The film industry is changing thanks to the phenomenal work of two Toronto-born actors. Stephan James and Shamier Anderson are the founders of The Black Academy, the first-ever award show honouring Black talent in Canada, and now the awards show has officially found a home. Beginning in 2022, CBC will begin airing the first-of-its-kind event.
Now, if you aren’t familiar with the work of Stephan James and Shamier Anderson, let us tell you, both of their resumes will impress. The brothers were born and raised in Scarborough and they both began acting in their teenage years.
You may recognize Stephan James for his work in Race, If Beale Street Could Talk, or his Golden Globe-nominated performance in Homecoming. Shamier Anderson is known for his portrayal of U.S. Deputy Marshal Xavier Dolls in Wynnona Earp and, more recently, a starring role in the upcoming Netflix feature Awake.
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The two founded their non-profit, B.L.A.C.K (Building A Legacy in Acting, Cinema + Knowledge) back in 2016. The organization is a dedicated mentorship program in the film and entertainment industry to elevate and uplift youth from marginalized communities. In late 2020, an extension of the organization, The Black Academy, was born.
As the first organization of its kind in Canada, The Black Academy celebrates Black Canadians in Arts, Culture, Entertainment, and Sports. As of 2022, that celebration will become a televised event. The award show is officially signed on to air as a live, national telecast on CBC-TV and CBC Gem from 2022 to 2024. Although chances are this revolutionary event will continue beyond the current three-year partnership.
We raise a glass to Stephan James and Shamier Anderson for the game-changing work they’re doing. We can’t wait to see what these Toronto-born brothers will be up to next.