David S. Craig Wins the 2014 Barbara Hamilton Memorial Award
The Barbara Hamilton Memorial Award was inaugurated in 1996 and is given to a Canadian artist who demonstrates excellence in the performing arts and is dedicated to advocating and being an ambassador for the arts in Canada. The Barbara Hamilton Memorial Award is presented every two years and is sponsored by the City of Toronto. The recipient is awarded with an official scroll from the City and this year the City has increased the cash prize from $1,000 to $ 1,750.
The Award was established to recognize Barbara Hamilton's illustrious career and her remarkable canon of work. A list of previous winners reads as a "who's who" of legendary Canadian performers: Richard Rose, David Ferry, R.H. Thomson, Colin Mochrie, Fiona Reid, Karen Kain, Albert Schultz, Martha Burns, William Hutt, Eric Peterson, Maureen Forrester, Charmion King, Mervyn Blake, Douglas Campbell, John Neville, George Luscombe, and Don Harron.
The winner of this year's Barbara Hamilton Memorial Award is David S. Craig, renowned playwright, director, performer and artistic director. He founded and led two of Canada's most important theatres for young people to huge success - Theatre Direct Canada and Roseneath Theatre. In addition to nearly forty years of outstanding contributions to the performing arts, Mr. Craig has been on the front lines advocating for the rights, wages and royalties of performing artists and playwrights in Canada. He has written a canon of work that tackles issues of classism, justice, tradition, language and violence in ways that are clear and multi layered.
In 1976, Mr. Craig founded Theatre Direct Canada, which in the following seven years attracted one of the largest audiences in Canadian Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA). In 1983, Mr. Craig co-founded Roseneath Theatre with Robert Morgan. It was at this time that he directed and co-wrote Morgan's Journey with Robert Morgan, which won the inaugural Chalmers Award for TYA. Mr. Craig served as AD of Roseneath Theatre for 27 years from 1983 - 2011.During this period Mr. Craig produce an impressive number of small cast, high quality productions - productions that consistently pushed the boundaries of the form, won awards and found a large audience locally, nationally and internationally.
Mr. Craig's work for young audiences is known throughout the world. He has written twenty-nine professionally produced plays including the international hit Having Hope at Home and Danny, King of the Basement (Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Production TYA) which, in translation, was nominated for the German Children's Theatre Prize (the first Canadian play so honoured), and has been seen by over half a million children worldwide in seven different languages. His productions have appeared at every major festival and young audience series in Canada, throughout the United States and at many festivals in the UK and Europe.
Mr. Craig believes that young people have as rich an emotional life as adults. He has inspired the industry to view TYA as a very serious and deserving art form, and has greatly impacted the growth of the TYA sector across North America. This prestigious prize recognizes the highest level of artistic excellence and career achievements by Canadian artists working in the disciplines of dance, theatre or music. The Barbara Hamilton Memorial Award is administered by the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA). The Barbara Hamilton Memorial Award selection committee is chaired by Jim Roe and comprised of Martha Burns, Jacoba Knaapen and Eric Peterson.
The Dora Mavor Moore Awards are administered by the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA). In addition to the Doras, other programs and services provided by TAPA include: T.O. TIX - Toronto's Official One Stop Ticket Shop at Yonge-Dundas Square and online at www.totix.ca; Toronto's Official Theatre Guide; hipTIX, offering $5 tickets to students between the ages of 15 and 29; citySPECIAL; the Commercial Theatre Development Fund; and the Travel Retreat Initiatives Program - TRIP. For more information visit www.tapa.ca and www.totix.ca.