Mallory Gilbert Leadership Award Presented To Lyndee Hansen And Protégé Christine Gruenbauer

The award celebrates an individual who demonstrates outstanding administrative or managerial leadership within the Canadian theatre community.

By: Jun. 02, 2024
Mallory Gilbert Leadership Award Presented To Lyndee Hansen And Protégé Christine Gruenbauer
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The Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT) has announced Lyndee Hansen, Producer of the Grand Theatre, as the 2024 recipient of the Mallory Gilbert Leadership Award, recognizing her outstanding administrative and managerial leadership within the Canadian Theatre Community. The award also includes a protégé, chosen by the award winner, underlining the importance of skills and knowledge transmission in leadership building. Hansen has chosen Christine Gruenbauer, Company Manager of the Grand Theatre, to be recognized as her protégé.

PACT is the national organization serving over 160 member companies from coast to coast to coast, including the Grand Theatre, the Stratford and Shaw Festivals, and Mirvish Productions.

Since 2007, the Mallory Gilbert Leadership Award has celebrated an individual who demonstrates outstanding administrative or managerial leadership within the Canadian theatre community. The award is named in honour of Mallory Gilbert, one of Canada's most respected arts managers, Tarragon Theatre's General Manager for 34 years, one of the founders of PACT, and mentor to countless aspiring arts administrators.

“From the moment I first met her, I have watched Lyndee Hansen exemplify leadership not just within the Grand but within the entire Canadian theatre sector,” shares Rachel Peake, Artistic Director of the Grand Theatre. "Negotiating national agreements on behalf of PACT and Canada's theatre companies, on top of the tireless work she does in support of the Grand, is a monumental feat.”

“Lyndee has an exceptional ability to do so much for so many, to make great art while maintaining the bottom line, all while always thinking first and with greatest passion about the lives and needs of the artists involved in each decision,” continues Peake.

“Lyndee is an unsung hero of Canadian theatre, and well-deserving of this honour. Her near-perfect blend of kindness, levelheadedness, and rigour, is relevant and necessary,” says Evan Klassen, Executive Director of the Grand Theatre. “Lyndee has a breadth of experience across this sector that is always helpful, and makes good use of her prior technical background to always keep the art at the heart of our organization. She is a respected leader and negotiator, and as a result, she is sought out by colleagues nation-wide for advice, perspective, and wisdom.”

“Lyndee has also been a strong advocate for and mentor to emerging talents in our sector. The care and feistiness with which Lyndee advocates for, protects, and nurtures the next generation of talents is commendable, unique, and so very needed in our sector at this time,” continues Klassen.

“I am honoured and humbled to be receiving this award. When I was starting in this business Mallory Gilbert was a cornerstone of Canadian Theatre and I feel privileged to be associated with her legacy,” says Hansen. “I am flattered to be counted alongside the incredible past winners of this award, all of whom are exceptional leaders in Canadian Theatre and many of whom I have been lucky enough to work with and be mentored by over the course of my career.”

Inspired by and in recognition of Mallory Gilbert and the incredible number of developing arts professionals that she mentored and supported throughout her lifetime, the Mallory Gilbert Leadership Award also recognizes a protégé named by the award winner. Lyndee Hansen has named Christine Gruenbauer, Company Manager of the Grand Theatre, as her protégé.

“Christine is an incredibly talented theatre producer and administrator. I have worked with Christine since 2019 and have always been impressed with her professionalism, thoughtfulness, attention to detail, and passion for the work,” says Hansen. “The London and Canadian theatre communities are lucky to have a rising star like Christine. While she is my mentee for this award, she mentors me as much as I mentor her and for that, I am very grateful.”

“I am deeply honoured to have been selected as Lyndee's protégé. Having Lyndee Hansen as a mentor is truly like winning the lottery - she is an empathetic and honest leader who is always willing to share her wealth of knowledge with others. Her impact on the industry cannot be understated. Her friendship and guidance have been constant sources of light for the past five years, and I'm sure many more years to come,” says Gruenbauer.

Rachel Peake, shares, “The future of theatre looks bright with Christine Gruenbauer in it. Her skills, innovation, compassion, and forward-thinking approach are invaluable to the Grand. She teaches those of us who work with her as much as we teach her. I am excited to see her recognized by this award as I know the sky is the limit in terms of where her career will lead.”

About Lyndee Hansen

Lyndee Hansen is an arts leader and mentor who has worked as a general manager, producer and arts administrator for the last 25 years. Currently, she is working as the Producer of the Grand Theatre in London, Ontario, where she has been for the last nine years. Prior to coming to work at the Grand she worked in three different provinces and held senior leadership roles at Crow's Theatre, Alberta Theatre Projects, and Geordie Theatre.

Lyndee holds a degree in Theatre Production from Toronto Metropolitan University and is a recipient of the Victor C. Polley Award.

About Christine Gruenbauer

Christine Gruenbauer is an arts manager and independent theatre producer. She is the current Company Manager of the Grand Theatre in London, Ontario, having started as the Administration Associate in 2019. Christine began her career as the Associate Producer of the London Fringe Festival and has worked at the Stratford Festival. She is a champion of community theatre, having co-founded London's Allswell Productions, an award-winning independent company that focuses on contemporary musical theatre. Christine also sits on the Board of Directors for London's Musical Theatre Productions as Treasurer, and was the Secretary for the Brickenden Awards, London's former independent theatre awards, from 2016 - 2021.

About PACT 

PACT is the collective voice of professional Canadian theatres, a leader in the performing arts community, and a devoted advocate of the value of live performance. PACT represents over 160 professional English-speaking theatre companies operating in communities across the country, ranging from the largest performing arts organizations in Canada, to smaller theatre companies that serve their audiences in a wide variety of communities; from rural to urban, commercial to independent, theatre for young audiences to culturally specific, and everything else in between.

About the Grand Theatre – World Curious. London Proud.

The Grand Theatre is known for world-class theatre created and built in London, Ontario. As southwest Ontario's premiere producing theatre and one of the most beautiful theatre spaces in Canada, the company has deep ties to the community and to its artists, artisans, and technicians.

As a vibrant cultural hub and not-for-profit professional theatre, the Grand serves to gather, inspire, and entertain audiences in London and beyond. At our home in downtown London, we create productions on two stages: the Spriet Stage (839 seats) and the Auburn Developments Stage (144 seats). The Grand season of theatrical offerings runs from September to May, and we collaborate with companies and artists across the country through our co-productions that see London-made artistic and creative work travel to audiences nation-wide. Through our successful New Play Development Program, the Grand is committed to developing and premiering new, original works and supporting the growth and reach of theatre writers and creators. Our recently renovated venue offers a contemporary and welcoming environment that is also home to several successful music series', community arts rentals, and cultural and special events.

A cornerstone of the organization is our place as a teaching theatre, exemplified in our many mentorship programs and highlighted in our annual Grand Theatre High School Project. As the first program of its kind in the country and currently in its twenty-sixth year, the High School Project involves as many as one hundred high school participants annually from schools across the region. These students participate at no cost and take on roles both on stage and off, in a fully realized mainstage production under the direction of a professional creative team.

For more information, visit: grandtheatre.com.



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