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Canadian filmmaker Bruce McDonald is photographed at Toronto’s Distillery District on March 6, 2017.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

Such acclaimed Canadian filmmakers as Helen Shaver, Bruce McDonald and Don Shebib were among the artists celebrated at Saturday night's 2017 Directors Guild of Canada Awards.

The DGC, which represents more than 5,000 people in the country's screen-based industry, handed out 19 awards Saturday aimed to highlight the best directorial work in homegrown film and television over the past year. Shaver, an actress and veteran television director, won for her work on the series Vikings; McDonald won for his directorial work on the feature Weirdos; and Shebib, whose work includes the landmark 1970 film Goin' Down the Road, was awarded the DGC Lifetime Achievement Award.

Another big winner this year was Wayne Wapeemukwa, who won the DGC Discovery Award for his film Luk'Luk'I. The Discovery honour goes to an emerging Canadian filmmaker, and Wapeemukwa was selected by a jury of his peers including directors Stephen Dunn (Closet Monster), Kevan Funk (Hello Destroyer), Johnny Ma (Old Stone), Ashley McKenzie (Werewolf) and Chloe Leriche.

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Last year, the inaugural Discovery Award went to Leriche, a Québécois filmmaker, for her film Avant les rues.

"Part of the DGC's mandate is to celebrate excellence," Tim Southam, national president of the DGC, said in a statement. "And these women and men have worked together to inspire and create exceptional works. It is especially important now to showcase Canada's successes and I am proud to work side by side with these talented filmmakers."

The DGC ceremony was held at Toronto's Carlu, and hosted by comedian Mary Walsh.

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