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Established in 1981 in honour of the former Lieutenant-Governor’s support and patronage of the arts, the Pauline McGibbon Award administered by the Ontario Arts Council, consists of $7,000 from the Ministry of Culture for the province of Ontario and a medal, designed by Dora de Pedry Hunt.

The award is intended to assist a member of Ontario’s theatre community who has displayed a unique talent, a potential for excellence and who is in the early stages of his or her career. The Award rotates in a three-year cycle, honouring a director, a production craft person, or a designer. The recipient is selected by a jury through the Ontario Arts Council of theatre professionals, including actors, directors, and designers. The winner is announced at the Dora Mavor Moore Award ceremony.


Stratford Festival’s Jennifer Wonnacott receives

35th anniversary Pauline McGibbon Award


Toronto, May 30, 2016 – Stratford Festival costume cutter and tailor Jennifer Wonnacott is the recipient of the 2016 Pauline McGibbon Award. She received the award today at the Dora Mavor Moore Awards news conference at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts.

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This year marks the 35th anniversary of the award, created in honour of former Lieutenant Governor Pauline McGibbon. In recognition of the anniversary, the award was introduced by current Lieutenant Governor the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell.


 About Jennifer Wonnacott

  • Jennifer Wonnacott has been a costume cutter at the Stratford Festival for six seasons. Her prior roles at the festival include apprentice cutter and tailor.
  • As Jennifer explains, a costume cutter does more than just cut out fabric: “We act as interpreters for designers by translating their sketches into actual garments through research, pattern drafting and fitting actors.”
  • Jennifer specializes in men’s tailoring, and particularly Elizabethan-era design.
  • She is as passionate about teaching as she is about costume design, working as an instructor in the Technical Costume Studies program at Fanshawe College.
  • Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Fashion Design from Ryerson University.



“An inspired team builder with exceptional skills, Jennifer embodies the collaborative spirit that makes for great theatre,” said the jury. “She is an impressive costume cutter, a strong researcher and a creative problem solver, and she is doing important work sharing knowledge on costume-making.”


 About the Pauline McGibbon Award

  • Established in 1981, the award honours former Lieutenant Governor Pauline McGibbon for her support and patronage of the arts. It includes a $7,000 prize and a medal designed by Dora de Pédery-Hunt.
  • The award is presented to an Ontario-resident professional artist in the early stages of their career who has contributed to the well-being of Ontario’s theatre community, displays unique talent and has the potential for excellence.
  • The award is cyclical in nature: the first year of the three-year cycle, the award goes to a designer, the second year to a director, and the third year to a production craftsperson.

The Pauline McGibbon Award medal, designed by Dora de Pédery-Hunt.



Shoshana Wasser, Communications Coordinator, Ontario Arts Council

416-969-7434 | 1-800-387-0058, ext. 7434 | swasser@arts.on.ca


For more than 50 years, the Ontario Arts Council has played a vital role in promoting and assisting the development of the arts for the enjoyment and benefit of Ontarians. In 2014-15, OAC funded 1,709 individual artists and 1,078 organizations in 204 communities across Ontario for a total of $52.1 million.



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