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& criteria


Awards Consideration Year

*NEW* September 1 to August 31th. If a production spans between two seasons, the producer chooses the season during which the production will be evaluated.

Professional: Individual Artists

In cases where individual artists are not members of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association (CAEA) or Union des Artistes (UdA), a professional is defined by specialized training in the field of theatre OR recognition by one’s peers (artists who work in the same artistic tradition).

Professional: Production Companies

The PRA believes in and supports all efforts that help professional artists earn a living wage. As such, productions will be considered eligible if they respect one of the following production models:

  1. The use of one of the CAEA or UdA agreements

  2. The use of a non-union agreement (profit share, presenter fees or otherwise) with terms similar to those found in CAEA or UdA agreements.

Upon request, a report must be made available to the PRA’s board of directors that clearly indicates all sources of income specific to the project (government funding, foundation grants, ticket sales, etc.) and a complete list of expenses (artists’ salaries, production costs, rentals, etc.). In order to maintain eligibility, a minimum of 30% of all expenses must be demonstrated to be attributed to wages. If requested, the company will have up to 30 days to produce the report following closing night.

Locally produced

“Locally produced” refers to any show produced or co-produced by an Ottawa-Gatineau based company, and presented in Ottawa-Gatineau. This shall apply regardless of where the show is rehearsed and/or built, and regardless of the number of Ottawa-Gatineau based artists participating in the production

Please note that “produced” and “producer” refer to the company who is responsible for creating the show – i.e. assembling the creative team, contracting artists, managing the budget, etc. This is not to be confused with “presented” and “presenter”, which refer to a company which sells the production to an audience. Therefore, a show which is produced by a company from outside this region but presented by a local company (a common practice with touring productions) would not be considered locally produced.

While the PRA guarantees the evaluation of shows created within the limits of the cities of Ottawa and Gatineau, it will endeavor to also evaluate productions submitted by companies situated outside areas serviced by both cities’ transit systems

Production Eligibility

The awards program operates on a policy of self-submission. Any production that wishes to be considered for award purposes must notify the awards committee of their desire for consideration. All productions must be considered “professional” and “locally produced” according to the definitions above.


Submission Procedure

An online submission form is available through A submission form must be completed and submitted, along with a $50 administration fee, payable to Les Prix Rideau Awards. In addition, a minimum block of nine and a maximum block of eleven tickets must be made available to jury members so that they can attend the production. All submissions must be made by June 15th before the upcoming season begining July 1st and ending June 30th. Other requests made 90 days prior to a production will also be considered but evaluation will depend upon the availability of jurors. If a collective or a company not receiving operating funding submits but wishes to withdraw from the competition because of a lack of public funding (project grants), the amount of 50$ will be reimbursed.


Eligibility Committee

The bilingual francophone board members will deal with questions of interpretation with regards to eligibility criteria for English language productions. When there is a question about the eligibility of a production, the Board President will inform the producer and the producer will be asked to write a letter justifying their submission. This letter will be forwarded to the bilingual francophone board members. The President will consult with said members and endeavour to provide a response back to the producer within 72 hours. The recommendation will be based on the Awards Terms & Criteria and the mandate of Prix Rideau Awards, and will take into consideration any precedent that has already been set.


A remount of the same production will not be eligible if the original production was submitted to the Prix Rideau Awards. A “remount” is defined as a production which, once closed, is remounted using the stage manager’s copy of the prompt script and either of the following elements: the original set and costume designer and/or at least fifty percent (50%) of the speaking roles (five lines or more) are played by artists engaged for the original production in the same roles.


Award Categories

Outstanding Production

Outstanding Direction

Outstanding Performance

Outstanding Design

(Set, Costumes, Lighting, Sound / Music Composition, Projections, Puppets, Video, Masks, Make-up, etc.) In emphasizing the desire for inclusivity for many different design disciplines while also recognizing the impossibility of having a separate award category for each of these disciplines, TWO award winners for Outstanding Design will be announced in each consideration year, regardless of the design discipline.


Outstanding New Creation

Awarded to a playwright, theatre company or collective that has produced an original theatrical work created by the playwright, company or collective. The creator must be identified by the producing company on the submission form at the time the production is submitted (subject to verification by Prix Rideau Awards). An adaptation is considered a new creation by the PRA.


Emerging Artist Award

Awarded to an Ottawa-Gatineau based artist of any theatrical discipline whose work has appeared in an eligible production, and who is deemed to be in the first three years of his or her professional theatre career, and who has not already won a Prix Rideau Awards. The period of eligibility begins immediately upon graduation from a formal post-secondary institution, or at start of first professional contract, for artists who did not complete formal training. In order to be eligible for nomination, artists must have a valid mailing address in the region of Ottawa-Gatineau, and must be “professional” as defined in the Definitions section. Artists who are eligible for the Emerging Artist Award must be identified by the producing company on the submission form at the time the production is submitted (subject to verification by Prix Rideau Awards).


Behind “le Rideau”

Examples of eligible candidates may include (but are not limited to): stage managers, technicians, crew members, publicists, administrators, volunteer board members, etc. Letters of nomination received from a producing company must concern a submitted eligible production in a given consideration year. Calls for nominations will go out by June 1st and submissions must be made by July 1st.


Career Achievement

The board of directors may choose to recognize the contribution of a member of the Ottawa-Gatineau Theatre Community with over 30 years experience or a varied and important contribution to the artistic community. Recommendations must be made to the board of directors directly.

Jury Special Mention

The jury may, at its discretion, highlight the work of a production or artist that does not fall into official prize categories. In such a case, the Jury Special Mention does not require 3 or more submissions, but must be agreed upon by the jury.

