The Winners Are In: Rounding Up the 2017 Jessie Awards

2017 Jessie Award winners Adele Noronha and Laara Sadiq in Touchstone Theatre's Brothel #9 | Image: The Cultch

2017 Jessie Award winners Adele Noronha and Laara Sadiq in Touchstone Theatre's Brothel #9 | Image: The Cultch

The 35th Annual Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards (the Jessies), recognizing excellence in Vancouver theatre, were held June 26 at the Commodore Ballroom. The awards are divided into three categories – Large Theatre, Small Theatre and Theatre for Young Audiences – along with a variety of special awards.

In the Large Theatre category, Arts Club Theatre Company won the most awards at five, with three going to their production of Angels in America: Millennium ApproachesBard on the Beach's Pericles and Touchstone Theatre's Brothel #9 also received three Jessies apiece. Of special note to the Alliance, board member Rohit Chokhani won the Jessie Award for Outstanding Work in Expanding the Diversification of Vancouver Theatre through Excellence in Festival Programming for his work with Diwali Fest.

In Small TheatreRealwheels led the pack, boasting three wins for their production, Creeps, including a Significant Artistic Achievement award for Outstanding Ensemble Performance. The remaining awards were spread out amongst seven other companies. Theatre for Young Audiences boasted a similarly diverse spread, with Axis Theatre Company and The Little Onion Puppet Company tying for first with a pair of awards each.

The BC Alliance for Arts + Culture congratulates all of this year's winners and nominees. Please see below for a full list of 2017 Jessie Award Winners.

Large Theatre Category

  • Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Lead Role: Damien Atkins, Angels in America: Millennium Approaches (Arts Club Theatre Company)
  • Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Lead Role: Adele Noronha, Brothel #9 (Touchstone Theatre)
  • Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Valin Shinyei, Billy Elliot: The Musical (Arts Club Theatre Company)
  • Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role: Laara Sadiq, Brothel #9 (Touchstone Theatre)
  • Outstanding Lighting Design: John Webber, Pericles (Bard on the Beach)
  • Outstanding Set Design: Drew Facey, Brothel #9 (Touchstone Theatre)
  • Outstanding Costume Design: Carmen Alatorre, Pericles (Bard on the Beach)
  • Outstanding Sound Design or Original Composition: Torquil Campbell and Alessandro Juliani, Angels in America: Millennium Approaches (Arts Club Theatre Company)
  • Outstanding Direction: Lois Anderson, Pericles (Bard on the Beach)
  • Outstanding Production: Angels in America: Millennium Approaches (Arts Club Theatre Company)
  • Significant Artistic Achievement: Rohit Chokhani (Diwali Fest)

Small Theatre Category

  • Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Lead Role: Kyle Jespersen, The Fighting Season (Bleeding Heart Theatre)
  • Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Lead Role: Alexandra Lainfiesta, Green Lake (Solo Collective)
  • Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Ashley O'Donnell, Flare Path (The Slamming Door Artist Collective)
  • Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role: Yoshié Bancroft, Ithaka (dream of passion productions & Excavation Theatre)
  • Outstanding Lighting Design: Itai Erdal, O’wet/Lost Lagoon (Alley Theatre)
  • Outstanding Set Design: Lauchlin Johnston, Creeps (Realwheels Theatre)
  • Outstanding Costume Design: Carmen Alatorre, Walt Whitman's Secret (the frank theatre company)
  • Outstanding Sound Design or Original Composition: Troy Slocum, The Pipeline Project (ITSAZOO Productions and Savage Society in association with Neworld TheatreGateway Theatre)
  • Outstanding Direction: Rachel Peake, Green Lake (Solo Collective)
  • Outstanding Production: Creeps (Realwheels Theatre)
  • Significant Artistic Achievement: Paul Beckett, David Bloom, Genevieve Fleming, Brett Harris, David A. Kaye, Aaron Roderick and Adam Grant Warren, Creeps (Realwheels Theatre)

Theatre for Young Audiences

  • Outstanding Performance: Randi Edmundson and Jess Amy Shead, Freddie in the Neighbourhood (The Little Onion Puppet Company)
  • Outstanding Design: Frank Radar and Barbara Clayden, Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch (Axis Theatre Company)
  • Outstanding Artistic Creation: Chris McGregor, Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch (Axis Theatre Company)
  • Outstanding Production: Freddie in the Neighbourhood (The Little Onion Puppet Company)
  • Significant Artistic Achievement: Baking Time (Presentation House Theatre)

Special Awards

  • Outstanding Original Script: Dorothy Dittrich, The Piano Teacher (Arts Club Theatre Company)
  • Georgia Straight Critic’s Choice Innovation Award: Revolutions (Fight with a Stick)
  • Vancouver NOW Representation and Inclusion Award: Chris Gatchalian
  • Patron of the Arts Award: Bryan Searle and Patrice Savoie
  • Mary Phillips Prize for Behind-the-Scenes Achievement: Angie Descalzi
  • Sam Payne Award for the Most Promising Newcomer: Olivia Hutt
  • John Moffat & Larry Lillo Prize: Valerie Sing Turner
  • GVPTA Career Achievement Award: Marsha Sibthorpe
  • Sydney Risk Prize: Quelemia Sparrow
  • Colin Campbell Award for Excellence in Technical Theatre: Sarah Marchant
  • Ray Michal Prize for Most Promising New Director: Jamie King

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