Toronto-based scenic artist Ksenia Ivanova was announced today as the recipient of the 2019 Pauline McGibbon Award. She received the award this morning at the news conference for the Dora Mavor Moore Awards, which took place at the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre.
Ksenia was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. She began her artistic career as a creator, performer and craftsperson with Vasana, a performing arts group specializing in fire theatre and pyrotechnics. Here, she realized her passion for working with designers to turn their visions and concepts into theatrical worlds.
In 2010, Ksenia moved to Canada and enrolled in Humber College’s Theatre Production program. Since graduating in 2013, she has contributed scenic work to more than 100 productions across Ontario.
Progressing from apprentice to key painter, Ksenia now serves as head painter on most of her projects. She has embraced her role as a teacher and mentor, leading her teams with a commitment to creativity and respect.
Companies she has worked with include the Tarragon Theatre, the Stratford Festival, Soulpepper, Crow’s Theatre, the Factory Theatre and the Coal Mine Theatre.
Ksenia has also done production work for commercial displays and several Canadian television shows.
The jury was unanimous in selecting Ksenia for this award. As they noted, “Ksenia inspires us with the powerful positivity and leadership she brings to her work. Though still in the early stages of her career, she already demonstrates excellent team-building and mentoring skills that will ensure a strong next generation of theatre creators.”
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 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.