Festival Elsie Award

award_elsietrophyThe Theatre Ontario Festival Elsie Award is presented to the Outstanding Festival Production.  The award was first presented in 1985 and is named after Elsie Elizabeth Thomson (1914-1984).

The Elsie Award trophy was first presented in 1985 and is named after Elsie Elizabeth Thomson (1914-1984). Elsie Thomson made an outstanding contribution to the growth and development of theatre across Canada, involving a lifetime commitment to the enrichment of our cultural life and heritage. Her personal courage, tireless service and unyielding insistence upon the highest performance and production standards from every production or project with which she was associated, set an example to us all. Elsie joined the Hamilton Players Guild in 1945, and became the Secretary. Before long she was doing many things: running workshops, acting, producing, properties, set painting, and President. She was a President of both the Western Ontario Drama League and Theatre Ontario.

The award’s sculpture is named "Nice Company," representing a group of co-operating, communicating and supportive people with a leader close by like a friend. Designed by Dundas sculptor Richard Kramer, the sculpture is made of steel from Hamilton, and is hand-forged using the tools and methods of the ancient blacksmith.

Past recipients of the Elsie Award are:

Year Theatre Production
2017 Toronto Irish Players Outside Mullingar
2016 Northumberland Players (Cobourg) Boeing Boeing
2015 Theatre Sarnia The Clean House
2014 Peterborough Theatre Guild The Beauty Queen of Leenane
2013 Espanola Little Theatre Looking
2012 Peterborough Theatre Guild The Mouse House
2011 Domino Theatre (Kingston) Trying
2010 Gateway Theatre Guild (North Bay) Waiting for Godot
2009 Blackhorse Village Players (Tottenham) Rabbit Hole
2008 Peterborough Theatre Guild Proof
2007 Domino Theatre (Kingston) All My Sons
2006 Peterborough Theatre Guild Someone Who'll Watch Over Me
2005 The Curtain Club (Richmond Hill) Marvin's Room
2004 The Curtain Club (Richmond Hill) Staff Room
2003 Guelph Little Theatre Cosi
2002 Burlington Little Theatre Eleemosynary
2001 Burlington Little Theatre Me & My Friend
2000 Guelph Little Theatre Beau Jest
1999 Woodstock Little Theatre Orphans
1998 Borelians Community Theatre (Port Perry) Ten Lost Years
1997 Espanola Little Theatre A Woman Without a Name
1996 Elora Community Theatre Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
1995 Sarnia Little Theatre The Melville Boys
1994 Nepean Little Theatre Our Town
1993 Elmira Theatre Company Opening Night
1992 Woodstock Little Theatre Salt-Water Moon
1991 Guelph Little Theatre Doc
1990 Tara Players (Ottawa) Freedom of the City
1989 Owen Sound Little Theatre Talley's Folly
1988 Borelians Community Theatre (Port Perry) Nobody Loves A Dragon
1987 OMTA The Bear / The Proposal
1986 Sault Theatre Workshop Twelfth Night
1985 Woodstock Little Theatre Gwendoline

From 1985 to 2016, the award was made possible through the generosity of individual and organization donors to Theatre Ontario's Elsie Award Fund.

From 2017 to 2026, the award is made possible through the support of the Western Ontario Drama League.

For more information about Theatre Ontario Festival, please contact Brandon Moore, Community Theatre and Communications Manager at brandon@theatreontario.org or 416.408.4556 x.13

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