OAF News

Gillian Gallow Awarded the 2018 Virginia and Myrtle Cooper Award in Costume Design

Toronto, June 11, 2018 – Costume and set designer, Gillian Gallow is the 2018 recipient of the $20,000 Virginia and Myrtle Cooper Award in Costume Design.  The award is given annually to professional costume designers in Ontario in mid-career to further enrich their careers through research and travel.

Indomeneus, Soulpepper 2017-2018, Photo: Cylla von Tiedemann (l to r) Kyra Harper, Michelle Monteith, Stuart Hughes, Jakob Ehman and Akosua Amo-Adem

Gillian Gallow is a Dora-Award winning set and costume designer based in Toronto. She is a graduate of York University’s Theatre Design program, and is a Betty Award, Sterling Award and Capital Critics Award nominee.

Gillian is currently designing costumes for the Canadian Opera Company’s Hadrian, Stratford’s Long Days Journey Into Night and set and costumes for Stage Kiss with the Shaw Festival.

Other design credits include Louis Riel (costumes, COC), An Octoroon (set/costumes, Shaw Festival), The Physicists and The Three Musketeers (costumes, Stratford Festival), Hirsch (set/costumes, Stratford Festival), King Lear and Stuff Happens (set & costumes, NAC), Idomeneus, The Testament of Mary and Incident at Vichy (costumes, Soulpepper), A Christmas Carol (set, RMTC), Million Dollar Quartet, Hand to God and Seminar (set & costumes, RMTC), The Road To Paradise and Night (set & costumes, Human Cargo), One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (costumes, Theatre Calgary/RMTC), The Kite Runner (costumes, Theatre Calgary/Citadel Theatre), A Christmas Carol, Pride and Prejudice, Cinderella (costumes, The Grand Theatre).

Gillian was selected as the winner from an outstanding group of nominees. This year’s jury consisted of Robin Fisher, established set and costume designer, and 2015 Cooper laureate, Lindsay Dagger Junkin, emerging costume designer, and Alex Gilbert, educator and wardrobe supervisor. The jury was unanimous in their choice of Gillian Gallow as the 2018 laureate. They said, "We are very excited to name Gillian as the 2018 laureate. When talking about Gillian’s costume designs every statement we made included words like amazing, astounding, brilliant and dynamic. She takes time and care in the research for each project, delivering consistently thoughtful and strong work. Her renderings are exceptionally beautiful. Her characters are poignant."

Established through a generous gift under the will of Dr. Virginia Cooper, the Virginia and Myrtle Cooper Award is to be given "For the Love of Creation".  Dr. Cooper served as a director of the Tarragon Theatre, and was a charter member of the Arts and Letters Club of Toronto and active in its activities.  She had a keen interest in the performing arts, particularly in costume design. 

The Ontario Arts Foundation manages the endowment that funds the award.  The Ontario Arts Council administers the nomination and selection process. Click here to see the full list of previous laureates.


For more information, please contact:
Alan Walker, Executive Director, Ontario Arts Foundation

416-969-7413 | awalker@arts.on.ca


The Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) works with arts patrons to build long-term support for the arts in Ontario. In 2016-2017, the OAF paid out over $3.2 million in endowment income and $375,000 in awards and scholarships.

For more than 50 years, the Ontario Arts Council has played a vital role in promoting and assisting the development of the arts and artists for the enjoyment and benefit of Ontarians. In 2016-2017, the Ontario Arts Council funded 1,657 individual artists and 1,098 organizations in 212 communities across Ontario for a total of $50.8 million.

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