Monday, November 3, 2008

Dora, Dora, Dora



TORONTO – The Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA) announced a contest today to redesign the Dora Mavor Moore Award statue. The Doras recognize excellence in theatre, dance, and opera on Toronto stages. The Dora Award Design Contest is open to all Ontario residents eighteen (18) years of age or older. The original Dora statuette, designed by John Romano depicting Harlequin from Commedia Dell'arte, will be replaced by the winning entry, and distributed for the first time at the 30th Annual Dora Mavor Moore Awards in June 2009. The winning designer will receive a cash prize of $2,000. 

"The industry has evolved considerably since the first Dora statue was presented nearly 30 years ago. The new Dora award will become an icon of Toronto's vibrant and diverse performing arts community," says Philip Akin, chair of the Redesign Committee. "We are not looking for a re-imagining of the current statuette, but something that will resonate with modern audiences."

"Dora Mavor Moore was a visionary who helped establish Canadian professional theatre. She was an innovative director, actress and educator," says Jacoba Knaapen, TAPA's Executive Director. "The winning design will embody her spirit and reflect the excellence of Toronto's theatre, dance and opera industry."

Entries will be judged independently by a jury of Toronto-based performing and visual arts professionals selected by TAPA (listed below). Entries must be received by 5:00 pm Monday, January 12, 2009. For full contest rules and how to submit entries, please visit www.tapa.ca. 

Dora Statue Redesign Jurors:


Philip Akin, Jury Chair: Philip is a Founding Member of the Obsidian Theatre Company and is currently its Artistic Director. Directing: Black Medea (Obsidian Theatre), Intimate Apparel (Obsidian Theatre), and Born Ready (Obsidian Theatre, Theatre Passe Muraille). Upcoming: Toronto the Good (Factory Theatre). Philip has been an actor for the last 33 years and was last seen in Othello {Stratford Festival} and this spring he will reprise his Dora nominated performance in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Birdland Theatre). He has also performed in over 150 movies, MOWs, television shows and series, the most recent as a recurring character in Flashpoint.


Sarah Diamond: Sara is the President of the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD), Canada’s foremost university of art and design. She holds degrees from Canada and the United Kingdom in social history, communications, new media theory and practice. She is currently a member of the Ontario Ministry of Culture’s Minister’s Advisory Council on Arts & Culture, the Board of Directors of the Toronto Arts Council Foundation and of ORANO, Ontario’s high speed network. She is a founding member of CONCERT and the Chair of the OMDC funded Mobile Experience Innovation Centre. She provides media consulting to Heritage Canada, SSHRC, CFI, Industry Canada, CHRC and DFAIT, as well as international governments, institutions and agencies as diverse as China, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Argentina, Finland, Australia, Brazil and the USA.

Prior to her presidency at OCAD Diamond was the Director of Research for the prestigious Banff Centre. She created the renowned Banff New Media Institute (BNMI) in 1995 and led it until coming to Toronto in 2005. Diamond developed international summits and business development workshops and accelerators that explored the near future of new media. She built alliances between artists, designers, architects, scientists, social scientists, and international and Canadian businesses. Diamond created and was Editor-in-Chief of www.horizonzero.ca, an on-line showcase for new media art and design, in collaboration with Heritage Canada. She is a visualization software researcher and developer www.codezebra.net.


Camellia Koo: Camellia is a set & costume designer and installation artist. Recent designs include the set for The Stepmother (Shaw Festival) and sets & costumes for East of Berlin (Tarragon). Other collaborations include fu-Gen Asian Canadian Theatre Company, Cahoots Theatre Projects, bCurrent, Modern Times Theatre, Nightwood, Native Earth Performing Arts, Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People, Fujiwara Dance Inventions, Great Canadian Theatre Company, The Shaw Festival, and The Second City (Toronto and Chicago), Soulpepper and Tarragon Theatre. She is the recipient of four Dora Awards and shared the 2006 Siminovitch Protégé Prize. Camellia holds an MA from Central Saint Martin’s College of Art & Design (U.K). 


Scott Lyall: Scott lives and works as an artist in Toronto. His work encompasses graphic design, painting, and sculpture, along with references to performance events, architectural environments, and design software. The possibility of living performers haunts his abstract, formalist practice. He has exhibited across Canada, the United States, and Europe, with recent shows in Paris, New York, Cologne, London, and Basel, Switzerland. His exhibition “Color Ball” is currently installed at the Power Plant in Toronto. Lyall has also collaborated with artists in other fields and disciplines, including at the 2008 SITE Santa Fe Biennial in New Mexico, and with the choreographer Maria Hassabi on a new evening-length dance. He attended undergraduate studies at Queen’s University and received a Law Degree from the University of Toronto (1991). After completing his MFA at the California Institute of the Arts, (1994), he spent several years in studio practice in New York and London, England. He has taught at the Art Schools at Guelph and York Universities, and has visited as a lecturer at Western, Goldsmiths College, and Columbia. Upcoming exhibitions include Miguel Abreu Gallery (New York), the Contemporary Art Gallery (Austin, Texas), and Confort Moderne (Poitiers, France). 


Andy McKim: Andy is currently the Artistic Director of Theatre Passe Muraille. He has spent most of his professional life developing, dramaturging and directing new Canadian plays. Early in his career he worked in PEI, at Neptune Theatre, in London, England and now in Toronto where from 1985 to 2007 he was the Associate Artistic Director at Tarragon Theatre. Andy has directed more than 50 different productions. Nearly all of them were world premieres. Most outstanding amongst them is 2 PIANOS, 4 HANDS. He sat on the Dora Awards Board, the Toronto Theatre Alliance Board (TTA), served as the TTA President, sat on the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT) board and served as the PACT President. Andy has taught in a variety of contexts and is serving on the Theatre Department Advisory of both Sheridan and Humber Colleges. He has also received the George Luscombe Award for mentorship.


About the Dora Mavor Moore Awards

The Dora Mavor Moore Awards were founded on December 13, 1978 by a committee convened by Millie Drain. On that date, Drain and the other founders (Ann Antkiw, Ronald Bryden, Bill Glassco, Graham Harley, Leon Major, Sean Mulcahy, Peter Peroff, Heinar Piller, Susan Rubes, Pat Stewart and Sylvia Tucker) decided to institute an award to recognize outstanding achievements in Toronto theatre. Today, the Doras honour the creators of over 200 theatre, dance and opera productions annually. Each year, thirty-five awards are presented to winners across five divisions: General Theatre Production, Independent Theatre Production, Dance, Opera, Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA).


Further information about the Dora Awards and a biography of Dora Mavor Moore visit www.tapa.ca/doras.


Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts:

The Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA) is an arts service organization that represents nearly 200 professional theatre, dance and opera companies in the City of Toronto, and works to create an environment in which the performing arts may flourish and maintain its leadership role in the vitality of the City of Toronto.



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