John has been a member of Markham Little Theatre (MLT) since 1970, and continues to be a leader, mentor and inspiration to the membership. He worked directly with Tony Roman, then-Mayor of Markham, to help build the Markham Theatre, and then led the fundraising campaign to build MLT’s “Backstage” facility for rehearsal, building, and storage. He currently serves on MLT’s 50th Anniversary committee as they prepare for the upcoming season of celebration, and serves as liaison to the City of Markham, negotiating an interest-free mortgage on behalf of the theatre company. He has been honoured with a Province of Ontario Volunteer Award and the Markham Arts Council’s Mackie Award. His work as a community theatre artist at MLT has been honoured with awards for directing and acting.
He served on the Board of the Central Ontario Drama League, and oversaw the constitutional transformation of the organization into ACT-CO. He is a former President of Theatre Ontario, serving on the Board for six years, and in 1987, he served as Chair of the Theatre Ontario Festival in Markham.
“I am very excited and honoured to be the recipient of the Michael Spence Award. I have been fortunate to know Michael for some time,” said John. “My experiences with Markham Little Theatre have been wonderful, rewarding, and happy ones.”
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.
Find out more about Theatre Ontario's Michael Spence Award for Contribution to Community Theatre
Join Us at the Award Presentation at Theatre Ontario Festival 2015