Genie Awards were given out to recognize the best of Canadian cinema by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television. From 1949–1979, the awards were named the Canadian Film Awards (they were also known as the "Etrog Awards," for sculptor Sorel Etrog, who designed the statuette). In 1980 they were renamed The Genie Awards.
Genie Award candidates were selected from submissions made by the owners of Canadian films or their representatives, based on the criteria laid out in the Genie Rules and Regulations booklet which is distributed to Academy members and industry members. Peer-group juries, assembled from volunteer members of the Academy, meet to screen the submissions and select a group of nominees. Academy members then vote on these nominations.
The Genie Awards were originally aired on the CBC from 1979 to 2003, before moving to CHUM Limited's networks (Citytv, Bravo! and Star!). Since CTVglobemedia purchased CHUM Limited, the Genie Awards moved to Canwest Global's E and IFC for 2008.
In 2012, the Academy announced that the Genies would merge with its sister presentation for television, the Gemini Awards, to form a new award presentation known as the Canadian Screen Awards.