1st Annual STARS Award & 25th Anniversary Gala
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
SHAMBA foundation, 48 Yonge Street, Suite 1200, Toronto
Mixed Company Theatre celebrated the 1st Annual STARS Awards Gala. The Award ceremony celebrated both the Theatre’s 25th Anniversary and the important contributions of Forum Theatre to the broader community, as well as bestowing Recognition Awards to community activists striving to bring about societal change.
Enhanced by artistic performances, a silent auction and cocktail reception, this was an evening to remember and a celebration of positive change in our community.
Proceeds from the Awards Gala will support Mixed Company Theatre’s programs. To donate to a Mixed Company program, click here.
Suhana Meharchand, Master of Ceremony
Host, CBC News Today
Mixed Company Theatre was honoured to have Suhana as the Master of Ceremonies for this Inaugural Awards Gala. Who better to help us honour our past, present and future STARS then a community hero like herself? It is Suhana’s tireless dedication to helping communities, and her drive to support diversity, that makes her a perfect role model, and well suited to team up with Mixed Company Theatre to promote positive change.
The Rising Star Award Committee and Winners – Simon Malbogat, Michael Gibson, Representative from Award Sponsor the Stitt Feld & Handy Group, Award Winner Susie Jaroszewska, Councillor Joe Mihevc and Award Winner Aidan Gowland
Mixed Company Theatre’s Awards
The Rising Star Award – Individual Youth
Presented to a youth (25 and under) who has demonstrated a commitment to educating, engaging, and empowering his/her peers and community to create positive solutions to challenging issues in community, schools, or workplace.
Mr. Aiden Gowland
For over 4 years he has addressed systemic issues such as lack of representation of women’s stories in curriculum, currently working with teachers to develop a course on gender and sexuality. As a production director with Mixed Company’s I.M.P.A.C.T., he fought through physical and mental issues, but remained positive about his activism and art.
Ms. Susie Jaroszewska
Extensively involved in the A.M.Y. Project, a youth theatre-training program, Susie became the first Youth Liaison and mentor. She is a leader by example, identifying with the struggles of the people she works with because she has lived them herself. Spearheading her own arts initiative, Mizz Interpreted, a short documentary on youth arts projects, she developed the tools to help youth create their own projects.
The Shooting Star Award – Organization
Presented to a Mixed Company partner from community, government, or business partner that has demonstrated a commitment to Forum Theatre initiatives and demonstrates a long-term and embedded passion for educating, engaging, and empowering its stakeholders through all of its actions.
Toronto District School Board
The relationship between Mixed Company and Toronto District School Board (TDSB) began twenty years ago with Bad Apples, a Forum Theatre play addressing streaming of students which was a relevant issue in education at that time. Since those early days, Mixed Company has developed a number of theatre pieces that have been brought into schools. The TDSB has welcomed Mixed Company’s focus on themes and issues of relevance to students and shares the company’s commitment to the power of theatre for social change. Mixed Company’s Breaking the Cycle of Violence Educational Tour which encompasses Forum Theatre presentations about sexual and mental health, bullying, homophobia, cultural diversity, substance abuse, and violence is currently underway.
A ‘Top 100 Employer’, Toronto Hydro is a recognized leader in its industry, operating one of the largest municipal electric utilities in Canada. As a ‘Top 100 Employer’, their goal is to provide safe and reliable service to customers while focusing on workplace health and safety, environmental responsibility, operational excellence, sound financial management and community involvement. Considering their greatest asset to be their employees, Mixed Company customized a Forum Theatre presentation to raise awareness about communication in the workplace.
Toronto Police Services Board & Toronto Police Service
The Toronto Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy (TAVIS) initiative builds confidence in a policing structure that supports citizens, creating an open and honest communication in our growing metropolis that promotes safety and pride in our city. With financial support from the Toronto Police Services Board and participation from the Toronto Police Service, Mixed Company partnered with TAVIS to train police officers assigned in Toronto’s priority neighbourhoods. Through these partnerships, Mixed Company Theatre connects with many community groups across Toronto, hearing the voices of those who have experienced gang violence.
The Shining Star Award – Individual/Organization
Presented to a person or organization that has used the power of art in any form to educate, engage, and empower communities for positive change.
Mr. Mike Fuh
Mike Fuh experienced Mixed Company’s use of theatre as a tool for social change through his role as guidance counselor in Toronto District School Board elementary schools, and immediately became one of the company’s key Ambassadors. Mike’s dedication and passion unleashed the positive change Forum Theatre brings to elementary schools across Scarborough. Mike’s efforts have been instrumental in making Showdown and The Bully Show: Clown in the Round readily accessible in Toronto schools.
Mr. Luciano Iogna
In his work with children, teens, adults, women’s groups, unions, and cultural communities, at every fibre of his core, Luc embodies the use of theatre as a tool for positive social change. As writer, actor, and director, he has worked with hundreds of communities worldwide, helping them to find their unique voices. Luc extensively employs Forum Theatre and Theatre of the Oppressed techniques on issues as diverse as AIDS and health, poverty, discrimination, workplace safety, sexual abuse and violence.
Mr. Alex Neumann
As Mixed Company celebrates its 25th Anniversary, November 25 2009 also marks Alex Neumann’s 16th Anniversary of service on their Board of Directors. During his presidency, Alex actively helped eliminate the company’s deficit. An incredibly committed individual, Alex’s calming influence has steered the Company through many challenges, turning them into triumphs.
A Special thanks to our Sponsors: