When are the 2017 Jessie Richardson Awards?

The awards ceremony is always held on a Monday in June, and the nominations party on a Tuesday in May.  The Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards Ceremony will be held at the Commodore Ballroom, 868 Granville Street, on Monday, June 26, 2017.

What are the Jessie Richardson Awards?

The Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards are Vancouver’s professional theatre awards. Our mission is to celebrate excellence in professional theatre and to educate the public about Vancouver’s fantastic theatre scene

Who runs the Jessies?

The Jessies are run by the Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards Society (JRTAS), a non-profit society run by a volunteer board of directors. This board is made up of theatre professionals from all fields within the industry who work to produce the awards show.

A branch of the JRTAS is the Jessies Review Committee (the JRC). The JRC manages the independent juries who see and vote on shows, as well as company memberships and show registrations.

The juries are selected by invitation, intended to represent a diverse section of the professional theatre community. There are four juries: Large Theatre, Small Theatre, Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA), and the script reading jury for new plays.

How are winners chosen?

Winners are chosen via a secret ballot by the juries. At the end of each season (running May-April), the juries meet to vote. Each juror is able to vote for up to five nominees in each category, which are tabulated using a weighted scale. The votes are tallied by Price Waterhouse Cooper to ensure accuracy and confidentiality.

How can I get involved?

You can volunteer for the JRTAS board or JRC if you are interested in helping shape and run the awards, or if you are simply interested in lending your skillset you can volunteer for a sub-committee without joining the board itself.

How do I become a jury-member?

Juries are selected between February and March of every year. If you are interested in joining a jury, you may submit your name for consideration by emailing the JRC Chair.

Which shows does the jury see?

It depends on which jury they are on. The Large Theatre jury attends all shows that are registered in the large theatre category. Similarly, Small Theatre and TYA jury members will see those productions. The script reading jury is not obligated, but is encouraged, to attend productions for eligible scripts.

Shows are only attended by the jury if the company is a member of the Jessies and if the show is eligible and registered.

Can anyone attend the awards event?

Yes! Tickets are available through Ticketmaster and we love to see every member of the theatre community – from artist to administrator to audience – in attendance.

Why wasn’t I nominated?

There are many factors that determine who receives a nomination. The number one factor generally boils down to the competition – there are up to 60 eligible productions in a given category, and because of the volume of outstanding work in Vancouver’s theatre scene, there are often many artists we would love to recognize but can’t. There is a limit to 5 nominees in each category, or up to 10 for Significant Artistic Achievement.

Why aren’t there any musical numbers at the awards show?

As all theatre producers understand, bringing professional artists together to perform on stage is very expensive. The Jessies do our best to run a professional and fun event while keeping our costs low, and the cost of bringing performers together for musical numbers if very high.

Where does the ticket revenue go?

Ticket revenue goes directly to pay for the cost of the awards show.

Why do nominees have to pay for awards show tickets?

Unfortunately, due to the high cost of running the Jessie Awards, we are unable to offer free tickets to all our nominees. In fact, the Jessies gives out very few complimentary tickets! Companies get “free” tickets that are covered by the cost of their registration fees, and many companies choose to share their tickets with their nominated artists. It may interest you to know that even board members directors pay for their tickets to the show!

We do offer reduced-price tickets to our nominees, available for cash sale at the nominations party or, after that, sold at the Pacific Theatre box office for $23 each. Check the Pacific Theatre website for information on their location and hours.