In 2014 the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television will be celebrating 65 years of awards in honour of Canadian screen stars on both sides of the camera.

“The Academy is building a legacy to honour Canada’s remarkable screen talent,” says Academy Chair Martin Katz. “It all began in 1949 with the Canadian Film Awards and prestigious hosts such as silver screen star Mary Pickford and Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent. We think this well-kept secret is worth sharing with all Canadians.”

The awards have come a long way from their humble, pre-television beginnings in 1949 at Ottawa’s Little Elgin Theatre. In 2014, they will be a star-studded red carpet event, broadcast live on CBC from Toronto’s Sony Centre for the Performing Arts.

The 2014 Canadian Screen Awards will celebrate this landmark anniversary on Sunday, March 9th at 8 pm, hosted by Canadian comedy legend Martin Short. There will be activities celebrating the anniversary throughout Canadian Screen Week, from March 3rd to the 9th.

“From Mary Pickford to Martin Short, our awards have evolved, changed names, added television and digital productions to the competition and inspired the official founding of the Academy in 1979, but without fail, we have always celebrated glamorous, talented Canadians,” says Academy CEO Helga Stephenson.

65th anniversary events will be announced at the 2014 Canadian Screen Awards press conference on January 13, 2014.

Canadian Screen Awards Milestones

1949: First Canadian Film Awards

1950: Prime Minister St. Laurent hosts the Canadian Film Awards

1951: Silver screen star Mary Pickford (“America’s Sweetheart”) hosts the Canadian Film Awards

1968: Canadian sculptor Sorel Etrog creates a statue for the Canadian Film Awards

1969: Canadian Film Awards add television categories

1979: Academy of Canadian Cinema is founded

1980: Genie Awards launched

1983: Academy’s Montreal office opens

1985: The Academy is renamed:  Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television

1986: Gemini Awards (for English-language television) launched nationally

1987: Les prix Gémeaux (for French-language television) launched in Quebec

2003: Gemini Awards and Les prix Gémeaux add digital categories

2013: Genie and Gemini Awards merged

2013: Canadian Screen Awards launched

2013: Canadian Screen Week launched

2014: 65 years of celebrating Canadian screen stars

2014 Canadian Screen Awards Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television 65th Anniversary