Michael Spence Award for Contribution to Community Theatre 2019

Forde_Chantal_and_Cadeny_TimTheatre Ontario is excited to announce that the 2019 Michael Spence Award for Contribution to Community Theatre will be presented to Chantal Forde and Tim Cadeny of Toronto. This award is presented by Theatre Ontario from the nomination by Burl-Oak Theatre Group, and on the recommendation of ACT-CO, the Association of Community Theatres—Central Ontario.

The award honours individuals for sustained contribution to community theatre, generosity of spirit, involvement, and commitment to community theatre that is legendary within their region, helping community theatre flourish. Chantal and Tim will receive their award on May 19 at the Theatre Ontario Festival Awards Luncheon in Richmond Hill at the Langstaff Community Centre.

"I am delighted to congratulate Chantal Forde and Tim Cadeny on being this year’s 2019 Michael Spence Award recipients," said Linda Lyons, President of ACT-CO. "Together since their return to the BurlOak Theatre Group in 2012, this creative and talented dynamic duo have continued to breathe new life and excitement in both the theatre, and the community."

Chantal and Tim have been passionate members of the Burl-Oak Theatre Group (BOTG) since 2012. They wrote, directed, and choreographer Burl-Oak’s first annual holiday pantomime, creating an annual tradition that has involved hundreds of members of the local community.

Chantal has taken on membership at BOTG to encourage others to become involved with community theatre, and Tim is the Vice President, taking on BOTG’s graphic design. They have been involved in the Oakville community at the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and local children’s festivals, and are two of the organizers of Toronto Cold Reads, a weekly series for actors and writers to develop new works. They have been instrumental in successfully implementing the BOTG’s 50/50 draw which raised proceeds for local charities such as Ian Anderson Cancer Hospice, the Humane Society, and Lighthouse for Grieving Families.

Chantal is also a member of the core group of Got Your Back Canada, artists who have come together to lead initiatives to improve safety, health and equity in the performing artists, and she is part of the organizing committee for their spring Artist Educator Conference.

"We are incredibly honoured to receive this award, being a part of a community with so much passion and dedication is inspiring," said Chantal and Tim. "We love that we are able to be involved with shows with children as young as eight, who have just been bitten by the bug, to experienced artists who have been in the theatre for longer than we've been alive!"

The Michael Spence Award honours legendary contributions to community theatre in Ontario, and is named after Michael Spence, the founding President of Theatre Ontario. Michael was active in community theatre at Hart House Theatre, London Little Theatre, and the University Alumnae Dramatic Club (now known as Alumnae Theatre.) He was a member of the Board of Governors of the Dominion Drama Festival, a past President of Arts Etobicoke, and he continues to be an enthusiastic supporter of Theatre Ontario.

Past recipients of the Michael Spence Award in the ACT-CO region are Lillian Sievanen, David Glover, Maureen Lukie, Jo-anne Spitzer, and John Storey.


Awards Presentation

The awards presentation will be part of the Theatre Ontario Festival Awards Luncheon on Sunday, May 19 at noon at the Langstaff Community Centre, 155 Red Maple Road, Richmond Hill.

Tickets for the "TOF Awards Luncheon" are available for purchase via the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts website 

Tables will be arranged at the Awards Luncheon - notify brandon@theatreontario.org if you wish to be seated specifically for the Michael Spence Award Presentation.


Learn More

Learn more about Theatre Ontario’s Michael Spence Award for Contribution to Community Theatre

Learn more about Theatre Ontario Festival 2019


401 Richmond Street West, Suite 350, Toronto, ON, M5V 3A8
Telephone: 416.408.4556 (Find an Extension) / Fax: 416.408.3402
Get Directions / Contact Us via E-Mail


Monday to Friday: 9 am to 5 pm
(In July and August, our hours are Monday to Thursday: 9 am to 5 pm and Friday: 9 am to 1 pm)