The award honours individuals for sustained contribution to community theatre, generosity of spirit, involvement, and commitment to community theatre that is legendary within his/her region, helping community theatre flourish. Murray will receive his award on May 22 at the Theatre Ontario Festival Awards Brunch in North Bay.
Murray Finn has been “Mr. Theatre” in Elliot Lake for over three decades. Beginning with acting in the very first show ever produced by Ptarmigan Players in 1980, Murray has gone on to act, direct, stage manage, produce, design and build sets and props, and much more for over 30 productions. Always the first to volunteer, the first to arrive, and the last to go home (or so it seems), Murray has worked tirelessly to do whatever needs to be done in presenting shows. He’s famous as the go-to guy who willingly pitches in to plug any gaps.
Murray served on the executives of both Ptarmigan Players and ELATE, including terms as presidents of both organizations. He also served for a number of years on the executive of QUONTA.
“I am very flattered to receive this prestigious award and be in the company of so many people I admire,” said Murray. “Community Theatre has always just been a place for me to learn and have fun and I continue to have fun.”
The Michael Spence Award honours legendary contributions to community theatre in Ontario, and is named after Michael Spence, the founding President of Theatre Ontario. Michael was active in community theatre at Hart House Theatre, London Little Theatre, and the University Alumnae Dramatic Club (now known as Alumnae Theatre.) He was a member of the Board of Governors of the Dominion Drama Festival, a past President of Arts Etobicoke, and he continues to be an enthusiastic supporter of Theatre Ontario.
Past recipients of the Michael Spence Award in the QUONTA region are Sharon Sproule, Harry Houston, Ken Stephen, and Walter Maskel.