It's also another blow to Canadian filmmakers after this week's South By Southwest festival, where about a dozen homegrown projects were slated to screen, was axed last Friday over virus fears.
Canadian Screen Week was slated to run March 23 to March 29 with several galas, including the red-carpet broadcast bash.
The week of festivities also originally included a Family Fan Day meet-and-greet with stars, but the academy cancelled that earlier this week.
The hit CBC comedy series Schitt's Creek has a leading 26 nominations for this year's awards, which celebrate Canadian film, TV and digital media. The leading film contender is Quebec director François Girard's violin virtuoso drama The Song of Names with nine nominations.
Schitt's Creek star and co-creator Daniel Levy is also among this year's special honourees, as the recipient of the Radius Award. Other special awards recipients include Jeopardy host Alex Trebek, who was to appear via a pre-recorded video at the show to accept the Academy Icon Award.
Nominee applauds decisive cancellation
Toronto actress Jean Yoon, who is up for her third Canadian Screen Award for playing matriarch Umma on the hit CBC comedy series Kim's Convenience, applauded the academy for being so decisive so early.
"I think it's the right decision, because if you look at the trajectory of the spread of the virus, in three weeks the situation will not be good," Yoon said in a phone interview.
"I'm almost 58 and I'm kind of in that category where if I were to get it, it would not be fun at all," she added. "And my parents are 90 and that's something I worry about."
Janson said Canadian Screen Week was expected to lure in about 7,000 attendees.
The academy is now working on issuing refunds to those who bought tickets to the March 29 gala, and figuring out a creative way to announce the winners online.
"We're all very upset, because you work eight months of the year to create this moment and so it's difficult when it has to not happen," Janson said.
"But there are more important things in the world right now, so we all understand that."
© CBC News