Last night’s Prix Gémeaux had a bit of everything… song, dance, comedy, (not much drama), a wedding proposal on stage, and a couple of [light, but pointed] political jabs pleading Ottawa to stop the cuts at Radio-Canada (note that many of the winning programs may not have existed without federal funding of Radio-Canada and credit programs).
There were tears too, including a moving homage to Claude Robinson; a writer who fought a 20 year battle to get just compensations in the millions $$ after having his works ripped off by a media company. He finally won his battle at the Supreme Court of Canada in 2013.
The big surprise for me was that the evening was hosted by René Simard: Montréwood’s own Donny Osmand-type celebrity. We haven’t see or heard from Simard very much the last few years… but he’s a living icon of celebrity history. His name comes up on a semi-regular basis when talking about celebrity culture or when reminiscing of yesteryear. He was a huge child star singer back in the 1970’s and 1980’s, initially performing nationally on his own TV show in French (Québec), and then in English on CBC (from Vancouver). As an adolescent, he formed a singing duet couple with younger his sister, Nathalie Simard — becoming huge stars — the “Donny and Marie”-like couple of Québec. While still in his teens, he was likely one of the first millionaire child stars from Québec, and he performed internationally – both alone, and with his sister as a duet. You can likely still find older footage of him online with girls across Canada screaming and nearly fainting in his presence. He’s from the era that all Francophone baby-boomers would surely recognize him, and it’s quite likely much of the same demographic in Anglophone Canada would still remember his nationally broadcast English show from Vancouver, right down to the Boogie-Nights 70s clothing attire.
Simard’s hosting performance last night rivalled anything we see at the Oscars or Emmy’s. It certainly made the evening.
The big Gémeaux winners and recipients were:
- Série noire
- O’ : Best television drama
- Mensonges : Best drama series
- Infoman : Best humour special and humour series.
- Les enfants de la télé: Best variety series.
- Les beaux malaises : Best comedy [sitcom]
- Tout le monde en parle : Best television and interview show.
- L’épicerie : Best daily-living coverage show
- Les Appendices: Best performance on the part of many of its players
- Martin Matte: Best male role for comedy [sitcom]
- Julie Le Breton: Best female role for comedy [sitcom]
- François Létourneau: Best male role for drama
- Fanny Malette: Best female role for drama
Bon début de semaine!