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Sue Balint Honoured with Leonard McHardy and John Harvey Award

SUE BALINT honoured with the 2018 Leonard McHardy and John Harvey Award

Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Krytiuk

The Leonard McHardy and John Harvey Award for Leadership in Administration (LMJH Award) was inaugurated in 2008 and recognizes the important work of theatre, dance and opera administrators. Recipients of the LMJH Award have demonstrated a minimum of 10 years of commitment to the performing arts, in addition to having made an impact on the industry in Toronto. The award is named after Leonard McHardy and John Harvey, the celebrated former owners of Toronto’s Theatrebooks, which they co-founded in 1975. Until its closure in July of 2014, it stood as one of the longest surviving independent bookstores in the country.


The Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA) announced today that this year’s recipient is the exceptionally talented freelance arts producer Sue Balint whose range of skills spans producing, development, marketing, graphic design and dramaturgy. Sue has established herself as a bridge between various communities with a focus on culturally diverse artists and companies. Her work in the Toronto theatre community has been and continues to be transformative.


Ms. Balint began her theatrical career in Toronto as a founding member of Theatrefront (2009-2011, Producer for The Mill (Parts 1-4), seven Dora Awards). An interest in environmental design drew her to a position with visual/media artist Philip Beesley (2012-14) where she led communications and development for his domestic and international interactive multi-media installations, allowing her to hone her skills in international touring, grant writing and project management on a larger scale.


Concurrently, Ms. Balint worked as Director of Development and then Producer for Modern Times Stage Company (2007-2017), steering projects such as The Death of the King and the 2015 premiere of Blood Wedding | Bodas de Sangre (six Dora Awards in co-pro with Aluna Theatre) and the 2017 symposium ‘Beyond Representation: Cultural Diversity of Theatrical Practice.’ She was also Associate Producer for Counting Sheep, a Lemon Bucket Orkestra guerrilla folk opera about the 2014 revolution in Ukraine, which won two 2017 Dora Awards and played the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.


Sue Balint’s most recent and current projects include four years as festival producer for Aluna Theatre’s CAMINOS and RUTAS panamericanas festivals, three years as festival producer for Progress (SummerWorks/The Theatre Centre), and two years as festival producer of Weesageechak Begins to Dance (Native Earth Performing Arts).


Ms. Balint continues to seek out training and professional development opportunities. In 2017, thanks to the OAC’s Compass program, she enrolled in Spanish language classes in order to support her work at Aluna Theatre. Additionally, she engages in opportunities for shared learning and passing on knowledge to emerging arts managers by participating and speaking at numerous industry events, including the Producing Learners Network, The Bellows and CPAMO’s The Gathering, effectively helping to foster the next generation of arts administrators.


Previous winners of the LMJH Award are Mitchell Marcus, Nancy Webster, Sue Edworthy, Meredith Potter, Paul Templin, Leslie Lester, Ghislain Caron, Natasha Parsons, Naomi Campbell and Jim Lefrancois. The LMJH Award is administered by TAPA. Candidates for the LMJH Award are nominated by TAPA members and then reviewed by the LMJH Selection Committee: Sandy Tulloch (Chair), Ghislain Caron, Derrick Chua and John Harvey. The award winner receives a plaque and a cheque for $1,000 through the generous sponsorship of the late Elizabeth Comper.

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