The Betty Mitchell Awards, named for a pioneer of Calgary’s theatrical community, Dr. Betty Mitchell, were started in 1998 to celebrate and honour outstanding achievement in Calgary’s professional theatre community. The Betty Mitchell Awards provide the opportunity to recognize the excellent work that takes place on our stages in Calgary throughout the year.
The Betty Mitchell Awards Nominating Committee is an anonymous jury of 12 theatre professionals, from a range of disciplines, who select nominees in 16 award categories from the eligible shows. To be eligible, the shows must run in the City of Calgary for at least nine performances over two weekends, and the shows must be professional in nature. Our accountant, R.W. (Bob) Quinlan, tabulates the input of the Nominating Committee and produces a list of nominees.
The final ballots are then distributed to the Nominating Committee members. Final ballots are also distributed to any person who has seen at least 25 eligible shows during the season who have provided proof of attendance by submitting a Betty Mitchell Awards Passport. This year final ballots were also sent to last year’s Betty Mitchell recipients, residing in the Calgary area. Ballots are then returned to our accountant, tabulated and the recipients are announced at the Betty Mitchell Awards ceremony.
For a complete listing of all the Ground Rules for how the Betty Mitchell Awards work please Click Here.
There are three adjudicated awards that are presented separately from the 16 balloted awards: The Greg Bond Memorial Award, a $1000 cash prize, for Outstanding Contribution to Musical Theatre in Calgary; The Dean Ott/Debbie Boult Award honouring Outstanding Achievement in Technical Production; and the Duval Lang Theatre for Young Audiences Award, a $2000 cash prize presented in conjunction with Quest Theatre, honouring Outstanding Achievement in the field of Theatre for Young Audiences. In recognition of a unique contribution to the theatre community, the Betty Mitchell Outstanding Achievement Award is also presented.
The Bettys’ media sponsor, Fast Forward Weekly, also presents the Fast Forward Weekly Readers’ Choice Award each year.
Celebrating the past season on the eve of the new, the Betty Mitchell Awards recognize excellence in Calgary’s professional theatres. The united front the awards represent continues to encourage audience growth and raise the profile of live performance in our city.