Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards

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The trophies handed out at the Jessie Awards

The Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards celebrate and promote the outstanding achievements of the Vancouver Professional Theatre community.

About Jessie Richardson

Jessie Richardson was an extraordinary individual whose supportive involvement in Vancouver theatre spanned over four decades. She began in the 1930s, in the Vancouver Little Theatre Association, where she acted, directed, and designed costumes. In the mid-50s, she helped to form the children’s touring company Holiday Theatre, which later became Playhouse Holiday Theatre. Jessie’s contributions to the growth and vitality of Vancouver’s theatre scene were the foundation on which the current thriving theatre community was built.[]

About The Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards Society

The Jessie Richardson Theatre Award Society is a non-profit charitable organization that exists to celebrate and promote the outstanding achievements of the Vancouver Professional Theatre community by producing the annual Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards. The society was formed in 1997, and took over the production of the Awards Ceremony from the Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance, who had presented it since its beginning in the 1982-83 season. []

Special Awards

John Moffat and Larry Lillo Prize

THE JOHN MOFFAT & LARRY LILLO AWARD is an annual Award, intended to assist mature West Coast theatre artists to further their artistic development, and takes the form of a $2000 dollar cash award. [1]


  • Must be a West Coast resident, or be able to demonstrate a body of work on or related to the West Coast.
  • Must have a minimum of 10 years professional theatre experience. Applicable experience includes but is not limited to the areas of performance, directing, technical, design or stage management.[2]

The Colin Campbell Award for Excellence in Technical Theatre

The Colin Campbell Award for Excellence in Technical Theatre will be awarded annually to an individual at any stage of their career who has displayed excellence and commitment to the field of professional technical theatre in Greater Vancouver through their body of work. Award Recipients will be honored annually at the Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards with a $500 Cash Prize and a certificate.[3]


People currently eligible for this award create and interpret the setting and work in professional theatre in the following positions:

  • Production Manager
  • Stage Manager or Assistant Stage Manager
  • Props Builders, Props Buyers, Props
  • Set Builder
  • Scenic Carpenter
  • Scenic Painter
  • Stage Crew
  • Wig Maker
  • Cutter
  • Sewer
  • Technicians
  • Technical Director
  • Wardrobe Staff
  • Dressers
  • Milliners

And other similar positions not listed above. [4]

Mary Phillips Award

This award was established by Mary’s husband David after Mary succumbed to breast cancer in 1988. Someone who has worked tirelessly “behind the scenes” for the community and yet has never taken a bow; someone who exemplifies the spirit and dedication that was Mary. Mary’s matchless wit and style graced our community while she was publicist for City Stage Theatre from 1978 to 1988.

This winner receives a Jessie statue and is chosen by a committee from the theatre community and David Phillips.[5]