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Ontario Arts Council (OAC)
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Pauline McGibbon Award


The Pauline McGibbon Award was established in 1981 to honour former Lieutenant-Governor Pauline McGibbon for her support and patronage of the arts. The monetary award is given each year by the Province of Ontario through the Ministry of Culture and includes a medal designed by Dora de Pedery Hunt. The award is presented to a member of Ontario’s professional theatre community in the early stages of his or her career who has displayed a unique talent and a potential for excellence.


  • Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada
  • Resident of Ontario
  • Professional artist
  • Theatre—designer/director/production craftsperson


Award selection is based on the following cycle:

  • Designer
  • Director
  • Production craftsperson

Selection Procedure

An award committee composed of up to five recognized Canadian theatre professionals is responsible for nominating the candidates and selecting the award winner.

The Ontario Arts Council manages the selection process.

The OAC awards office does not accept unsolicited nominations for this award.



Award Amount

  • $7,000


Pauline McGibbon, born in Sarnia, Ontario, in 1910, was an educator, volunteer, cultural and business leader and in 1974 became the first woman in the British Commonwealth to represent the Queen as Ontario’s lieutenant-governor.

She was the first woman to be chancellor of the University of Toronto and president of their Alumni Association, the first woman governor of Upper Canada College, president of the Canadian Conference of the Arts, the first president of the Children’s Film Library, vice-president of the Canadian Association for Adult Education, director of both IBM Canada and Mercedes-Benz Canada Inc., chair of the Board of Directors for the National Theatre School, president of the Dominion Drama Festival, chair of the Board of Trustees of the National Arts Centre and a member of the Canada Council. In 1980 McGibbon was named a companion of the Order of Canada.