The juries have convened, deliberated, and have chosen the recipients for the 2013 Betty Mitchell Awards juried awards:
Nova Lea Thorne for the Duval Lang Theatre for Young Audiences Award presented in conjunction with Quest Theatre, honouring Outstanding Achievement in Theatre for Young Audiences;
Richard McDowell for the Dean Ott/ Debbie Boult Award honouring Outstanding Achievement in Technical Production
Onalea Gilbertson for the Greg Bond Memorial Award recognizing Outstanding Contribution to Musical Theatre in Calgary;
The 2012 Duval Lang Theatre for Young Audiences Award Honours Nova Lea Thorne.
Nova Lea Thorne is the consummate example of what a theatre educator, leader, and mentor to young people should be. Her dedication to the education and involvement of youth in theatre is demonstrated by a reputation that it is never about her; it is always about the kids.
“Nova Lea is always in the shadows, always stage left, back in the wings. It’s time to shine the spot light on her!” Karen Johnson-Diamond, Chair of the Jury, remarked on announcing Nova Lea as the recipient.
“If there was ever a person who could foster a love of theatre in anyone she meets, it is her. She carries every child she’s ever met into her work and her life.” The jury deciding the recipient of the Duval Lang Theatre for Young Audiences award added.
The 2013 Dean Ott/Debbie Boult Award Honours Richard McDowell.
“He brings a superior attention to details, cares about every note of a musical score or soundtrack and finesses each transition into an exceptional experience for the audience.” Denise Clarke wrote of Richard McDowell in a letter of support.
Richard has had a varied, but significant impact on the Calgary live-performance landscape. Having studied midi systems and early computer/sampling, he made a trip to the Banff Centre in 1986 to ‘study’ and use their equipment. But not being one to limit himself to that endeavor, he wound up teaching himself and them while he created the score to Denise Clarke’s 1988 Olympic Arts Festival piece, The Blind Struggle. From that, his influence spread rapidly.
He is a musician having played bass in a well-known rock band The Rip Chords and is the person behind the creation of the alternative nightclub, Ten Foot Henry’s which tore open the indie rock scene in the mid 80s in Calgary and saw many an early theatrical creative collaboration form.
Denise Clarke added, “He is one of those people who is so kind and so helpful to others that he becomes the multi-tasker on any project he is attached to. Video issues? Computer issues? Sure he’ll interrupt his detailed work on your musical score or your soundtrack, and work to solve the problem then pick up his other work when you are at home in bed.”
The 2013 Greg Bond Memorial Award Honours Onalea Gilbertson.
Onalea is a singer, theatre artist, poet and musician who enjoys experimenting with a wide variety of material from cabaret to concert hall. As a theatre artist she has performed numerous roles across Canada including 7 seasons as an ensemble member with the award-winning One Yellow Rabbit. She has worked extensively with several incredible Canadian composers including Dave Pierce, David Rhymer and Marcel Bergmann. Onalea’s original pieces REQUIEM FOR A LOST GIRL: A Chamber Musical About Homelessness and BLANCHE: The Bittersweet Life Of A Wild Prairie Dame premiered Off Broadway as special events of the New York Musical Theatre Festival this past season.
“This young woman is not only a credit to our theatre community, but one of the most innovative contributors to performing arts in this country.” Artist and writer Hal Kerbes said in a message of support.