As spring winds down into summer in Calgary and the professional stages go dark, all is not quiet on the theatre front. Listen carefully and you can hear the approaching sounds of theatrical backs being slapped, performance toasts being given and stage bows being taken for recognition.
All this of course is to say that the theatre award season is upon us and this year Calgary will boast not just the venerable and beloved Betty Mitchell Awards, but also the first annual Calgary Critics’ Awards aka the Critters.
The timelines are a bit different as are the scope and criteria, but both awards aim to accomplish the same thing. To celebrate and honour the great performances and people who have made going to the theatre in Calgary this last year a pleasure.
First up on the calendar are the nominations for the 2012 Betty Mitchell Awards which will be announced at The Auburn Saloon on Tuesday, July 3rd at 4 p.m.
The nominations announced at this event are the product of a 12-member Nominating Committee. Ballots containing all nominees are, from this event forward, distributed for voting to the Nominating Committee and to any member of the theatre community or general public who has seen 25 of the eligible productions. Voters are asked to mail their completed ballots back to the Betty folks who then tabulate the winners in each category.
Next up will be the announcement of the Critter nominees on July 18. Bob Clark and Stephen Hunt from the Calgary Herald, Louis B. Hobson from the Sun and yours truly have been busily combing through our reviews from this past year to see who we wish to recognize in our 14 categories. A full list of nominees will be published in this space on that day, so be sure to check back to see if you, someone you know, or someone you saw perform receives a nomination.
It’s been a jam-packed theatre season this year – and I’m both honoured and excited to watch and participate in the accolades given to this year’s many creative and deserving theatre artists.