The 2019 Jessie Awards recognize Indigenous artists

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Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards | Bard on the Beach mainstage | July 15, 2019

“Fuck the status quo.” That was the sentiment repeated throughout the awards ceremony in many acceptance speeches. From the opening land acknowledgement to the final award of the evening, one thing was clear: this year’s Jessie Awards were a tribute to diversity and inclusion and to the Indigenous theatre artists who so deservingly took home nine awards.

Hosted by Cheyenne Mabberley and Katey Hoffman (The After After Party), who roasted fellow actors mercilessly, the mood of the awards show was unapologetic, inclusive, and encouraging. The Queertet were back as entertainment and musical timekeepers.  

The Vancouver Now Representation and Inclusion Award, while not directly awarded to an Indigenous artist, was given to Heather Redfern and The Cultch for their work to make theatre  more inclusive, including their work with Indigenous artists. The Cultch were one of the four companies that produced Les Filles du Roi, which took home four awards.

Kim Senklip Harvey and Lindsay Lachance won a Significant Artistic Achievement award for their “outstanding decolonization of theatre spaces and practices” in Kamloopa, also presented by a multi-company partnership that included The Cultch. Kamloopa also took home Outstanding Production in the large theatre category, and Senklip Harvey won the Sidney Risk Prize for her original script.

Raven Spirit Dance’s Salmon Girl won a Jessie for Outstanding Design in the theatre for young audiences category, and the Sam Payne Award for the Most Promising Newcomer went to Denesuline and Nakoda Sioux actor and playwright Taran Kootenhayoo.

Part of the “fuck the status quo” theme, there was also a lot of discussion about access for and representation of actors with disabilities. As Adam Grant Warren, who won a Jessie for his performance in Kill Me Now, said: he looks forward to the day when he doesn’t have to talk about representation and he can just say “thank you.”

Lysistrata, while not created by Indigenous artists, contained strong Indigenous content about the land that Bard on the Beach occupies — the former Squamish village of Snauq. It won the Critic’s Choice Innovation Award.  

Other notable awards went to Colleen Wheeler for her epic performance in Timon of Athens at Bard on the Beach. Drew Facey’s set design, which Wheeler so splendidly destroys during the show, also took home a Jessie.

Le Soulier (Theatre la Seizieme) took home four Jessies, and Bard on the Beach took home a total of five across three productions. Sweeney Todd: The Demon of Fleet Street (The Snapshots Collective) took home four, and  Camera Obscura (hungry ghosts) (the frank theatre company/Queer Arts Festival) won Outstanding Production in the small theatre category as well as Outstanding Lighting Design for James Proudfoot’s work.

The full list of winners is below:

37th Annual JESSIE AWARD WINNERS                                                    

Small Theatre

Outstanding Performance by an Actor – Small Theatre

Warren Kimmel – Sweeney Todd: The Demon of Fleet Street – The Snapshots Collective

Outstanding Performance by an Actress – Small Theatre

Colleen Winton - Sweeney Todd: The Demon of Fleet Street – The Snapshots Collective

Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role – Small Theatre

Oliver Castillo - Sweeney Todd: The Demon of Fleet Street – The Snapshots Collective

Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role – Small Theatre

Alannah Ong – The Ones We Leave Behind – Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre

Outstanding Lighting Design – Small Theatre

James Proudfoot – Camera Obscura (hungry ghosts) – the frank theatre company/Queer Arts Festival

Outstanding Set Design – Small Theatre

Marshall McMahen – Les Filles du Roi – Fugue Theatre/Raven Theatre/Urban Ink/The Cultch

Outstanding Costume Design – Small Theatre

Marshall McMahen & Konwahonwá:wi Stacey – Les Filles du Roi – Fugue Theatre/Raven Theatre/Urban Ink/The Cultch

Outstanding Sound Design or Original Composition – Small Theatre

Corey Payette & Kyra Soko - Les Filles du Roi – Fugue Theatre/Raven Theatre/Urban Ink/The Cultch

