This weekend, Hollywood North will have nothing on Ottawa as the who’s who of Canadian film sashays to the capital.
The 29th annual Genie Awards are coming to Ottawa, recognizing the best in Canadian cinema at the Canada Aviation Museum Saturday night.
While celeb-watchers will certainly get an eyeful when the Genie Train arrives at the VIA station Friday afternoon, those less star-struck will benefit from this visit as well.
“Having the Genies in Ottawa is a wonderful opportunity for Ottawa to show off our Canadian landmarks — be it the Canadian War Museum, the Canada Aviation Museum or the Canadian Museum of Civilization — on both sides of the river,” said NCC spokeswoman Marilyne Guèvremont.
“This is the first time the Genies are held in Ottawa and it’s a wonderful time of year to have the Genies in the capital. This is the time of year that Canadians are planning their summer vacations,” said Guèvremont, “and if they see Ottawa broadcast on Saturday, maybe they’ll say, ‘Hey, let’s come to the capital for summer vacation.’”
“We’re excited to have the awards in Ottawa,” said Sara Morton, CEO of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, the organization responsible for the Genie Awards.
Although the Genies normally take place in Toronto, the awards will fit right in with the nation’s capital, she said.
“The National Capital Region is a cultural centre as well as a centre of government,” said Morton.
And as a leading cultural event, it makes perfect sense for the Genies to be in Ottawa, she added.
If award shows in the past are any indication, the Genies will almost certainly generate a positive economic impact for Ottawa.
“We certainly hope it does,” said Morton.
As for city residents, Ottawa has embraced the Genies. Genie Week was a huge success, with free screenings and events enjoying full-house crowds, Guèvremont said.
“There’s a real thirst out there for Canadian cinema.”