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The 2022 Leonard McHardy and John Harvey Award recipient is

Rebecca Burton

and Idil Djafer Receives the Victor C. Polley Protégé Award

The Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA) announced today that this year’s recipient of the Leonard McHardy and John Harvey Award for Outstanding Leadership in Administration (LMJH Award) is Rebecca Burton. This is an annual award that honours the important contribution of all who work in theatre, dance and opera administration, and who have devoted a minimum of ten years to the performing arts, in addition to impacting the industry in Toronto.

Ms.Burton is a tireless champion of Canadian playwrights through her work as the Membership and Professional Contracts Manager with the Playwrights Guild of Canada and through past projects like Equity in Theatre (2014–2017), PLEDGE, SureFire, and more. Ms. Burton also works as an educator, feminist theatre practitioner, and researcher. She authored the benchmark report, Adding It Up: The Status of Women in Canadian Theatre (2006), which was published in various industry journals. With an established track record for championing women in the arts and equality practices, Ms. Burton has been an integral part of advancing Canadian Theatre.

The Victor C. Polley Protégé Award 2022 recipient is Idil Djafer. The award recognizes the work of emerging arts administrators with a minimum of two years of arts work experience, selected by the LMJH Award laureate. With over four years of arts administration experience, Ms. Djafer worked closely with Ms. Burton at the Playwrights Guild of Canada and currently is the Executive Assistant to Weyni Mengesha, Artistic Director of Soulpepper Theatre Company. In addition to her administrative role, Ms. Djafer is a multidisciplinary conceptual artist focusing on racial, religious and feminist issues.

About the Awards
The LMJH Award was inaugurated in 2008 by the late Elizabeth Comper who named it after Leonard McHardy and John Harvey, the celebrated co-founders of Toronto’s beloved, Theatrebooks (1975-2014). Previous winners of the LMJH Award are Monica Esteves, Sherrie Johnson, Sue Balint, 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: Ghislain Caron (Chair), Kanika Ambrose, Derrick Chua, Michael Sinclair and John Harvey/Leonard McHardy. The award winner receives a plaque and a cheque for $1,000 through the generous sponsorship of the Elizabeth and Tony Comper Foundation.

The Victor C. Polley Award was inaugurated in 1981 by the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts to honour the much-respected arts administration pioneer upon his retirement as Theatre Manager of the facility which he had run since 1972, after a long administrative career at the Stratford Festival that began in 1954. The recipient of the Victor C. Polley Protégé Award, selected by the LMJH Award laureate, receives a $500 prize, made possible through the generous support of the Polley Family.

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