Canadian Film Awards

The Canadian Film Awards (CFA), which were awarded from 1949 to 1978, were initiated by the Canadian Association for Adult Education (CAAE), to honour distinguished Canadian films. The assistant director of CAAE, J. Roby Kidd, struck a working committee to launch a national awards program. Walter Herbert, executive director of the Canadian Foundation, was chairman of the committee, whose members included James Beveridge of the NATIONAL FILM BOARD, Budge CRAWLEY, president of Crawley Films, Donald BUCHANAN of the NATIONAL GALLERY OF CANADA, and Graham McInnes of the Department of External Affairs.

A five-member jury was selected to choose the winning films: Hye Bossin, managing editor of Canadian Film Weekly; M. Stein of Famous Players; Gerald PRATLEY, CBC film critic; Moira Armour of the Toronto and Vancouver Film societies; and Ian MacNeill from CAAE. The first presentation was 27 April 1949 at the Little Elgin Theatre in Ottawa, with Prime Minister Louis ST-LAURENT in attendance.

The dearth of domestic feature films led to an inconsistency in the Canadian Film Awards (CFAs, 1949 to 1978) in its early years, and it wasn't until 1968 that craft categories were fully acknowledged. There were also a number of honourable mentions, special awards, awards for TV drama, TV information, sports and recreation, public relations, sales promotion, non-feature craft awards, and awards for technical development and innovation. The JOHN GRIERSON AWARD (1972-78) was given for outstanding contributions to Canadian cinema and the WENDY MICHENER AWARD (1969-78) was presented for outstanding artistic achievement.

In 1968, famed sculptor Sorel ETROG was commissioned to create a statue for the CFAs, and he produced a bronze figure, known as the Etrog, for the 20th presentation that year. Due to a boycott by Quebec directors, the CFAs were not held in 1974; in 1979 they were transferred to the Academy of Canadian Cinema (later the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television) and became known as the GENIE Awards. The following is a list of the CFA winners of the Film of the Year Award and the Feature Film Award, along with the name of the producer(s).

1949
Film of the Year: The Loon's Necklace (Budge Crawley)

1952
Film of the Year: Newfoundland Scene (Budge Crawley); Feature Film: Royal Journey (David Bairstow)

1953
Film of the Year and Feature Film: Tit-coq (Gratien GÉLINAS)

1954
Film of the Year: The Seasons (Christopher Chapman)

1955
Film of the Year and Feature Film: The Stratford Adventure (Guy Glover)

1958
Film of the Year: City of Gold (Tom DALY)

1961
Film of the Year: Universe (Tom Daly)

1963
Film of the Year: Lonely Boy (Roman Kroitor)

1964
Film of the Year: Pour la suite du monde (Jacques Bobet); Feature Film: À tout prendre (Claude JUTRA and Robert Hershorn)

1965
Feature Film: The Luck of Ginger Coffey (Leon Roth)

1966
Film of the Year: The Mills of the Gods: Viet Nam (Douglas Leiterman); Feature Film: Le Festin des morts (André Belleau)

1967
Film of the Year and Feature Film: Warrendale (Allan KING)

1968
Film of the Year: A Place to Stand (Christopher Chapman); Feature Film: The Ernie Game (Gordon Burwash)

1969
Film of the Year: The Best Damn Fiddler from Calabogie to Kaladar (Barrie Howells and John Kemeny)

1970
Film of the Year: To See or Not to See (Robert Verrall and Wolf Koenig); Feature Film: GOIN' DOWN THE ROAD (Don SHEBIB)

1971
Feature Film: MON ONCLE ANTOINE (Marc Beaudet)

1972
Feature Film: Wedding in White (John Vidette)

1973
Feature Film: Slipstream (James Margellos)

1974
Film of the Year: THE APPRENTICESHIP OF DUDDY KRAVITZ (John Kemeny, presented in 1975)

1975
Film of the Year and Feature Film: LES ORDRES (Bernard Lalonde)

1976
Feature Film: Lies My Father Told Me (Anthony Bedrich and Harry Gulkin)

1977
Feature Film: J.A. Martin, photographe (Jean-Marc Garand)

1978
Feature Film: The Silent Partner (Stephen Young)