Jessie Award Winners: Vancouver Theatre Awards


Tuesday, June 28th, 2016 — 8:56am PST
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The 34th annual Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards (“Jessies”) were handed out in Vancouver last night, to a jubilant and artful crowd at the Commodore Ballroom. The past season of theatre, both large and small, for young audiences, and musicals, was celebrated and special awards were handed out to honour patrons, newcomers, and those who make a difference behind the scenes. For 2015-2016, over 40 companies registered over 70 productions, contributing to a dynamic theatre community.

Jessies-Collage

The show was produced by Holding Space Productions, and hosted by Omari Newton and Dawn Petten. It was opened by the Eagle Song Dancers with a welcome, and an Arts Umbrella performance followed before we got to the juried awards.

The night moved very quickly, the Jessies are known to go long, and another year of theatre was toasted. Host Omari Newton joked about Hamilton collecting all of the awards at little did we know at the beginning of the show that The Arts Club’s Onegin would end up being the Hamilton of the night, picking up 10 awards.

Jessie Award Winners

  • Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Lead Role – Large Theatre
    Alessandro Juliani,Onegin, Arts Club Theatre Company
  • Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Lead Role – Large Theatre
    Meg Roe, Onegin, Arts Club Theatre Company
  • Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role – Large Theatre
    Josh Epstein, Onegin, Arts Club Theatre Company
  • Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role – Large Theatre
    Colleen Wheeler, Peter and the Star Catcher, Arts Club Theatre Company
  • Outstanding Lighting Design – Large Theatre
    John Webber, Onegin, Arts Club Theatre Company
  • Outstanding Set Design – Large Theatre
    Drew Facey, Onegin, Arts Club Theatre Company
  • Outstanding Costume Design – Large Theatre
    Jacqueline Firkins, Onegin, Arts Club Theatre Company
  • Outstanding Sound Design or Original Composition Large Theatre
    Veda Hille & Amiel Gladstone, Onegin, Arts Club Theatre Company
  • Outstanding Direction – Large Theatre
    Amiel Gladstone, Onegin, Arts Club Theatre Company
  • Outstanding Production – Large Theatre
    Onegin, Arts Club Theatre Company
  • Significant Artistic Achievement – Large Theatre
    Veda Hille and the Ungrateful Dead (Barry Mirochnick and Marina Hasselberg), Onegin, Arts Club Theatre Company
  • Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Lead Role – Small Theatre
    Matthew MacDonald-Bain, The Out Vigil, Twenty Something Theatre
  • Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Lead Role – Small Theatre
    Genevieve Fleming, The North Plan, Upintheair Theatre
  • Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role – Small Theatre
    Curtis Tweedie, Bright Blue Future, Hardline Productions
  • Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role – Small Theatre
    Gabrielle Rose, The Rivals, Blackbird Theatre Company
  • Outstanding Lighting Design – Small Theatre
    Alan Brodie, The Invisible Hand, Pi Theatre
  • Outstanding Set Design – Small Theatre
    Glenn MacDonald, Annapurna, Christy Webb Productions
  • Outstanding Costume Design – Small Theatre
    Sheila White, The Rivals, Blackbird Theatre Company
  • Outstanding Sound Design or Original Composition – Small Theatre
    Jay Clift and Julie McIsaac, The Out Vigil,Twenty Something Theatre
  • Outstanding Direction – Small Theatre
    Chelsea Haberlin, The North Plan, Upintheair Theatre
  • Outstanding Production of a Musical – Small Theatre
    Miss Shakespeare, Musical Theatreworks & The Escape Artists
  • Outstanding Production of a Play– Small Theatre
    The North Plan, Upintheair Theatre
  • Significant Artistic Achievement – Small Theatre
    Joel Sturrock, Tender Napalm, Twenty Something Theatre, Outstanding Choreography
  • Outstanding Performance – Theatre for Young Audiences
    Vincent Leblanc-Beaudoin, Emilie Leclerc, and Zack Tardif, Mathieu Mathématiques, Théâtre la Seiziéme
  • Outstanding Design –Theatre for Young Audiences
    Drew Facey, Mathieu Mathématiques, Théâtre la Seiziéme
  • Outstanding Artistic Creation – Theatre for Young Audiences
    Laura McLean, Our Time, Delinquent Theatre
  • Outstanding Production – Theatre for Young Audiences
    Mathieu Mathématiques, Théâtre la Seiziéme
  • Significant Artistic Achievement – Theatre for Young Audiences
    Still/Falling, Green Thumb Theatre, Commissioning of the Socially Relevant
  • Outstanding Original Script
    RIVULETS: 3 short plays about a flood, James Gordon King, Babelle Theatre
  • Vancouver NOW Representation and Inclusion Award
    Betroffenheit, Co produced by Kidd Pivot and Electric Theatre Company
  • Donna Yamamoto: For outstanding leadership in developing work by 3 Asian-Canadian playwrights in the Cultch’s 2015-16 season as Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre’s Artistic Director.

Additional awards presented were:

  • Patron of the Arts Award – Wendy Orvig
  • Mary Phillips Prize for Behind-the-Scenes Achievement –Ellie O’Day & Craig Laven
  • Sam Payne Award for the Most Promising Newcomer – Daniel Doheny
  • John Moffat & Larry Lillo Prize – Chris Gatchalian
  • GVPTA Career Achievement Award – Margo Kane
  • Sydney Risk Prize– James Gordon King for RIVULETS: 3 short plays about a flood
  • Colin Campbell Award for Excellence in Technical Theatre – James Pollard
  • Ray Michal Prize for Most Promising New Director – Milton Lim

Acceptance speeches were kept to a time limit, which helped the night move along swiftly, and many simply celebrated their teams, their peers, families, and the community. Donna Yamamoto spoke of developing and being diverse role models for the next generation, and that her award (new this year) brings hope of change and collaboration.

Curtis Tweedie, winning for Bright Blue Future, started off his speech with “#DreamsComeTrue!”. Veda Hille, who picked up a few awards throughout the evening for her work on Onegin said: “I f***ing love prizes but most of all I love working with all of you!”

Patron of the Arts Award winner Wendy Orvig shared an important message: “I always thought that being a patron of the arts was just about buying a ticket, but there’s so much more.” Dr. Margo Kane was also honoured for her work founding and growing Full Circle: First Nations Performance since 1992. Full Circle produces the Talking Stick Festival, which is the only multi-disciplinary first nations performing arts festival in North America.

Most Promising New Director Milton Lim spoke of diversity when he was at the podium, calling productions that do not rely on English, or the able-bodied, productions for all by all. “I believe in the people, the communities and the artists.”

Every year, so many excellent productions are recognized, by being nominated and through their awards, and every year I pledge to attend more shows in Vancouver. After last night’s ceremony, I wish I would have seen Onegin, or The North Plan, and Empire of the Son. I’m going to set the same pledge for myself again this year, and hopefully you’ll hold me to it.

Large theatre, small theatre, musicals and festivals like rEvolver, Talking Stick, and Fringe. Shows at Firehall, The Cultch, Havana. We talk of education, quality entertainment, social issues, and the just plain funny. Get out and support the arts in your community next season! Follow the Jessies on Facebook and Twitter for more award information.

Miss604 is the proud Social Media Sponsor of the Jessie Awards

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