The CAFTCAD Awards

The CAFTCAD Awards: a long overdue celebration of Canadian costume arts and design, recognizing the immensity of talent in this country. The scope of the awards will reflect the range of abilities in contemporary, period and fantasy elements, differing media platforms, running lengths and budgets.

Costume designers and artisans who are either Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada and have worked on projects (feature film, short film, television, music videos, web series, commercials) which have been produced within Canada (costumes must have been primarily built/created in Canada) will be eligible. The eligibility period for the 2020 CAFTCAD Awards is December 1, 2018 to December 1, 2019 for projects that have been released theatrically, online, on streaming services, on television/cable, or participated in accredited film festivals. 

Prize Categories will include: Film: Contemporary, Film: Period, Film: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, TV: Contemporary, TV: Period, TV: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Original Web Series, Commercials, Music Videos, Short Films, The Nobis Industry Icon Award, The Costume Design in TV & Film International Award as well as craft categories for Excellence in Textiles, Building and Illustration.

Our CAFTCAD Awards Event will take place at the prestigious Aga Khan Museum on Sunday March 1, 2020 in Toronto, Canada.


Cresting on the excitement of awards season, the evening will consist of red carpets photos, pre-event cocktails and h’or deurves, up-close costume displays of nominated costumes, a portrait photo lounge and all within the dramatic lit up atrium of the gorgeous Aga Khan Museum. The ceremony itself will be hosted and presented by Canadian actors and costume design icons accompanied by striking media presentations. Following the ceremony, the bar and dance floor will be open for our guests along with cheese and dessert platters.

“A ceremony which honours the excellence in design achievements of Canadian costumers and artisans is long overdue. Their contribution to the evolution of the Canadian film and television industry cannot be underestimated and recognizing these immense talents with a proper event that allows for nation-wide eligibility is something I am very proud to be spearheading,” said Event Chair, Joanna Syrokomla.


The CAFTCAD Awards is an incorporated, not for profit entity made up of enthusiastic volunteers who believe strongly that Film, Television and Media Arts Costume Design and Arts in Canada deserve their own recognition at a gala event.


Event Chair and President - Joanna Syrokomla

With over 20 years under her sparkly belt as a costume designer, Joanna is one of the founding members of CAFTCAD. Acting first as Secretary, then Vice President and finally as President (2013-15), she produced the Canadian premiere of “A Conversation with Edith Head” at the Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, and she worked with CAFTCAD to create the Best Costume Design Award category for the Canadian Film Festival. Currently she is costume designing Season 13 of Murdoch Mysteries with great joy.

Event Planner and Head of Publicity - Cynthia Amsden

With over 20 years and 200 film and television credits, Cynthia has handled features, shorts, documentaries as well as television series both as unit publicist and as festival publicist at Cannes, TIFF, Sundance, Fantasporto, Karlovy Vary and Fantasia. She has also been the event planner for the Nunavut Film Commission and Blue Ice Pictures festival parties. Feature film credits include: Goalie, Natalie, State Like Sleep, 22 Chaser, Kodachrome, ARQ, Shimmer Lake, Andrew Cividino’s Sleeping Giant, Alan Zweig’s Hurt, Sarah Polley’s Away From Her, Take This Waltz and Stories We Tell, for Copperheart Entertainment: A Christmas Horror Story, Darknet, Debug, Wolves, Haunter, 388 Arletta Avenue, and Splice, for Blue Ice Pictures: Cairo Time, The Bang Bang Club, Lucky, Inescapable, and October Gale. She also handled unit publicity for Goon, Silent Hill, Resident Evil: Afterlife, and Silent Hill: Revelation 3D and has worked with directors including Guy Maddin, Atom Egoyan, Michael Moore (Bowling for Columbine), Fernando Meirelles, Sturla Gunnarsson, Paul Gross, and George Hickenlooper. Television credits include: Killjoys (Space/Syfy), The Indian Detective (CTV/Netflix), Madiba, Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, Frontier (Netflix) starring Jason Momoa, Orphan Black, Between and Lost Girl. Prior to working in publicity, Cynthia spent a decade as a journalist writing for the Globe and Mail, National Post, Ottawa Citizen and GQ, and another decade in advertising and marketing for BBDO and the Newspaper Marketing Bureau.

CAFTCAD President and Vice President of the CAFTCAD Awards - Alex Kavanagh

Alex Kavanagh is a founding member of CAFTCAD and has been involved in dozens of CAFTCAD initiatives including the annual Film Festival party, the Movie Wardrobe Sale, CAFTCADEMY, and Milestones. She has developed and taught several CAFTCAD workshops including the manual script breakdown seminar and the popular 2 day "The Art of Destruction" costume breakdown course. Alex loves the opportunity to share her knowledge and skills while also meeting new talent through CAFTCAD. 
 Alex has been working in the film industry for 25 years as Costume Designer (The Vow, Splice, Saw II),  Costume Supervisor (Suicide Squad, The Strain), Breakdown Artist (Crimson Peak, Man Seeking Woman), and spent her early years as a set key (Due South, FX The Series). She is a graduate of the Dalhousie University Costume Studies program. 

Treasurer and Sponsorship Coordinator- Nathan Laws

Display Coordinator- Deanna Sciortino

Jury Committee Coordinators- Iris Simpson & Francisca Alvarado

Award Trophy Design- Adam Smith

Volunteer Coordinator- Sophia Rickson






CAFTCAD began from a collective desire to bring together costume professionals from all corners of the industry, regardless of union affiliation. Through shared interest, respect and passion for the costume arts, CAFTCAD provides its members with an online and physical forum, promoting open discussion, shared learning, resources and professional networking.

Promotion of our members profiles, achievements and projects are just some of CAFTCAD’s many goals. Educational seminars, speaker series, industry product information, events and related promotions from our suppliers play an active role in creative and professional development. Focus is also placed on increasing both public and media awareness of our craft.

From our honorary members to emerging students of costume, we embrace the full spectrum of experience and knowledge embodied by our membership. We celebrate the contributions of Canadian costume designers and artisans in the international industry of filmmaking.

With support from the fashion industry that includes suppliers, wholesalers, retailers and fashion designers combined with the film industry’s unions, guilds, suppliers and retailers, our goal is to establish branding recognition of our organization, its members, their talent and services available within Canada.

As we continue to combine the forces of local costume professionals we also have plans to expand beyond our province’s borders. Our intent is to evolve into a nationwide association, establishing local chapters in every film centre in the country, providing a national organization for all Canadian costume professionals.

CAFTCAD was incorporated as a not-for-profit organization May 2nd, 2008. We have established by-laws and a constitution, criteria, levels of membership and a structured election process. Our Executive Board is made up of all three sectors of our industry, providing a clear, non-partisan membership-driven vision of the Alliance’s mandate and goals.

For more information visit


All photos on this website are owned by CAFTCAD and have been selected from previous CAFTCAD Celebrates Canadian Costume events during the Toronto Film Festival.