Thursday, 2 February 2017

Festival Awards Updates - 10 More Years of Elsie Trophy and Category Changes

We are excited to share two announcements regarding our Awards for Theatre Ontario Festival.

First, we are pleased to announce that the Theatre Ontario Festival’s Elsie Trophy will be presented for another ten years to the Outstanding Festival Production, through the generosity of the Western Ontario Drama League.

Elsie Elizabeth Thomson
The Elsie Award trophy was first presented in 1985 and is named after Elsie Elizabeth Thomson (1914-1984). Elsie Thomson made an outstanding contribution to the growth and development of theatre across Canada, involving a lifetime commitment to the enrichment of our cultural life and heritage. Her personal courage, tireless service and unyielding insistence upon the highest performance and production standards from every production or project with which she was associated, set an example to us all. Elsie joined the Hamilton Players Guild in 1945, and became the Secretary. Before long she was doing many things: running workshops, acting, producing, properties, set painting, and President. She was a President of both the Western Ontario Drama League and Theatre Ontario.

The award’s sculpture is named "Nice Company," representing a group of co-operating, communicating and supportive people with a leader close by like a friend. Designed by Dundas sculptor Richard Kramer, the sculpture is made of steel from Hamilton, and is hand-forged using the tools and methods of the ancient blacksmith.

Second, Theatre Ontario has removed the gendered categories of the Outstanding Performance awards at Festival. Beginning this year, two awards will be presented for performances in leading roles, and two awards will be presented for performances in supporting roles. This will give the Festival Adjudicator flexibility if a Festival has an insufficient number of eligible entries worthy of consideration in the previously gendered categories, while also supporting Theatre Ontario’s core values of acknowledging the diversity of our members and the theatre community at-large, including gender fluidity.

Celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation at Theatre Ontario Festival 2017 in Ottawa. Tickets and accommodations are now on sale for Festival, opening May 17, and running until May 21. Festival is our annual Festival is a celebration of community theatre—featuring performances, adjudications, and workshops, and bringing together theatre lovers from across the province. 

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