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Shoshana Wasser

Associate Director of Public Affairs and Communications
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Joanna Yu honoured with 2017 Pauline McGibbon Award

May 30, 2017

Toronto-based set and costume designer Joanna Yu is the recipient of the 2017 Pauline McGibbon Award. She was presented the award today by Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, at the Dora Mavor Moore Awards news conference.


This award is named for former Lieutenant Governor Pauline McGibbon, in honour of her support and patronage of the arts.

About Joanna Yu

Joanna Yu. Photo: Cylla von Tiedemann
  • Joanna holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) in Theatre Design and Production from York University.
  • She has designed costumes and sets for a variety of performing arts organizations across Ontario. She has also served as an assistant designer at the Stratford Festival (four seasons), the Canadian Opera Company (two seasons), Soulpepper and Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.
  • Joanna is a guest artist/designer at several college- and university-level theatre programs, as well as a guest lecturer at York University.


"Joanna has a passionate vision and unique design aesthetic,” noted the jury. “At the same time, she is deeply sensitive to her colleagues’ needs and the importance of collaboration. This combination allows her to holistically enhance every project she works on."

  Costume design by Joanna Yu
Costume design by Joanna Yu for James and the Giant Peach,
a 2017 Young People’s Theatre production.
Photo: Cylla von Tiedemann

About the Pauline McGibbon Award

  • The Pauline McGibbon Award medal, designed by Dora de Pédery-Hunt.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.