2015 BETTY MITCHELL AWARDS JURIED AWARDS RECIPIENTS ANNOUNCED
Calgary, AB — The juries have convened, deliberated, and have chosen the recipients for the 2015 Betty Mitchell Awards juried awards:
Suzanne Mott for the Duval Lang Theatre for Young Audiences Award presented in conjunction with Quest Theatre, honouring Outstanding Achievement in Theatre for Young Audiences;
The Young Canadians School for the Greg Bond Memorial Award recognizing Outstanding Contribution to Musical Theatre in Calgary;
Lillian Messer for the Dean Ott / Debbie Boult Award honouring Outstanding Achievement in Technical Production
The 2015 Duval Lang Theatre for Young Audiences Award honours Suzanne Mott.
“Without a year round series dedicated to presenting work on tour, for many years Calgary audiences were not able to experience the incredible work being done by Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) companies across the country,” says Braden Griffiths. Thanks to Suzanne Mott’s foresight and vision, that reality changed in 2003 when Vertigo launched its Y Stage program. Since its inception, Y Stage has presented countless productions, created by some of the best Theatre for Young Audiences artists that this world has to offer. Y Stage has grown to be an integral part of our national TYA community and is recognized as a leader in presenting socially relevant, high quality theatre for youth. By creating partnerships with companies both in Calgary and internationally, and thanks to her tireless advocacy of TYA, Suzanne created a profoundly valuable venue for our theatre community and audiences; a venue where the magic of theatre can be experienced by one and all, both the short and the tall.”
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 2015 Dean Ott/Debbie Boult Award honours Lillian Messer.
Lillian Messer, a talented designer, craftsperson and current Head of Props at Theatre Calgary is the recipient of the 2015 Dean Ott/Debbie Boult Award. Following graduation from the University of Calgary in 1988, Lillian began an internship at Theatre Calgary as design assistant with Guido Tondino followed by employment with Quest Theatre and JV Theatre Productions. It was at JV in the Prop Shop that she found her calling. To quote Lillian, “When I was a child I spent many days with my grandmother learning how to sew and create things. I feel that my whole life was preparing me to work in props.” Letters of support from a wide cross section of Calgary’s theatre community cite Lillian’s excellent technical skills, work ethic, commitment to mentoring young people, support of educational and community groups and remarkable problem solving abilities. In the words of actor, producer and arts educator, Steve Gin, “Lillian works from a love of her craft, deep respect for her colleagues, and a palpable creative force within. She deserves to be honoured for her significant contributions to our community with this award.”
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 2015 Greg Bond Memorial Award honours The Young Canadians School.
From Hal Kerbes, “Each year, the Greg Bond Memorial Award is presented by the Bond Family and the Toronto Community foundation in memory of Greg Bond (1954–1989). He was an energetic, enthusiastic and extremely talented actor/singer/dancer/musician who had a remarkable respect for, and from, the musicians and musical theatre artists with whom he delighted in working.
The award honours contribution to the profile of musical theatre in Calgary. It recognizes a cooperative spirit, a sound work ethic, and acknowledges outstanding achievement by peers.
This year the award will be presented to a group who has influenced musical theatre in Calgary for five decades. The Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede grew from the Calgary Kidettes, who first performed on the grandstand stage in 1965. In the ensuing fifty years, the group has provided performing scholarships to thousands of young artists. It introduced the concept of dinner theatre to Calgary with big musicals such as Damn Yankees, Man of La Mancha & Funny Girl. The troupe has recorded, done TV specials, toured nationally and internationally and has entertained millions attending the Grandstand Show. Countless former Young Canadians – including at least three previous Greg Bond Award recipients have gone on to professional performing careers around the world.”
For media information:
Kaye Booth, PublicistBetty Mitchell Awards Steering Committee
Richard Lam, ChairBetty Mitchell Awards Steering Committee