There’ll be a healthy mix of Newfoundland and Labrador talent at the Canadian Screen awards tonight in Toronto. N.L. actor/comedian Jonny Harris will co-host the show.
Among the less likely known Newfoundland award contenders is Dani Bailey, 30, who grew up in North Harbour, Placentia Bay. Bailey has been nominated for best original song in a movie, Martine Blue’s “Hunting Pignut, ” starring Joel Thomas Hynes as Pignut and Taylor Hickson as Bernice Kilfoy, a troubled teen from around the bay who embraces the gutter punk culture once lived by her dead father.
Bailey’s music brings heart and insight to Bernice’s character and captures the pathos of Bernice’s identity crisis with searing empathy.
Both Bailey and Blue were flabbergasted when news of the nomination came down. On Jan. 11, Blue wrote on Twitter: “I'm still in shock that Dani & I are going to the @TheCdnAcademy Screen Awards, to honour her etherial music in @HuntingPignut. You can cheer us on through CBC's live broadcast Sunday March 11th!!!”
Bailey left for Toronto a few days ago, and took the opportunity to play a few gigs there before the big event. She admitted earlier this week she’s super excited about it all.
"Im so excited to be here and to be nominated,"she told The Telegram Sunday morning.
In an interview with The Telegram earlier this year she said trying to make it as a musician has been tough at times, but she can’t imagine doing anything else.
“I spent years playing in empty bars,” she said. “Aside from being a part of ‘Hunting Pignut,’ my music career has been pretty low-key.”
“Her music … literally haunts you and it stays in your mind,” Blue told The Telegram in January. “I was singing her songs for months and months. I could not get them out of my head.”
Bailey wrote some songs specifically for the film, and others were works in progress that she altered to fit certain scenes.
“I really felt I could relate to Bernice, the main character, so it was fun trying to write from her perspective,” Bailey told The Telegram in January. “I would just sit down with my guitar and watch the clips.”
At home Bailey’s family is also feeling the excitement.
“We all feel she is already a winner, and to be nominated is a much-deserved validation of her talent and hard work,” her mother, Arlene Mullins, told The Telegram Sunday morning. “We could not be more proud of her,” she said.
Earlier today on Facebook, Blue posted: “The Canadian Screen Awards are streaming LIVE tonight! You can catch Dani Bailey and I walking the red carpet and watch to see if we win Best Original Song for Hunting Pignut! It all starts at 5pm!!!”
Blue will be live-tweeting from the show for the St. John’s International Film Festival with Twitter handle @sjiwff.
Nominated in the same category as Bailey are Qais Essar and Joshua Hill for their song “The Crown Sleeps” for the film “The Breadwinner,” and Joey Sherrett, Chris Gordon, and Nathaniel Huskinson’s song “CTS Thief” for the film “Boost.”
Emma Hunter will join Jonny Harris to co-host the show, which will air from Toronto's Sony Centre of Performing Arts on CBC.
You can watch the awards on live stream. Go to https://www.academy.ca/CanadianScreenAwards/ and select the live stream media that best works for you.
Dozens of awards have already been handed out in galas this week, with winners including the TV shows "Cardinal," "Mary Kills People" and "Alias Grace."