Rick Miller to Host 40th Dora Mavor Moore Awards on June 25
Today is World Theatre Day and the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA) fittingly announced the date, host, creative team and a new venue for the 40th Anniversary Dora Mavor Moore Awards, the awards show and party that celebrates extraordinary Toronto talent in the performing arts.
Dora Awards Producer and TAPA Executive Director Jacoba Knaapen announced that the multi-talented award-winning theatre artist Rick Miller, well-known across the country for his widely acclaimed one-man shows (including MacHomer, BOOM and Bigger Than Jesus among others) will host this very special 40th anniversary celebratory evening. Mr. Miller last hosted the Dora Mavor Moore Awards in 2007.
Ms Knaapen also announced that the 2019 Dora Mavor Moore Awards will take place on Tuesday, June 25 and, for the very first time, will be held at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts. The show this year will highlight the triumphs (and tribulations!) of Toronto's performing arts community along its storied journey these past forty years.
Emmy, Gemini and Dora-nominated Diane Flacks pens the celebratory evening for her fourth year in a row while acclaimed theatre director, actor and writer Ed Roy takes the helm as director for his seventh time. Multi-award-winning lighting and production designer Andrea Lundyreturns for her 18th consecutive year while Evelyne Datl returns for her second term as Musical Director.
The Dora Mavor Moore Awards are Canada's longest-running professional theatre, dance and opera awards. Notably, the 40th anniversary of the Doras is the first year that gender neutral performance awards will be given out.
This trailblazing policy, originally announced in April of 2018, impacts all performance categories for the Dora Mavor Moore Awards beginning with the 2018-19 season. All binary male and female designations have been eliminated and replaced with gender-inclusive "Outstanding Lead/Featured/Individual Performance" categories as applicable. The 2019 Dora Awards are making history with the implementation of this precedent-setting step forward. TAPA aspires to honour all narratives and all gender identities with this inclusive policy.
Additionally, the number of nominees in each of the performance categories has been increased to eight from five throughout the now-seven divisions: General Theatre, Independent Theatre, Musical Theatre, Theatre for Young Audiences, Dance, Opera and Touring.
Ms Knaapen noted, "I am happy to make this announcement on behalf of TAPA about the 40th Anniversary Dora Mavor Moore Awards on World Theatre Day. TAPA is proud to have taken the bold step of adopting a gender neutral policy beginning with the 2019 Dora Awards. The Doras continue to celebrate excellence, regardless of expressed or unexpressed gender identity."
Created in 1961 by UNESCO, the impetus behind World Theatre Day is to honour and further the goal of UNESCO's International Theatre Institute (ITI) to celebrate theatre as an indispensable bridge-builder for mutual international understanding and peace as well as to promote and protect cultural diversity and identity in communities throughout the world. "Given the themes of the Canadian World Theatre Day message by playwright Sunny Drake, announcing the details on this day for the 40th anniversary of the Dora Mavor Moore Awards could not be more appropriate," Ms Knaapen added.
Since 2011, the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT), together with l'Association des théâtres francophones du Canada (ATFC) and the Playwrights Guild of Canada (PGC), has commissioned a message each year to promote and celebrate World Theatre Day from a distinctly Canadian perspective. For 2019, this message is written by playwright, theatre creator and performer, Sunny Drake. His full speech can be viewed here: https://pact.ca/services-support/advocacy/world-theatre-day/ .
As noted above, the 40th Anniversary Dora Mavor Moore Awards ceremony takes place at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts. The always-fabulous pre-show VIP Reception takes place in the lower lobby of the venue and the fun-filled After-Party will take place in and around the venue.
Tickets for this celebratory evening go on sale May 28 through the box office at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, either in person at the St. Lawrence Centre box office at 27 Front St. East or by calling 1-855-872-SONY (7669) via Ticketmaster and online via ticketmaster.ca .
TAPA will announce the nominees for the 2019 Dora Mavor Moore Awards at a press conference at the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre's Davies Takacs Lobby (main floor) on the morning of May 28 where the Province of Ontario's Pauline McGibbon Award, the George Luscombe Award for Mentorship and the Leonard McHardy and John Harvey Award for Outstanding Leadership in Administration will also be given out.