The 2019 Jessie Nominations Party announced the nominees for the theatre awards on Monday, June 3rd at the iA Financial Group Atrium at the BMO Theatre Centre, 162 West 1st Avenue, honouring Vancouver’s vibrant artistic community.

A total of 50 theatrical productions comprise the nominations for the 37th Annual Jessie Awards representing excellence in large and small venues alike.  The nominations exemplify a wide variety of diversity, creativity, imagination, and skill brought to life on the stage.  The cultural richness of the talented artists continue to grow each year, stretching boundaries and insights and enriching the cultural landscape of our city and beyond.

The Jessie Awards are divided into three categories:  Large Theatre, Small Theatre, and Theatre for Young Audiences along with other special awards. Here are some of the highlights of the nominations.  

A total of eighteen innovative and varied productions were nominated in the Large Theatre Category with Théâtre la Seizième at the top of the list garnering 8 nominations for their boundary stretching production of Le Soulier.   The show received a nod for Outstanding Production and Original Script, along with Outstanding Performance by lead actors France Perras and Félix Beauchamp,  Esther Duquette and Gilles Poulin-Denis for Outstanding Direction, Itai Erdal for Lighting Design and Malcolm Dow for Sound Design.

Arts Club Theatre Company received 16 nominations in the Large Theatre Category for 8 nominated productions.    Of those shows, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time led the way with a total of 5 nominations that included Outstanding Production and for the dynamic performance by lead actor Daniel Doheny and Kayla Dunbar for Significant Artistic Achievement.  Matchmaker received three acknowledgments with Tyrone Savage and both Nora McLellan and Naomi Wright for their performances in Supporting Roles.  The talented Patti Allan was recognized for her Outstanding Performance in The Shoplifters. The remaining shows Mamma Mia and Once each received a nomination for Outstanding Production for a Musical,  The Orchard’s Sophie Tang was noted for Lighting Design and Carmen Alatorre for Costume Design in Mustard.   Redpatch, a co-production with the Arts Club Theatre Company and Hardline Productions (in partnership with Citadel Theatre) picked up two nods to the creative team – Brad Trenaman for Lighting and Mary Jane Paquette for Sound Design.

Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival had another successful season scoring 15 nominations for its four unique and bold productions. The joyful adaptation of As You Like It as a musical was awarded 6 nominations that included actors Lindsey Angell, Kayvon Khoshkam, along with Ben Elliot for Sound Design and Outstanding Production of a Musical. Scoring 5 nominations was their production of Timon of Athens – acknowledging actors Colleen Wheeler and Moya O’Connell, Drew Facey’s Set, Mara Gottler’s Costume Design and for Significant Artistic Achievement.  Lois Anderson was nominated for her direction of the bawdy and boisterous, Lysistrata, earning a total of 4 nominations including the Critic’s Choice Innovation Award, Christine Reimer’s Costume Design was acknowledged for Macbeth.  

With a totally female cast and a crew Kamloopa scored 8 nominations. A love story to Indigenous women, the production was produced by The Cultch (in partnership with Western Canada Theatre, Persephone Theatre and Gordon Tootoosis Nīkānīwin Theatre, and in collaboration with National Arts Centre Indigenous Theatre).  The play saluted writer/director Kim Senklip Harvey for Original Script and Outstanding Direction and also garnered a nomination for Outstanding Production and Critic’s Choice Innovation Award.

Pacific Theatre received a total of 10 nominations. Kim’s Convenience scored 6 for this captivating production that included a nod for Outstanding Production along with Kaitlin Williams for Outstanding Direction. Other Pacific Theatre productions  that received nominations were Jesus Freak and The Lion The Witch, and the Wardrobe. Anther remarkable production nominated included Touchstone Theatre’s Kill Me Now, directed by Roy Surette with Bob Frazer and Adam Grant Warren, all receiving nominations for their work.

The Small Theatre Category was extremely prolific with a total of 23 productions nominated that spread across the board.  Here are just a few to highlight.  Les Filles du Roi, a production by Fugue Theatre/Raven Theatre/Urban Ink/The Cultch, garnered nine nominations – from lead actors Raes Calvert and Kaitlyn Yott to the creative team and Corey Payette for Outstanding Direction.  Following with 8 nominations was the dark and delicious production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street by The Snapshots Collective.  Director Chris Adams was acknowledged along with the outstanding performances by Warren Kimmel, Colleen Winton, Oliver Castillo and Jonathan Winsby.  Camera Obscura (hungry ghosts) received a total of 7 nominations for the creative team, Lesley Ewen for Direction, and for Outstanding Production by the frank theatre company/Queer Arts Festival. Circle Bright Productions received a total of 6 nods for The 39 Steps with Jay Hindle for the lead role and Ella Simon for supporting role.   Delinquent Theatre’s production of Never the Last was acknowledged with 5 including Original Script, and with Jillian White receiving 2 nods in Lighting Design for this show and Gross Misconduct by SpeakEasy Theatre. The creative team of Slime by The Only Animal (in partnership with The Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity) scored 4 nominations.  Ensemble Theatre Company received a total of 3 nominations that include Chris Lam for his performance in A Prayer for Owen Meany and  two for The Beauty Queen of Leenane, garnering a nod to Tanja Dixon-Warren for her performance in a supporting role. There were an additional twelve theatre company productions in this category that received nominations, all of which are included in the complete list of nominations included below.

In the Theatre for Young Audiences category, Carousel Theatre for Young People garnered a total of 8 nominations with an equal number of nominations for A Charlie Brown Holiday Double Bill with both Emilie Leclerc and Rebecca Talbot acknowledged for their performances, and 4 for their production of Elephant & Piggie’s We Are in a Play noted for Outstanding Production. Kayla Dunbar received a nomination for direction (she also received a nomination Outstanding Movement Direction in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time). Arielle Ballance was nominated for Significant Artistic Achievement for outstanding musical direction and performance in her body of work during the 2018/19 season for A Charlie Brown Holiday Double Bill and Elephant & Piggie’s We are in a Play.   Also, to note, Presentation House Theatre received 5 nominations with 4 going to Jack & and Magic Bean including for Significant Artistic Achievement and also to Giselle Clarke-Trenanam for Holiday Baking Time and Jack and the Magic Bean.

Additional companies who received nominations were:  Raven Spirit Dance for Salmon Girl, Axis Theatre Company for The Troll Grandfather and the production of All My Friends are Animals by Babelle Theatre and Axis Theatre Company.

There will also be a number of additional awards and prizes presented at the award ceremony.  The list includes: the Vancouver Now Representation and Inclusion Award, the Patron of the Arts Award, the Mary Phillips Prize, the Ray Michal Prize for Emerging Director, the Sam Payne Award for the Most Promising Newcomer, the John Moffat & Larry Lillo Award, the Critics’ Choice Innovation Award, and the GVPTA Career Achievement Award.

This year’s 37th annual Jessie Awards will be held at Bard on the Beach on Monday, July 15th in the BMO Mainstage in Vanier Park, doors will open at 5:30pm and the ceremony will begin at 6:30pm.   Following the ceremony, the Awards After Party will be held at Beaumont Studios, 316 W. 5th Avenue.

Holding Space Production is producing the event again this year, creating a fun and swiftly moving event. Tickets are $35 and available at or call 604-739-0559

See the complete list of nominees below. And for further information visit

Media release provided by Bonnie Allan, Bonnie Allan PR.

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