Jury Procedures

Jury Selection

The board of directors will issue an open call for nominations to the Anglophone and Francophone juries by June 1st of each year. Potential jury members must reside in Ottawa-Gatineau and are nominated both by members of the board of directors and members of the community at large. Jury nominations must be received by June 15th: they will include a curriculum vitae and a complete list of potential conflicts of interest during the upcoming season. Final jury selection of 9 to 11 jurors for the Anglophone jury is made by the bilingual francophone board of director members (please note that bilingual Anglophone board members will choose Francophone jurors and bilingual Francophone board members will choose Anglophone jurors). Every attempt shall be made to ensure that juries consist of local artistic professionals of varying ages, cultural and artistic backgrounds, disciplines, and interests. The identities of jury members will be announced at the annual awards ceremony.

Jury Term

Artist jury members serve for a period of one year, and may submit their names to serve as jurors for subsequent years, but may not serve for more than three years in any five-year period. This includes anglophile (Francophone) artist jury members. All other members will serve up to three years but positions will rotate according to a three year cycle.

Jury Duties

Jury members shall make every attempt to attend every production deemed eligible for awards consideration. Each production will be attended by a minimum of 7 jury members. Attendance may occur at any time during the run of the production (i.e. jurors do not have to attend “opening night”), however preview performances are not eligible for jurying. Ticket stubs and theatrical programs must be kept so that attendance can be independently verified. Jury members must attend a mandatory orientation session at the beginning of their term, and are required to sign a letter of agreement confirming their understanding of their role before attending any productions as a juror.

Conflict of Interest

Jury members must declare a conflict of interest to the Jury Chair for any production where the jury member’s judgement may be influenced by direct or indirect involvement with the production. When a conflict of interest has been declared, the juror will abstain from voting for the production in which the conflict has been identified.

Jury Members

The jury will be made up of 5 to 7 members.

  • 2 to 4 working Anglophone professional artists

  • 1 bilingual Francophone professional working artists

  • 1 theatre specialist, including critics, bloggers, and educators (secondary or college or university levels, or any combination thereof)

  • 1 long time subscriber/connoisseur of professional theatres in Ottawa

Jury Chair

The Board of Directors appoints a person to serve as the Jury Chair. The Jury Chair may, but is not required to, be a member of the jury. The Jury Chair is responsible for:

  1. Coordinating juror attendance for eligible productions (including booking of tickets);

  2. Maintaining a list of eligible productions;

  3. Maintaining a list of jurors who have attended each production;

  4. Maintaining a list of jurors who have declared a conflict of interest for each production;

  5. Ensuring that the minimum of 7 jurors attend each qualifying production Coordinate meeting for deliberation at the end of each season. This meeting may be facilitated by the board President or a Francophone member of the board of directors or a professional selected by the Jury Chair in conjunction with the board President.

Nomination Process

Ballots for voting purposes must be made available to the jurors no later than July 15th of the season following the consideration season. Jury members must submit completed ballots after attending an obligatory deliberation meeting that will be held no later than August 15th. Sealed ballots are collected by the Jury Chair and delivered unopened to independent accountants who tabulate the votes.

Awards Gala

The winners are announced at the annual gala in September or October.

Nomination and Awards Voting Procedures


Nominations for awards in any award category are put forth by jury members, provided that:

  1. nominees meet the eligibility criteria outlined above;

  2. jurors do not nominate productions for which a conflict of interest has been declared;

  3. jurors do not put forth nominations associated with productions that they did not see in their official capacity as a juror.

Lists of productions / artists eligible for those awards which have special eligibility criteria (New Creation, Emerging Artist) will be forwarded to jury members in advance of voting. Jury members who believe this list to be incomplete may, prior to the jury deliberation meeting, ask the jury chair to confirm the status of specific artists or productions. For these awards, nominations may only be made from productions / artists appearing on these lists.

Any award category which receives less than three eligible submissions in a given consideration year will not be voted on or awarded in that year.

Nominations are submitted by secret ballot, wherein jury members rank up to five of their top preferred nominees. There is no minimum number of nominations required (implying that jurors may choose to make NO nomination for a particular award, in an extreme case).

Nominations are scored by independent accountants as follows:

  1. The juror’s first choice in each category is awarded five points;

  2. The juror’s second choice in each category is awarded four points;

  3. The juror’s third choice in each category is awarded three points;

  4. The juror’s fourth choice in each category is awarded two points;

  5. The juror’s fifth choice in each category is awarded one point.

Final scores, which determine the award winners, are tabulated as follows:

  1. Each nominee’s total number of points is divided by the number of eligible jurors who attended the production in question in order to arrive at a final score;

  2. In order for a nomination to stand, nominees must have been put forth by at least 33% of the jurors who attended the production;

  3. Nominees are ranked according to score, in descending order;

  4. The top-scored nominees form the final nomination list. There may be no less than three nominees announced for each category, and no more than five;

  5. The top-scored nominee will become the recipient of the award. In the case of Outstanding Design only, the top two scoring nominees will become the recipients of the two design awards (regardless of design discipline).

The list of final nominations is returned to the steering committee with nominees listed in alphabetical order, without final scores. Top scorers are kept in confidence until the Awards Gala, at which time they are revealed in each category as the award recipients.

Behind le Rideau Nominations

Since it is impossible for a jury to assess this award based upon production attendance, nominations for this award must come from companies submitting eligible productions in a given consideration year or professional artists who have worked directly with the nominees. Letters of nomination outlining the recommended candidate and their reasons for nomination can be sent at any time throughout the year to, but must be received no later than July 1st following the production. The letters will be passed on to jury members as part of their ballot package. Jurors who wish to highlight something they have seen over the course of the season may, at their discretion, nominate people for the Behind the Rideau prize using the same procedure. The jury will vote based ONLY upon these letters of recommendation, using the same scoring process outlined above.

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