Stage Door News

Toronto: 41st Annual Dora Mavor Moore Awards postponed

Thursday, March 26, 2020

The annual Dora Mavor Moore Awards, produced by the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA), celebrate excellence in the city's performing arts sector for professional theatre, dance and opera. The Dora Awards show normally takes place at the end of June.

TAPA Executive Director and Dora Awards Producer Jacoba Knaapen announced today that, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 41st Annual Dora Mavor Moore Awardsceremony for the 2019-20 season will be postponed to a future date, as yet to be determined.

While many TAPA member venues had already shut down, all public venues were ordered closed by the provincial government on March 17 when the province declared a state of emergency. The 2019-20 Dora calendar year would have regularly closed for juror attendance to shows on May 15.

Dora jurors had attended 85% of the shows that registered with TAPA for the 2019-20 season (171 out of 202) before member companies either cut short their runs or cancelled their production plans for the health and safety of their patrons and staff.

All voting by the Dora jurors will proceed and be tabulated for both nominations and recipients as usual based on the 85% of the 2019-20 productions that were able to go forward.

Chris Goddard, Dora Awards Board President, added that a virtual press conference will be held to announce the 2019-20 nominees in early June.

While plans for the 41st Annual Dora Mavor Moore Awards ceremony are in transition, the Dora creative team continues to (virtually) meet to work out logistics as needed. Emmy, Gemini and Dora-nominated Diane Flacks is back on board as writer for her fifth year in a row while acclaimed theatre director, actor and writer Ed Roy takes the helm as director for his eighth time. Multi-award-winning lighting and production designer Andrea Lundy returns for her 19th consecutive. Flacks and Roy will host the virtual Dora nominations press conference in early June.

"Tomorrow is World Theatre Day and, sadly, we see the unprecedented but necessary closure of Toronto's theatres in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis," said Knaapen. "We also know that Toronto's arts community is resilient and resourceful and we look forward to again celebrating the extraordinary talents of our theatre, dance and opera artists when it is safe for us all to be together again. On behalf of the TAPA and Dora Boards of Directors, we salute the extraordinary artists who are undergoing hardship in Toronto and across the country."

The Leonard McHardy and John Harvey Award for Outstanding Leadership in Administration (LMJH) will proceed this season and will be presented during the livestreamed Dora nominee press conference. New this year, the LMJH will be presented in association with the Victor C. Polley Award, originally created by Theatre Ontario and the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts in 1981. The LMJH laureate will receive a cash prize of $1000, and through this new partnership with the Victor C. Polley Award, will choose an emerging arts administrator with a minimum of 2 years of arts work experience who will receive a $500 protegé prize.



Created in 1961 by UNESCO, the impetus behind World Theatre Day (March 27 this year) is to honour and further the goal of UNESCO's International Theatre Institute (ITI) to celebrate theatre as an indispensable bridge-builder for mutual international understanding and peace as well as to promote and protect cultural diversity and identity in communities throughout the world.

Since 2011, the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT), together withl'Association des théâtres francophones du Canada (ATFC) and the Playwrights Guild of Canada (PGC), has commissioned a message each year to promote and celebrate World Theatre Day from a distinctly Canadian perspective. For 2020, this message is written by the Artistic Director of Théâtre Cercle Molière, Geneviève Pelletier. 

The Dora Mavor Moore Awards were founded on December 13, 1978 by a committee convened by Millie Drain. On that date, Drain and the other founders (Ann Antkiw, Ronald Bryden, Bill Glassco, Graham Harley, Leon Major, Sean Mulcahy, Peter Peroff, Heinar Piller, Susan Rubes, Pat Stewart and Sylvia Tucker), decided to institute an award to recognize outstanding achievements in Toronto theatre. Today, the Doras honour the creators and artists of more than 200 theatre, dance and opera productions annually in 46 categories over 7 divisions.

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