Outstanding Direction – Small Theatre

Corey Payette - Les Filles du Roi – Fugue Theatre/Raven Theatre/Urban Ink/The Cultch

Outstanding Production – Small Theatre

Camera Obscura (hungry ghosts) – the frank theatre company/Queer Arts Festival

Outstanding Production – Musical – Small Theatre

Sweeney Todd: The Demon of Fleet Street – The Snapshots Collective

Significant Artistic Achievement – Small Theatre

Molly MacKinnon & Christine Quintana – Never the Last – Delinquent Theatre -   Outstanding interdisciplinary collaboration involving the imaginative integration of dance, live musical performance and theatre

Large Theatre

Outstanding Performance by an Actor – Large Theatre

Félix Beauchamp- Le Soulier - Théâtre la Seizième

Outstanding Performance by an Actress – Large Theatre

Colleen Wheeler – Timon of Athens – Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival

Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role – Large Theatre

Adam Grant Warren – Kill Me Now – Touchstone Theatre

Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role – Large Theatre

Nora McLellan – The Matchmaker – Arts Club Theatre Company

Outstanding Lighting Design – Large Theatre

Itai Erdal – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time -  Arts Club Theatre Company

Outstanding Set Design – Large Theatre

Drew Facey - Timon of Athens – Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival

Outstanding Costume Design – Large Theatre

Barbara Clayden – Lysistrata - Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival

Outstanding Sound Design or Original Composition – Large Theatre

Malcolm Dow – Le Soulier - Théâtre la Seizième

Georgia Straight Outstanding Direction – Large Theatre

Esther Duquette & Gilles Poulin-Denis - Le Soulier - Théâtre la Seizième

Outstanding Production – Large Theatre

Kamloopa – The Cultch – (in partnership with Western Canada Theatre, Persephone Theatre and Gordon Tootoosis Nīkānīwin Theatre, and in collaboration with National Arts Centre Indigenous Theatre)

Outstanding Production -  Musical – Large Theatre

As You Like it – Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival

Significant Artistic Achievement – Large Theatre

Kim Senklip Harvey & Lindsay Lachance – Kamloopa - The Cultch – (in partnership with Western Canada Theatre, Persephone Theatre and Gordon Tootoosis Nīkānīwin Theatre, and in collaboration with National Arts Centre Indigenous Theatre)  Outstanding decolonization of theatre spaces and practices.

Theatre for Young Audiences

Outstanding Performance – Theatre for Young Audiences

Jake Walker – Jack and the Magic Bean – Presentation House Theatre

Outstanding Design – Theatre for Young Audiences

Shizuka Kai, Jessica Oostergo, Brad Trenaman – Salmon Girl – Raven Spirit Dance - Ensemble Design (set, costume, lighting)

Outstanding Artistic Creation – Theatre for Young Audiences

Kayla Dunbar – Elephant & Piggie’s “We Are in a Play” – Carousel Theatre for Young People

Outstanding Production – Theatre for Young Audiences

Elephant & Piggie’s “We Are in a Play” – Carousel Theatre for Young People

SignificantArtisticAchievement– Theatre for Young Audiences

Jack and the Magic Bean – Presentation House Theatre – Outstanding risky and improvised audience engagement

ADDITIONAL AWARDS

Outstanding Original Script

David Paquet – Le Soulier (The Shoe) - Théâtre la Seizième

Critic’s Choice Innovation Award

Lysistrata – Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival

Vancouver Now Representation and Inclusion Award

Heather Redfern and The Cultch

Patron of the Arts Award

Grant Burnyeat

Mary Phillips Prize for Behind the Scenes Achievement

Stephane Kirkland

Sam Payne Award for the Most Promising Newcomer

Taran Kootenhayoo

John Moffat & Larry Lilo Prize

Andrew Wheeler

GVPTA Career Achievement Award

David Diamond

Sydney Risk Prize

Kim Senklip Harvey for Kamloopa

Colin Campbell Award for Excellence in Technical Theatre

Adrian  Muir

Ray Michal Prize for Most Promising New Director 

Marie Farsi

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