With the 17th Annual Betty Mitchell Awards having taken place on August 18th, 2014, it’s time to launch into the 2014/15 season!
Make sure to bring your Bettys Passport along to each of the shows, get it stamped at the box office, and with 25 stamps or more you’ll be eligible to vote for your favourite shows! Need a Bettys Passport? Simply ask at the Box Office of any eligible company.
2014 Betty Mitchell Awards Honour the People and Companies Who ARE Calgary’s Performing Arts Past and Present.
For a full list of award nominees and recipients, click here.
Recipients of the 17th Annual Betty Mitchell Awards were announced during a gala event at Stage West Theatre Restaurant on Monday, August 18, 2014. The recipients were selected from among 86 nominations across 17 categories from 11 companies presenting 32 distinct shows.
The evening of awards honouring Calgary’s 2013/2014 professional theatre season was hosted by Stephen Hair, a long time Calgary theatre artist best known for his crotchety Ebenezer Scrooge in Theatre Calgary’s A Christmas Carol for 20+ years.
The evening’s awards began with some saucy language when Outstanding Performance By An Actress In A Supporting Role went to Carmen Aguirre as it was for her performance in The Motherf***er With The Hat (Alberta Theatre Projects). Other performers celebrated were Mathieu Bourassa, Outstanding Performance By An Actor In A Supporting Role for Michel & Ti-Jean (Sage Theatre); Outstanding Performance By An Actress In A Comedy Or Musical going to Natascha Girgis for Around The World In 80 Days (Alberta Theatre Projects); Outstanding Performance By An Actress In A Drama celebrating multiple-Betty award winner Jamie Konchak for her turn in The Red Priest (Eight Ways To Say Goodbye) (Alberta Theatre Projects.)
Scott Reid took home Outstanding Lighting Design for his work on In The Heat Of The Night (Vertigo Theatre) and Anton De Groot took home Outstanding Set Design for Travels With My Aunt (Vertigo Theatre) while Outstanding Projection Or Video Design came down to a tie between Jamie Nesbitt for The Hound Of The Baskervilles (Vertigo Theatre) and Sean Nieuwenhuis for The Mountaintop (Theatre Calgary.) Outstanding Costume Design went to Judith Bowden for her stunning designs showcased in The Great Gatsby (Theatre Calgary.) Outstanding Sound Design And Composition went to the pair of Jeremy Parker With Foley Props By Kevin Corey for Vintage Hitchcock: A Live Radio Play (Vertigo Theatre.)
The victor who came out on top for Outstanding Fight Direction Or Choreography was Trevor Schmidt for 6.0 How Heap And Pebble Took On The World And Won (Lunchbox Theatre.) Joe Slabe rang a wonderful note for Outstanding Musical Direction for Touch Me: Songs For A (Dis)Connected Age (Forte Musical Theatre Guild.)
Rounding out the awards were Outstanding New Play, going to You Will Remember Me by François Archambault Translated By Bobby Theodore (Alberta Theatre Projects); Simon Mallett for Outstanding Direction with Travels With My Aunt (Vertigo Theatre); Outstanding Production Of A Musical lauded Disney And Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins (Theatre Calgary) and Outstanding Production Of A Play celebrated Twelfth Night (The Shakespeare Company.)
Taking home the one award decided on by the general public through the FFWD Weekly Readers’ Choice Award was Legend Has It (Alberta Theatre Projects).
Betty Mitchell Awards Steering Committee member Deborah Ferguson gave a moving and enlightening tribute to the force of nature for whom the Betty Mitchell Awards is named, Dr. Betty Mitchell. The show also honoured a new Bettys tradition, Bettyball – a fun softball game played between the “big” Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT) and the independent theatre producers. Team Indie may have won Bettyball, but it was the PACT houses that took home the lion’s share of the Betty Mitchell Awards; Vertigo Theatre and Alberta Theatre Projects each walked away with six awards, Theatre Calgary with three, and The Shakespeare Company, Lunchbox Theatre, Forte Musical Theatre Guild and Sage Theatre each catching one award each.
The second tie of the evening saw Andrew Macdonald Smith (Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins [Theatre Calgary]) share the accolade for Outstanding Performance By An Actor In A Comedy Or Musical with Michael Tan (Travels With My Aunt [Vertigo Theatre]).
The Juried Awards emphasized three folks who exemplify long-term dedication to the community and excellence in their respective crafts with Rose Brow honoured with the Duval Lang Theatre for Young Audiences Award; Jack Jamieson receiving the Dean Ott/Debbie Boult Award Honouring Outstanding Achievement in Technical Production; and the normally raucous Bettys crowd sat in rapt attention as Willy Joosen played the piano as his acceptance “speech” for the Greg Bond Memorial Award honouring outstanding contribution to musical theatre in Calgary;
The 2013/2014 professional theatre season (June 15, 2013–June 14, 2014) brought to the stage 52 shows eligible for Betty Mitchell Award nominations. The complete list of award recipients can be found here.
