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Ontario Arts Council


Shoshana Wasser

Communications Coordinator (Government & Media Relations)
Toll-free in Ontario: 1-800-387-0058, ext. 7434

Stratford Festival’s Jennifer Wonnacott receives 35th anniversary Pauline McGibbon Award

May 30, 2016

Stratford Festival costume cutter and tailor Jennifer Wonnacott is the recipient of the 2016 Pauline McGibbon Award. She received the award today at the Dora Mavor Moore Awards news conference at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts.

This year marks the 35th anniversary of the award, created in honour of former Lieutenant Governor Pauline McGibbon. In recognition of the anniversary, was introduced by current Lieutenant Governor the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell.


Jennifer Wonnacott

Jennifer Wonnacott
Photo: Lori Anne Franklin

Jennifer Wonnacott costume

Costume cut by Jennifer Wonnacott, worn by Tom Rooney as Tranio in The Taming of the Shrew (Stratford Festival, 2015).
Photo: David Hou.

About Jennifer Wonnacott

  • Jennifer Wonnacott has been a costume cutter at the Stratford Festival for six seasons. Her prior roles at the festival include apprentice cutter and tailor.
  • As Jennifer explains, a cutter does more than just cut out fabric: “We act as interpreters for designers by translating their sketches into actual garments through research, pattern drafting and fitting actors.”
  • Jennifer specializes in men’s tailoring, and particularly Elizabethan-era design.
  • She is as passionate about teaching as she is about costume design, working as an instructor in the Technical Costume Studies program at Fanshawe College.
  • Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Fashion Design from Ryerson University.


"An inspired team builder with exceptional skills, Jennifer embodies the collaborative spirit that makes for great theatre,” said the jury. “She is an impressive costume cutter, a strong researcher and a creative problem solver, and she is doing important work sharing knowledge on costume-making.”

About the Pauline McGibbon Award

  • Established in 1981, the award honours former Lieutenant Governor Pauline McGibbon for her support and patronage of the arts. It includes a $7,000 prize and a medal designed by Dora de Pédery-Hunt.

    The Pauline McGibbon Award medal

  • The award is presented to an Ontario-resident professional artist in the early stages of their career who has contributed to the well-being of Ontario's theatre community, displays unique talent and has the potential for excellence.
  • The award is cyclical in nature: the first year of the three-year cycle, the award goes to a designer, the second year to a director, and the third year to a production craftsperson.
  • The award is given each year by the Province of Ontario through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport and is administered by the Ontario Arts Council.
  • See a list of past recipients.