OAF News

Call for Nominations for the seventh annual Gina Wilkinson $5,000 Prize

Toronto, ON, October 11, 2017 — Nominations for the seventh annual Gina Wilkinson Prize (Gina's Prize) will be accepted starting October 15, 2017. Established in memory of director Gina Wilkinson, who was a beloved actor and director across the country, the prize is intended to recognize an experienced female theatre artist transitioning from one theatre discipline into the discipline of theatre direction.  The annual prize pays tribute to Gina and her unyielding dedication, vision and indomitable spirit that imbued her work and her life.  The recipient will be chosen from nominations brought forward by members of the Canadian theatre community.  This year's nomination deadline is December 15, 2017 with the award recipient announced on March 10, 2018

An actor for over twenty years, Gina began turning her attention to both writing and directing, and in the last few years of her too-short life established herself as a daring, strong, inventive and important director and collaborator in the Canadian theatre community.  Shortly after Gina died in December 2010, a fund was established to benefit female theatre directors.  The Gina Wilkinson Prize was made possible due to the generous support of over 200 people from across Canada.  In addition, a substantial gift was made to the fund in 2014 by the beneficiaries of the Estate of Elsie V. Adamson, a long-time friend and client of Martin Wilkinson, Gina's brother.  In the spirit of Gina's generousity and appetite for life, the prize is a gift to be used in any way the recipient chooses. 

Previous winners of the Gina Wilkinson Prize include: Ann-Marie Kerr of Halifax (2012), Krista Jackson of Winnipeg (2013) Christine Brubaker of Toronto (2014), Valerie Planche of Calgary (2015), Kelli Fox of Toronto (2016), and Kimberley Rampersad of Winnipeg (2017).

The Gina Wilkinson Prize Fund is administered by the Ontario Arts Foundation. Anyone wishing to donate to the fund may do so here.

Award and Nomination Process


For more information:

Tom Rooney

Alan Walker, Executive Director
Ontario Arts Foundation 
416-969-7413 | awalker@arts.on.ca


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 .

Ce document existe également en français.

BLOG: Legislation changes affecting charitable organizations.... Read more »