The 2011 Gemini Awards’ celebrity guests are but a whisper to TIFF 2011’s mighty roar

The 2011 Gemini Awards’ celebrity guests are but a whisper to TIFF 2011’s mighty roar

Jason Priestley will attend the 26th annual Gemini Awards (Image: Alan Knight) 

The Toronto International Film Festival kicks off September 8, but the night before marks the anniversary of another Canadian film and television event: the 26th annual Gemini Awards. The CanCon-friendly celebration will air on CBC in a one-hour broadcast starting at 8 p.m., but while TIFF brings in the big guns from all over the world, the Geminis are, unsurprisingly, nearly A-list-free. This year’s host is one of Brampton’s finest, Russell Peters, and we’re told to expect appearances by Hugh Dillon from Durham County and Flashpoint, George Stroumboulopoulos and Brandon Walsh Jason Priestley. More of the exciting lineup after the jump.

While post-rehab Priestley may not impress everyone (we’re impressed), we’ve got to hand it to the organizers for booking the eternally funny Catherine O’Hara (her performances in Best In Show, Waiting for Guffman and Away We Go have made us dedicated fans). Perhaps we are dating ourselves with our excitement over O’Hara’s inclusion—appearances by Alan Thicke and the show’s digital host Tom Green also widened our eyes—but a slew of semi-recognizable names (Munro Chambers and Annie Clark from Degrassi, Nicole Appleton from Cover Me Canada and Craig Olejnik from The Listener) and a few seat fillers (So You Think You Can Dance Canada’s Leah Miller and star of Murdoch Mysteries Yannick Bisson) leave us hoping the presence of O’Hara and Green are felt throughout the show. Perhaps Green will prank-call former spouse Drew Barrymore or perform a rendition of “A Mighty Wind Is Blowin’ ” alongside O’Hara. That would certainly top this year’s Oscars.