Theatre Community at the 2009 Jessie Awards

by Kenji Maeda on June 17, 2009

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June 15 2009. Monday evening. Walking along Granville St in downtown Vancouver. Walking past people who had no clue that some of the most talented theatre professionals and an abundance of theatre lovers were culminating in the second floor venue, Commodore Ballroom.

I admit that it was the first time I attended the Jessie Awards and I didn’t know what to expect. Heading into the ballroom, the room was abuzz. It was like a family reunion for some — the kind of family you want to hang out with. I said hi to some familiar faces like Lori Triolo (Cold Reading Series) and Paul Armstrong (Celluloid Social Club) and introduced myself to some new faces, like Simon Ogden (The Next Stage Mag). Simon and I had exchanged tweets on twitter before so it was nice to meet him in person.

Even though we were there for the awards ceremony, I didn’t feel the sense that it was all about competition between theatre professionals or companies. It truly felt like a gathering of people to celebrate what theatre has to offer the community.

Simon said it well on his blog:

I saw people basking in the glow of community. I saw a room full of people who don’t make very much money off of the thing that they love, and celebrating it anyway. I saw revered community members proud of the industry they have created, and young professionals proud of the industry they are creating.

Community. Community. Community. I try to push the importance as much as possible for the film and theatre community. Without each other we will not be able to build a sustainable and thriving local industry. We need to work together to build that community which can be recognized around the world.

For a list of winners, you can go to www.jessies.ca . Or even better, Simon (@thenextstagemag) and I (@kenjimaeda) live-tweeted the event throughout the evening. You can check out the tweetcast here.

Congratulations to all the nominees and winners of the 27th Jessie Richardson Awards.

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