Thursday, 25 October 2012

Recognizing Outstanding Contributions to Community Theatre in Eastern Ontario

Theatre Ontario is now inviting nominations for our 2013 Michael Spence Award for Contribution to Community Theatre.  This award honours an individual for his/her outstanding contribution to community theatre in his/her region over a sustained time.  It is now presented annually to an individual from the region that is hosting the Theatre Ontario Festival—which in 2013 is Eastern Ontario.

“Since 1997, we have been demonstrating our leadership in the Ontario community theatre sector by honouring outstanding leaders in their regions,” said Carol Beauchamp, Executive Director of Theatre Ontario.  “By increasing the frequency of the award, and involving the local theatres in the nominating process, we will continue to strengthen the profile of community theatre and its leaders in Ontario.”

The criteria for the award are:
  • 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.
Past recipients of the award are Joan McRae, Anne Wilson, Lillian Sievanen, Betty Coates, Sharon Sproule, Arlene Watson, Vince Mathewson, David Glover, Harry Houston, Hans Warmenhoven, Beth McMaster, Val Hadley, Maureen Lukie, Gabe Ferrazzo, Ken Stephen, Margaret Shearman, Lawrie Bonanno, Jo-anne Spitzer, and Walter Maskel.

The 2013 award will be presented to an individual from the Eastern Ontario community theatre region.  The Eastern Ontario community theatre region includes Northumberland County, the City of Kawartha Lakes, Haliburton County, Hastings County, Renfrew County, and all other municipalities eastward to the Quebec border.

The award was established in 1997 by Theatre Ontario on the occasion of Theatre Ontario's 25th Anniversary.  Multiple awards were presented on the quinquennial anniversaries of Theatre Ontario until 2012, when it became a single, annual award.  The award is named in honour of 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 continues to be an enthusiastic supporter of Theatre Ontario.

The deadline for nominations is January 31, 2013.

Read more about the Michael Spence Award for Contribution to Community Theatre, download the award guidelines, and nomination form on the Theatre Ontario website

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