The Dora Mavor Moore Awards, named for Dora Mavor Moore and presented by TAPA, were founded on December 13, 1978 by a committee convened by Millie Drain. On that date Drain and the other founders, (Ann Antkiw, Ronald Bryden, Bill Glassco, Graham Harley, Leon Major, Sean Mulcahy, Peter Peroff, Heinar Piller, Susan Rubes, Pat Stewart and Sylvia Tucker), decided to institute an award to recognize outstanding achievements in Toronto theatre.

Today the Doras honour the creators of over 200 theatre, dance and opera productions annually in 48 categories over 6 major Divisions: General Theatre, Independent Theatre, Musical Theatre, Theatre for Young Audiences, Dance and Opera. The awards in each division are voted on by a jury of eight to ten individuals drawn from the professional performing arts community. Each recipient receives a bronze statue cast from an original by Toronto sculptor John Romano.

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