The juries have convened, deliberated, and have chosen the recipients for the 2014 Betty Mitchell Awards juried awards:
- Rose Brow for the Duval Lang Theatre for Young Audiences Award presented in conjunction with Quest Theatre, honouring Outstanding Achievement in Theatre for Young Audiences;
- Willy Joosen for the Greg Bond Memorial Award recognizing Outstanding Contribution to Musical Theatre in Calgary;
- Jack Jamieson for the Dean Ott / Debbie Boult Award honouring Outstanding Achievement in Technical Production
The 2014 Duval Lang Theatre for Young Audiences Award honours Rose Brow.
“The unanimous feeling amongst the jury was that so many children across Alberta have benefited from Rose’s dedication to managing a company in such a way that it can provide the best, most professional theatre for young audiences. She does that by caring for her staff, mentoring young artists, and always being such a big part of each school tour even from head office.” Karen Johnson-Diamond, chair of the Duval Lang Theatre for Young Audiences award said in a statement of support for Rose.
Formerly the long-time managing director of Calgary’s Quest Theatre, Rose was named the winner of a Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management in 2014. Rose is an alumnus of the Rozsa Arts Management Program at the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business, and is a well-known and much beloved face on the Calgary performing arts scene. She has instructed at Mount Royal University, chaired and participated in committees with the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT), and worked with other notable Calgary organizations such as Green Fools, Alberta Theatre Projects, and Ghost River.
This annual award has been created to honor an individual or group of individuals who have made an outstanding contribution or significant achievement in the field of Theatre for Young Audiences in Calgary. This award is made possible through a partnership between Quest Theatre and the Betty Mitchell Awards and is supported by a fund established in 2008 at the Calgary Foundation by a group of generous donors in recognition of Duval Lang.
Duval Lang was the founding Artistic Director of Quest Theatre and spent 25 years making theatre accessible, meaningful, and enjoyable to young audiences. Along the way he has nurtured many emerging artists who have been inspired by his influence. Duval’s dedication to his craft has, and will continue to have, a significant legacy in the field of Theatre for Young Audiences.
The 2014 Dean Ott/Debbie Boult Award honours Jack Jamieson.
“When it comes to sustained contribution to the Calgary community, Jack Jamieson has provided decades of commitment and passion to his craft. For the past 26 years, Jack has been the heart, soul and ears for both the Jack Singer Concert Hall and of the Calgary sound community at large. Jack has mentored numerous sound technicians who have gone on to become the heads of sound departments for almost every venue in Calgary. He is knowledgeable, passionate and goes out of his way to assist others in learning and improving their skills.” wrote Leslie Biles in support of Jack’s nomination for the award.
Jack Jamieson has been working professionally in the live sound reinforcement industry for over thirty-five years. In 1988, after 10 years in local and regional touring, he began his career as a venue technician at the Jack Singer Concert Hall in Calgary, where he remains, as head sound technician, to this day. He attributes his long relationship with the Epcor Centre to the wide variety of talented artists and technicians he gets to work with on a daily basis, and to the high degree of trust placed in him on the part of both the artists and his employers. From the classical musicians of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra to world class blues, world music, and pop artists, he’s always found an opportunity for both new knowledge and shared joy in his daily interactions with artists, technicians and audiences.
This annual award has been created to honour a member of Calgary’s theatre community who has made a major contribution or significant achievement in the area of technical production in Calgary. This award is given in recognition of Dean Ott and Debbie Boult. Throughout their lives, Dean and Debbie continually strove for excellence and were regarded as a benchmark for professionalism. The recipient of this award will reflect Dean and Debbie’s passion for their craft.
The 2014 Greg Bond Memorial Award honours Willy Joosen.
Kathryn Kerbes, Chair of the jury for the Greg Bond Memorial Award was quick to point out that honouring Willy Joosen with the Greg Bond memorial award is not just about the years put in (although Willy has thirty-plus of those) or the specific skills or attributes he brings to a production, but that “he has the ability to elevate a performance just by playing.”
Willy Joosen has been a prolific contributor to the music of Calgary; from playing the organ at Flames games to performing with the Calgary Jazz Orchestra. His musical tastes and talents know little boundary – from playing slow and silky jazz, to well-known classics, to suddenly breaking out in riffs from Ms. Pac Man – you can always be assured the music will be entertaining and fun. “Willy is a stalwart contributor to the Calgary theatre scene, and has a musical mind like no other. He definitely embodies the spirit of excellence this award is intended to recognize.”
This annual award is intended to honour the outstanding achievement by an individual in musical theatre in Calgary. The award is made possible through the Toronto Community Foundation, and is presented by the Bond Family in memory of their son, Greg (1954–1989). Greg studied and worked in musical theatre across Canada, from Banff to Charlottetown as well as in Australia. His life was marked by a drive for professionalism, a talent for composition, and a desire to continually study, create and perform. He will be remembered for his positive attitude and his remarkable ability to give and engender respect from everyone whom his life touched.
Celebrating the past season on the eve of the new, this year’s Betty Mitchell Awards will be held on Monday, August 18th, 2014 at Stage West, 727 42 Avenue SE. The gala ceremony is always great fun and this year promises to be no exception.