Second Season". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved on May 4, 2014.
  23. ^ a b Derdeyn, Stuart (November 24, 2014). "Ian Tracey and Sara Canning win best actor and actress awards at UBCP/ACTRA awards". The Province. Retrieved December 4, 2014. 
  24. ^ a b c Marchand, Francois (June 15, 2012). "Violent roars at the Leo Awards". The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved June 16, 2015. 
  25. ^ Lincoln, Ross A. (October 26, 2015). "Sara Canning To Monkey Around In 'War For The Planet Of The Apes'". Retrieved November 9, 2014. 
  26. ^ Vlessing, Etan (February 10, 2016). "'Vampire Diaries' Actress Sara Canning to Star in YA Thriller 'Level 16'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 13, 2016. 
  27. ^ MacKenzie, Carina Adly (May 6, 2011). "'The Vampire Diaries': Sara Canning says goodbye to Jenna Sommers". Zap2it. Retrieved on November 9, 2011.
  28. ^ Harris, Aleesha (May 3, 2012). "Leo Awards 2012: The full list of nominees". The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved May 26, 2012. [dead link]
  29. ^ Marchand, Francois (September 17, 2015). "Hollywood North: UBCP/ACTRA nominees announced". The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved September 20, 2015. 
  30. ^ "Sara Canning To Monkey Around In 'War For The Planet Of The Apes'". Deadline. October 26, 2015. Retrieved October 27, 2015. 

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