Amanda Tapping is going to have a busy weekend.
The acclaimed actor will co-host the Leo Awards with Robin Dunne. And her series Sanctuary leads the Leo nominations with 18, including one for Tapping as best female lead in a dramatic series.
The Leos don't have the cachet of the Oscars, or even the Geminis. But for the last 14 years, the show has been celebrating the best in B.C. film and television in a two-night extravaganza.
This year's Leos have moved uptown to the Hotel Vancouver from the Bayshore. Friday night is an informal, "cocktail attire" event where most of the craft awards will be handed out. Saturday is the glitzy red carpet, black tie-and-tuxedo night where the stars come out to shine.
About 900 people are expected to attend (400 Friday, 500 Saturday). It isn't cheap ($150 Friday, $225 Saturday, $125 Friday or $175 Saturday if you're a nominee), but Leos president Walter Daroshin says the event gives film industry types a rare chance to get together and schmooze.
"Put it in perspective," says Daroshin. "We only really do this once a year. The industry gathers in its own way during the course of the year, but usually in a fragmented sense: There are industry events that are specific to various genres of programming, or different guilds and unions and associations that have gatherings.
"[And] the film festival is primarily audience driven. But this is all industry people, for the most part. There are some [members of the] public that attend, but it's mostly all [industry people]. That's what is different, we're all seeing each other for the first time since last year. A lawyer might share a table with a picture editor or a sound designer."
Arctic Air has nine nominations on the TV side, followed by Blackstone with six and Small-ville with four. Carl Bessai's Sisters & Brothers leads the feature film nominees with 12, followed by Hamlet (eight nominations), Marilyn (eight), Sun-flower Hour (seven) and Donovan's Echo (eight).
"Carl Bessai has done some wonderful work over the years," said Daroshin. "He's the epitome of a local, independent, indigenous filmmaker who just does what he does. He's the poster child. When you think about the Leo Awards and B.C., you point to someone like that."
There is an eclectic mix of nominees, a byproduct of the Leos mandate.
"Our intention is not to [just] celebrate programs that are either shot in British Columbia or about British Columbia, our intention is to celebrate the individuals who are responsible for the creative and financial aspects of programs who happen to be a B.C. resident," he explains.
"A number of years ago, for example, [there was] Capote, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman. It appeared to be an American film, for all intents and purposes, looked like a Hollywood film, with an American star, an American director.
"But [the late] Bill Vince and his [Vancouver] company were the producing partners who controlled the creative and financial aspects of the program. So when we awarded Capote the Leo award for best picture, it was in recognition of the British Columbia component."
Sisters & Brothers is up against Daydream Nation, Doppelgänger Paul, Marilyn and The Odds for best feature. Sanctuary's competition for best dramatic series are Arctic Air, Blackstone, and Endgame. Tapping faces some top com-petition for best female lead, where Meg Tilly is nominated for Bomb Girls, Erin Karpluk is nominated for Being Erica, Car-men Moore is up for Blackstone and Laura Mennell will represent Alphas.
The ticket price includes dinner with wine, and a champagne reception.
AT A GLANCE
When: Friday 7 p.m., Saturday 7 p.m.
Where: Hotel Vancouver
Tickets: Friday $150, $125 for nominees
Saturday $225, $175 for nominees
LEO AWARD NOMINEES
BEST FEATURE-LENGTH DRAMA
Daydream Nation - Christine Haebler, Trish Dolman - Producers
Doppelgänger Paul - Katherine Hazon, Oliver Linsley, Dylan Akio Smith, Kris Elgstrand - Producers
Marilyn - Christopher Petry, Kaleena Kiff, Bruce Borland - Producers
Sisters & Brothers - Carl Bessai, James Brown, Emily Alden - Producers
The Odds - Simon Davidson, Kirsten Newlands, Oliver Linsley - Producers
Best Direction in a Feature-Length Drama
Dylan Akio Smith, Kris Elgstrand - Doppelgänger Paul
Paul A. Kaufman - Magic Beyond Words: The J.K. Rowling Story
Christopher Petry - Marilyn
Carl Bessai - Sisters & Brothers
Simon Davidson - The Odds
Best Lead Performance by a Male in a Feature-Length Drama
Ryan Robbins - Everything and Everyone
Tygh Runyan - Doppelgänger Paul
Brad Dryborough - Doppelgänger Paul
Ryan Robbins - Marilyn
Ben Ratner - Sisters & Brothers
Patrick Gilmore - Sunflower Hour
Best Lead Performance by a Female in a Feature-Length Drama
Gabrielle Rose - Everything and Everyone
Sara Canning - Hannah's Law
Amanda Crew - Sisters & Brothers
Gabrielle Miller - Sisters & Brothers
Kacey Rohl - Sisters & Brothers
Best Dramatic Series
Arctic Air - Michael Chechik, Gabriela Schonbach, Gary
Harvey, Ian Weir - Producers
Blackstone - Ron E. Scott, Jesse
Szymanski, Damon Vignale - Producers
Endgame - Michael Shepard, Avrum Jacobson, Tim Gamble, Alex Raffe, Lily Hui, Harvey Kahn - Producers
Sanctuary - Damian Kindler, Martin Wood, Amanda Tapping, George Horie, Lee Wilson, James Thorpe, Alan McCullough, Gillian Horvath - Producers
Best Direction in a Dramatic Series
David J. Frazee - Endgame - Fearful Symmetry
Steven A. Adelson - Sanctuary - Untouchable
Martin Wood - Sanctuary - Tempus
Damian Kindler - Sanctuary - Fugue
Lauro Chartrand - True Justice - Payback
Best Lead Performance by a Male in a Dramatic Series
Warren Christie - Alphas - Pilot Steven Cree Molison - Blackstone - Hitchin Graham Wardle - Heartland - Beyond Hell's Half Mile
Robin Dunne - Sanctuary - Fugue
Best Lead Performance by a Female in a Dramatic Series
Laura Mennell - Alphas - Bill and Gary's Excellent Adventure Erin Karpluk - Being Erica - Dr. Erica
Carmen Moore - Blackstone - I'm Not a Racist
Meg Tilly - Bomb Girls - Jumping Tracks Amanda Tapping - Sanctuary - Tempus
Best Feature-Length Documentary
Eco-Pirate: The Story of Paul
Watson - Trish Dolman, Kevin
Eastwood - Producers
I Am Bruce Lee - Paul Gertz, Derik Murray - Producers
People of a Feather - Joel Heath - Producer
Best Animation Program or Series
1001 Nights - Aly Jetha, Shabnam Rezaei - Producers
CMYK - Martin Rose, Tracey
Friesen - Producers
Max Steel: Makino's Revenge - Sharan Wood, Kim Dent Wilder, Greg Richardson - Producers
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic - Sarah Wall, Chris Bartleman, Blair Peters, Kirsten Newlands - Producers
The Basketball Game - Yves Ma - Producer