OAF News

Announcing: The Ellen Ross Stuart Opening Doors Awards

Toronto, ON, October 10, 2017 – To celebrate the too short life of Ellen Ross Stuart (Nel), a new multi-year award has been created to “Open Doors” by empowering young writers to actively engage in their craft in association with three supportive theatres.

Nel Stuart found a home at the Tarragon through the Young Playwrights Unit and the Paprika Festival…as the theatre that has given voice to generations of Canadian playwrights we are thrilled to be part of this innovative new award which embraces and showcases new voices.  
Anne Wessels, Tarragon Theatre

The awards are for emerging writers 21-30 with some production credits who have graduated from post-secondary training or outgrown other programs that nurture young artists.

After 43 seasons the Blyth Festival remains committed to enriching “the lives of its audience by producing and developing plays that give voice to both the region and the country” while constantly questioning what it means “to give voice” and what voices are privileged or erased in our country.  Nel  believed in our mission and our community and we welcome this opportunity to support her memory through this award.
Gil Garratt, Blyth Festival

About the Award

Phase One: December 15 , 2017 deadline for application with winners announced in February 2018.  Download application form here >>

  • 3 young writers will be chosen on the basis of merit and a strong proposal for a play which will appeal to an audience of peers. Each will be awarded $2,000.
  • Each writer will commence an association with Tarragon and Hart House Theatres, as well as serve a two-week expenses paid internship at the Blyth Festival. 
  • Each selected proposal will receive dramaturgical assistance from theatre professionals.
  • Early in the summer of 2018 writers will participate in a Master class in new play development at York University.
  • 5 additional awards of $500 will be made to encourage other promising writers. These artists will also receive an invitation to attend the new play development Master class at York University and will be encouraged to apply for the 2019 Ellen Ross Stuart competition.

Phase Two
: August 2018

  • Workshop presentations of sample scenes by the three semi-finalists devised over the past 8 months will lead to a jury of theatre professionals choosing one Ellen Ross Stuart award winner.
  • The winner will receive $7,500 plus $2,500 seed money towards a final presentation at the Tarragon Studio in May 2019.
  • The winner will continue their association with Hart House and Tarragon theatres and the Blyth Festival according to the winner’s needs.

Through her involvement at Hart House Theatre, Nel played a vital role in many artistic successes and facilitated opportunities for many young and emerging artists.   This award in many ways continues Nel’s legacy as it focuses on engaging and empowering young artists – specifically young theatre writers.
Doug Floyd, Hart House Theatre

The Ellen Ross Stuart Fund was established at the Ontario Arts Foundation to fund the awards.  To make a donation please visit the Ontario Arts Foundation website.

Download award application form here >>

For more information about the award and the application process contact:
Autumn Smith,  Managing Director

Ellen Ross Stuart Opening Doors Awards

2017 Wuchien Michael Than Fund Grants Announced

Toronto, September 13, 2017 - The Ontario Arts Foundation and the Wuchien Michael Than Foundation are pleased to announce the 2017 grants from the Wuchien Michael Than Fund.  This year's grants are being given to help fund productions by artists including Jivesh Parasram, Jeff Ho, Jovanni Sy, Sarena Parmar and Bilal Baig.

Production Grants
Take d Milk, Nah? by Jivesh Parasram
bcurrent performing arts

trace by Jeff Ho
Factory Theatre

Nine Dragons by Jovanni Sy
Richmond Gateway Theatre Society

The Orchard by Sarena Parmar
Shaw Festival

Acha Bacha by Bilal Baig
Theatre Passe Muraille

Development Grants
Knife by Aaron Jan
Factory Theatre

The Ones We Leave Behind by Loretta Seto
Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre

Production and Phase Two Development Grants from the Wuchien Michael Than Fund are available for the development of new works by Asian-Canadian playwrights which are either in production for the current season or in the pre-production phase and projected to be ready for full public productions within one or two seasons.

Phase One Development Grant applications can be made at any time. Visit the Wuchien Michael Than website for details.

The Wuchien Michael Than Fund was established at the Ontario Arts Foundation by Michael Than in 2012 and launched in 2013 to support the development and nurturing of theatre arts in Canada, with a particular emphasis on new works by Asian-Canadian playwrights, and the development of emerging talent in the Asian-Canadian theatre community.

List of Past Grant Recipients

For more information, please contact :
Alan Walker
Executive Director, Ontario Arts Foundation
Tel:  (416) 969-7413

Established in 1991, the Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) is passionately committed to building long-term support for the arts in Ontario. In 2016-2017, the OAF paid out over $3.2 million in endowment income and $325,000 in awards and scholarships.

The Wuchien Michael Than Foundation was established to support the development and nurturing of theatre arts in Canada, with particular emphasis on the creation, development and production of new works by Asian-Canadian playwrights .

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Jordanne Brown is Awarded the Tim Sims Encouargement Award

Toronto, September 6, 2017 - Jordanne Brown of Toronto is the 2017 recipient of the $2,500 Tim Sims Encouragement Award. The Tim Sims Encouragement Award honours a promising Canadian comedic performer who is in the early stages of their career. Jordanne Brown was selected for the award by the faculty of Humber College’s Comedy: Writing and Performance program, and was presented the award Tuesday night at the Humber Comedy Program’s Alumni Show at Yuk Yuk’s.

Jordanne Brown is a comedic writer and performer, and the 2017 recipient of Humber College’s Eugene Levy Award for Comedy Writing. Jordanne is the host of a monthly show “Sorry I’m Late Night”, and the newest member of Boys Club, a comedy collective. She performs stand-up, sketch and improv around the city.

“I am truly humbled to receive the Tim Sims Encouragement Fund, and excited to put the money towards producing shows and videos, and continuing on this crazy comedy journey."

Tim Sims Encouragement Fund

The Tim Sims Encouragement Award was founded by Lindsay Leese and established in 1995 in the spirit and memory of Tim Sims, a well-known comedic performer, writer, director, and charity fund-raiser from Toronto. From 1996-2014, the Fund awarded prize money totaling $65,000 to young comedians in the early stages of their careers at the annual Cream of Comedy award show at Second City. Beginning in 2015, the $2,500 award is given annually to a graduate of the Comedy Writing and Performance program at the Humber College, School of Creative and Performing Arts and to a Conservatory Program Graduate at the Second City Training Program.

List of Past Winners

For Further Information
Alan Walker
Executive Director, Ontario Arts Foundation
Tel:  (416) 969-7413

Established in 1991, the Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) is passionately committed to building long-term financial support for the arts in Ontario.  In 2016-2017, the OAF paid over $3.2 million in endowment income and $325,000 in awards and scholarships to artists and arts organizations across the province.

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