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Theatre director Dillon Orr honoured with 2021 Pauline McGibbon Award

June 16, 2021

Franco-Ontarian director Dillon Orr is the recipient of the 2021 Pauline McGibbon Award. The announcement was made this morning during the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA)’s Dora Ancillary Awards Presentation, which was held online on TAPA’s YouTube channel.

About Dillon Orr

  • Dillon Orr is a Franco-Ontarian stage director and theatrical producer originally from the Detroit River region. Currently, he is the deputy artistic director for the Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario in Sudbury and associate artist for Vox Théâtre in Ottawa.

Dillon Orr

Dillon Orr. (Photo: Giancarlo Cerquozzi)

  • Dillon has directed a diverse selection of productions, co-productions and festivals for various audiences. Directing highlights include Le club des éphémères (Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario, Théâtre français de Toronto), Vaches, The Musical (Créations In Vivo), Toutou (Vox Théâtre) and Jeff Koons (Théâtre du Trillium).
  • Dillon’s work and theatrical point of view are anchored in humour, passion and accessibility, with what he sees as an intrinsically Franco-Ontarian aesthetic.
  • Dillon has received two awards from the Foundation for the Advancement of Francophone Theatre in Canada (la Fondation pour l’avancement du théâtre francophone au Canada). In 2016, he received the Ontario Prize (later renamed the Paulette-Gagnon Prize), and in 2019, he was the co-recipient of the RBC National Award of Excellence for emerging artists.
  • Dillon holds an honours bachelor of arts in theatre from the University of Ottawa and is a graduate of the Artistic Residency program at the National Theatre School of Canada.
Production still from Le club des ephemeres
Production still from Le club des éphémères, directed by Dillon Orr, co-produced by Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario and Théâtre français de Toronto. (Photo : Denys Tremblay)
Production still from Jeff Koons
Production still from Jeff Koons, directed by Dillon Orr, at Théâtre du Trillium. (Photo: Sylvain Sabatié)


The jury was unanimous in selecting Dillon for this award. As they noted, “Dillon is an exciting theatre creator with a clear artistic vision, and is also a strong community leader. We are excited by his plans for intergenerational and new generation Franco-Ontarian theatre.”

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 award is given each year by the Province of Ontario through the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries and is administered by the Ontario Arts Council.
  • 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 winner is selected by a peer assessment jury, which this year consisted of theatre director Sarah Conn (Ottawa), actor Beryl Bain (Puslinch) and actor / theatre director Rouvan Silogix (Thornhill).
The Pauline McGibbon Award medal
 The Pauline McGibbon Award medal, designed by Dora de Pédery-Hunt.
Official portrait of Pauline McGibbon
Official portrait of Pauline McGibbon, by Cleeve Horne.