To celebrate this year’s honorees, check out a video recording of the awards presentations here.
Victoria Bertram is a character artist who has gone above and beyond in supporting other artists, whether through advocacy, mentorship, or the legacy she has created.
In recognition of Victoria’s professionalism, mentorship and heartfelt enthusiasm for life and the art of dance throughout her 47-year career with the National Ballet of Canada, we are delighted to award her Life Membership.
Stephen Heatley is a director, an actor, a dramaturge, a playwright, and an educator.
Stephen has an acclaimed track record of shepherding new Canadian works into being during his tenure at Theatre Network and the legacy he continues to grow as the Head of the Theatre and Film Department at University of British Columbia. In recognition of Stephen's extraordinary career, we are delighted to award him Life Membership.
Elley-Ray Hennessy has performed in hundreds of theatrical productions in her exceptional 40-year career.
As a supporter of young artists, Elley has volunteered her time to inspire and mentor emerging performers and production companies – promoting the next generation of Canadian creators. She is truly deserving of Life Membership.
Stan Lesk's career began over 50 years ago in Toronto. But it was Winnipeg where Stan decided to make his home, raise a family, and put together an impressive 37-year career as a theatre professional.
Stan has been an actor, a mentor, a teacher, an ambassador of theatre education, and a staunch supporter of the arts in Manitoba. We are honoured to award him Life Membership.
Joysanne Sidimus has dedicated her life to the world of dance for over 50 years. She has been a performer, a choreographer, an author, and an activist. She also happens to be a Governor General Award recipient as well.
As the founder of the Dancer Transition Resource Centre and the driving force behind the establishment of the Artists' Health Centre, Joysanne has worked passionately to help improve artists' lives. We are ecstatic to award her Honorary Membership.
Larry McCance Award
Keith Davidson was a vibrant presence in the Equity office for nearly three decades, working tirelessly in support of the membership – attentively listening to concerns and passionately speaking on members' behalf. He was an artist himself, and perhaps that is why the work he did meant so very much to him.
Sadly, Keith passed away four years ago. But we are very pleased to take this opportunity to honour the legacy Keith left behind by awarding him the Larry McCance award.
List of Past Honorees
Life Membership - is awarded to a member of Canadian Actors' Equity Association who has made an outstanding contribution to the performing arts within Equity's jurisdiction. It recognizes not only career achievement, but also colleagues who have gone "above and beyond" in other ways that contribute to the benefit of either Equity or its members.
- 1975 - Jane Mallett
- 1976 - Herman Geiger-Torel, Hamish Robertson, Herbert Whittaker
- 1977 - Mervyn (Butch) Blake, Dora Mavor Moore, Dennis Sweeting
- 1978 - Robert Christie, Gratien Gelinas
- 1979 - Sam Payne, Arnold Spohr
- 1980 - Paul Kligman
- 1982 - Donald Davis
- 1983 - Lois Smith
- 1984 - Amelia Hall
- 1986 - Maureen Forrester
- 1987 - George Luscombe
- 1988 - Jean Gascon, Barry Morse
- 1990 - Jack Merigold
- 1991 - Dan MacDonald
- 1993 - Evelyn Hart
- 1994 - Douglas Campbell
- 1995 - Joy Coghill
- 1996 - Jean-Louis Roux
- 1997 - William Hutt
- 1998 - Antony Holland, William Needles
- 1999 - Lotfi Mansouri
- 2000 - John Neville
- 2001 - Frances Hyland
- 2002 - Tony Van Bridge
- 2003 - Tibor Feheregyhazi
- 2004 - Doreen Brownstone, Irving Guttman
- 2005 - Gordon Pinsent, Charmion King
- 2006 - Malcolm Black, Henry Woolf
- 2007 - Jackie Richardson, Gordon Tootoosis
- 2008 - Lloy Coutts, Bernard Hopkins
- 2009 - Martha Henry, Nora Polley
- 2010 - Elsa Bolam, Grant Reddick
- 2011 - Thomas Peacocke, Joyce Doolittle
- 2012 - Evelyne Anderson, Marti Maraden
- 2013 - Philip Akin, Janet Irwin, Kenneth Welsh,
- 2015-2016 - Ted Follows, Jennifer Phipps, Kathryn Shaw, Greg Wanless
- 2017-2018 - Bill Millerd, Chick Reid
- 2020 - Judith Forst, Mary Morrison, Christopher Newton
Larry McCance Award - is presented to an Equity member in good standing or to a former staff member who has made an outstanding contribution to the Association and distinguished themselves through activity in the service of Equity and its members, beyond consideration of personal benefit.
