Black Academy Launches Awards
by Staff Editors
(May 31, 2021 – Toronto) Toronto-born brothers and actors Stephan James and Shamier Anderson, who jointly launched the Black Academy in December 2020, have announced the first-ever Canadian awards show dedicated to Black talent and it will air on CBC in 2022. The network has made a three-year commitment to carry the live, 90-minute show, which will honour Black achievement in film, television, music, sports and culture.
“[It will] give Black faces a platform to inspire more Black faces,” said Stephan James.
This isn’t just a hashtag for [CBC]. This isn’t just a moment in time. This is a legacy that they want to build and they want to build with us,” Shamier Anderson aded.
This initiative is a division of their not-for-profit group B.L.A.C.K. Canada (Building a Legacy in Acting, Cinema and Knowledge) that supports young and emerging Black talent in the arts and works to combat systemic racism and break down barriers of discrimination. The awards were part of the organization’s original planning. In addition to the CBC, they have also received support from the Canada Media Fund, a primary investor of the Black Academy, and recently Cineplex and Roots also came on board.
“We’re challenging government. We’re challenging corporations here in Canada to be a part of the change that they speak of and the change that they want to see.”
The show is currently in the planning stages but hopes to include performances, special tributes, as well as industry panels and more.
“I think we all agree it’s a little late,” Anderson said, “but the fact that it is happening now, I think people are going to be inspired, re-inspired and excited to digest something that they’ve never seen before.”