COC operas, Kinky Boots win big at Dora Maver Moore Awards

Now into its 37th year, the Dora Awards honour excellence in theatre, dance and opera. At Monday night's ceremony in Toronto, the Canadian Opera Company led with eight wins, while the Mirvish production of Kinky Boots took three awards.

Native Earth's solo show Huff also captures multiple trophies

The Canadian Opera Company led the pack with eight wins at the Dora Awards ceremony Monday night in Toronto. The COC's production of Siegfried, seen here with Stefan Vinke in the title role, won the award for outstanding production in the opera division. (Michael Cooper)

Pop musical Kinky Boots and Canadian Opera Company productions of Siegfried and La Traviata led the winners of the 2016 Dora Mavor Moore Awards, which honour excellence in theatre, dance and opera based in Toronto.  

Now in its 37th year, the Doras are like Canada's version of the Tony Awards (or at least the closest version we have to it). Though it may lack Hamilton-style glitz, the honour is an important celebration of powerful stories. 

The celebration also speaks to the state of the Canadian stage in general, with winning productions often embarking on tour or reaching wider audiences with additional runs.

That's the case with Kinky Books, a previous Tony Award-winner in New York. The Toronto version was among the big winners at Monday night's Dora ceremony, snapping up three awards in the musical theatre division.

The Toronto production of Kinky Boots was also among the big winners at the Dora Mavor Moore Awards. (Cylla von Tiedemann/Mirvish/CP )

The Mirvish production, featuring music by pink-haired pop star Cyndi Lauper, won for outstanding production, outstanding male performance (for Alan Mingo Jr.), and for Jerry Mitchell's choreography. 

As for sheer number of wins, the Canadian Opera Company led with eight in total: five for its production of Siegfried — including outstanding production in the opera division — and three for La Traviata.

La Traviata picked up several Dora honours, including best male opera performance for Quinn Kelsey (as Germont) and best female performance for Ekaterina Siurina (as Violetta). (Michael Cooper)

Canadian Stage nabbed four trophies, including outstanding production in the theatre division, for Botticelli in the Fire/Sunday in Sodom, two one-act plays by 28 year-old playwright Jordan Tannahill. Canadian Stage also took the top prize for outstanding dance production for Crystal Pite's Betroffenheit

Betroffenheit, a boundary-stretching hybrid dance and theatre show created by choreographer Crystal Pite and writer Jonathon Young, won a Dora for outstanding dance production. (Panamania)

Indigenous story stands out

It was also a big night for Native Earth Performing Arts, Canada's oldest professional Indigenous theatre company. Under the indie banner, the company's Huff received trophies for outstanding new play, while outstanding male performance went to Cliff Cardinal for the solo show.

The Cree playwright has received critical acclaim for his powerful performance in this gritty piece about three brothers from a troubled family living on a reserve in the 1980s.

The Dora Mavor Moore Award, first presented in 1978, is named for the actor, teacher, director and pioneer of Canadian theatre.

The Dora Mavor Moore Awards are presented annually by the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA). For the 2015-2016 season, a total of 48 awards were handed out. For a complete winner's list, visit www.tapa.ca.

About the Author

Jelena Adzic


Jelena Adzic is a reporter, writer and radio columnist with the CBC Arts Unit. Her eyes light up at the mention of design, visual art and architecture.