Stage Door News

Toronto: The 2021 Dora Awards are cancelled except for the Ancillary Awards to be given in June

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

The annual Dora Mavor Moore Awards, produced by the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA), celebrate excellence in the city’s professional performing arts sector for theatre, dance and opera. Due to COVID-19 health restrictions, no live performances were permitted for the 2020-21 season and therefore the Dora Awards will not be presented this year.

The Dora Mavor Moore Ancillary Awards are usually presented at the Dora Awards Nominees Press Conference and are not based on a specific performance season as is the case with the Dora Awards. Today, TAPA Executive Director Jacoba Knaapen announced that the 2021 Dora Mavor Moore Ancillary Awards will go forward in celebration of the city’s performing arts community and its hard work and resiliency in the face of immense difficulties over this past pandemic season.

The Leonard McHardy and John Harvey Award for Outstanding Leadership in Administration (LMJH), the Victor C. Polley Protégé Award, the Pauline McGibbon Award, the John Hirsch Director’s Award and the Barbara Hamilton Memorial Award will be presented virtually on Wednesday, June 16 at 10am on the TAPA YouTube channel at

Régine Cadet, TAPA Board President notes, In the wake of lockdowns, stay-at-home orders and social distancing protocols mandated throughout the past pandemic year, there have been no live theatre, dance or opera productions; and all of our theatres have remained closed to live performance. Consequently, we have lost the entire 2020-21 season and there have been zero shows for our jurors to adjudicate. But I am genuinely thrilled that we are able to move ahead with the 2021 Dora Mavor Moore Ancillary Awards and celebrate our performing arts community in this way.”

Ms Knaapen adds, “Since the beginning of the shut-down, TAPA has been hard at work at various advocacy and planning projects, laying the groundwork to help and equip the community for when the time to reopen does come. Toronto’s professional theatre, dance, and opera organizations have lost over $900 million in revenue since the beginning of the pandemic last March. We have advocated for relief measures at all levels of government. We remain fluid and responsive to ever-shifting pandemic circumstances and look forward to some form of a safe restart in the not too distant future.”

The Dora Awards Board (PAIS) President Chris Goddard comments, “Even though live performance awards are not applicable at this time, I am delighted we are able to honour our community with the 2021 Dora Mavor Moore Ancillary Awards.”

2021 Dora Mavor Moore Ancillary Awards:

The Leonard McHardy and John Harvey Award (LMJH Award) is an annual award that recognizes the important work of theatre, dance and opera administrators in the GTA; the recipient is invited to name a protégé to receive the Victor C. Polley Protégé Award. The awards are administered by TAPA. The LMJH Award recipient receives a plaque and a cheque for $1,000; the Victor C. Polley Protégé recipient receives a cheque for $500.

The Barbara Hamilton Memorial Award is presented to a Canadian artist who demonstrates excellence in the performing arts and is dedicated to advocating and being an ambassador for the arts in Canada. It is administered by TAPA and the recipient receives a plaque from the City of Toronto and a cheque for $1,500.

Every three years, the John Hirsch Director’s Award recognizes an Ontario-based professional theatre director at the beginning of their directing career who shows great promise and a willingness to take risks. Administered by the Ontario Arts Council, the recipient receives a framed certificate and a cheque for $5,000.

The annual Pauline McGibbon Award is presented to an Ontario-resident professional artist in the early stages of their career who has contributed to the well-being of Ontario’s theatre community, displays unique talent and has the potential for excellence. The award is administered by the Ontario Arts Council and rotates every three years between a designer, a director and a production craftsperson. The 2021 award goes to a director. It includes a medal designed by Dora de Pédery-Hunt and a $7,000 prize.

The Dora Mavor Moore Awards are administered by the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA). In addition to the Doras, TAPA is committed to advocacy on behalf of its membership on numerous fronts and also offers a range of programs and services including:  hipTIX (offering $5 tickets to students between the ages of 14 and 29), citySPECIAL, the TAPA Trade Series, the Commercial Theatre Development Fund and the Travel Retreat Initiatives Program – TRIP. For more information visit .

Twitter: @DoraAwards   Website: Hashtag: #DORAS2021