- 1982 - Burnard Chadwick
- 1983 - Peg Harmon
- 1984 - Vernon Chapman
- 1986 - Dan MacDonald
- 1987 - Sandy Webster
- 1988 - Walter Massey
- 1990 - Helen Simpson-Baikie
- 1991 - Barbara Chilcott, Desmond Scott
- 1993 - Kenneth Wickes
- 1994 - Araby Lockhart
- 1995 - Christopher Marston
- 1996 - A. Frank Ruffo
- 1997 - Jeff Braunstein
- 1998 - Patricia Carroll Brown
- 1999 - Richard Hurst
- 2000 - Winston Morgan
- 2001 - Ron Haney
- 2002 - John MacMaster
- 2003 - Jane Heyman, Garry Goddard
- 2004 - Terry Tweed
- 2005 - Brenda Kamino
- 2006 - Sharon Bakker
- 2007 - Daphne Goldrick
- 2008 - Louis-Marie Bournival
- 2009 - Barbara Gordon
- 2010 - Susan E. Wallace
- 2011 - Sandy Winsby
- 2012 - Dawn Obokata
- 2013 - Don Wright
- 2020 - Douglas Irons, Allan Teichman
Honorary Membership - is awarded to a non-member of Equity who has made an outstanding contribution to the Association and/or its members, or to the performing arts.
- 1980 - Norma Springford
- 1982 - Tom Patterson
- 1983 - Dorothy Somerset
- 1984 - Laura Legge
- 1985 - Art Eggleton
- 1986 - Pauline McGibbon
- 1987 - Heather McCallum
- 1990 - Nicholas Goldschmidt
- 1991 - Floyd S. Chalmers
- 1993 - Brian Paisley
- 1994 - David and Edwin Mirvish
- 1995 - Keith Kelly
- 1996 - David Spencer
- 1997 - Walter Carsen
- 1999 - David and Margaret Fountain
- 2000 - Margaret Mooney
- 2001 - Kathleen M. Richardson
- 2002 - Andis Celms
- 2003 - Jacqueline Shumiatcher
- 2004 - Dr. Martha Cohen
- 2005 - Wendy Lill
- 2006 - Cherry Karpyshin
- 2007 - Tomson Highway
- 2008 - Derrick Chua
- 2009 - Susan Benson
- 2010 - Frank Glenfield
- 2011 - Don and Della Greer
- 2012 - Martha Lou Henley
- 2013 - Gail Asper
- 2015-2016 - Barbara Fingerote
- 2020 - Charles Huband
The Stage West - Equity Emerging Theatre Artist Award - honouring professionalism and artistic excellence is presented biannually to a theatre performer who has been a member of the Association for less than three years. This award went on hiatus 2012 to 2016. In 2017 Equity and Stage West Theatres partnered again, creating a reinvented award with a new focus on emerging artists who have made a significant contribution to culturally specific work (in Canada).
- 2002 - Philip Sarsons
- 2003 - Lucia Frangione
- 2004 - Michael Scholar Jr.
- 2005 - Skye Brandon
- 2006 - Carson Nattrass
- 2007 - Andrew Kushnir
- 2008 - Kawa Ada
- 2009 - Donna Soares
- 2010 - Bethany Jillard
- 2011 - Judy Wensel
- 2012 - Mayahuel Tecozautla
- 2017-2018 - Ryan G. Hinds
The Equity Award of Distinction was created for Council to express appreciation on an occasional basis. It may be given to an organization, individual, or group of individuals (excluding current staff), in recognition of a significant contribution benefiting the Equity membership.
- 2011 - Dancer Transition Resource Centre
- 2013 - Stage Managing the Arts (SMArts)
- 2017-2018 - The AFC
- 2018-2019 - Lisa Brown, Workman Arts Theatre
- 2020 - Diana Bentley, Kristin Booth, Patricia Fagan, Hannah Miller
Past Honours Events