The Sterling Awards were created in 1987 to celebrate outstanding professional theatre in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. They are named in honour of Elizabeth Sterling Haynes, director, actress, educator and architect of innumerable theatre programs and schools throughout the province. As renowned western playwright Gwen Pharis Ringwood wrote, Elizabeth was a force, a creative energy unleashed at a time when creativity was suspect and at a place where creativity was often ignored in the hope that it would go away....Her theatre exists in the people whose lives she touched.

We seek to honour the outstanding legacy of Mrs. Haynes every season here in one of Canada’s most vibrant theatre cities. Click around above, check out our updated archives in History, biographies of Mrs. Haynes. Margaret Mooney and Ross Hill as well as our Sterling guidelines and contacts.


Celebrating the Professional Theatre in Edmonton

Top right: 2014 Sterling Gala hosts Beth Graham and Andrew MacDonald-Smith

Top to bottom above: Thomas Peacocke gives Patricia Casey her Sterling for Outstanding Contribution to Theatre in Edmonton, 2008

Elizabeth Sterling Haynes

2014 presenters; Edmonton’s own first lady Sarah Chan and beloved actor/improvisor/voice artist Mark Meer

Leah Paterson, Amber Bissonnette and Jason Hardwick perform Tap Your Troubles Away from musical nominee Mack and Mabel at the 2014 Sterling Gala.

The 27th Annual Sterling Gala was Monday June 30th, 2014!

Click Here for the 2014 Nominees and Recipients!

  1. PricewaterhouseCoopers & the 2014 Sterling Committee are proud to present the 27th Annual Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Awards, celebrating the professional theatre in Edmonton.

  1. The Sterling Awards were created in 1987 to enhance the profile of live professional theatre and bring about a greater awareness of the performing arts in this remarkably dynamic city. Elizabeth Sterling Haynes, or Mrs. Haynes as she was known to her many students, was a pioneer in the development of theatre and theatre education in Alberta, and is the perfect example of the dedication and achievement we seek to celebrate.

• The 27th Annual Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Awards will take place at The Mayfield Dinner Theatre, 16615 - 109 Avenue on Monday June 30th beginning at 4:30pm for cocktails with dinner at 5:00pm and show promptly at 6:30pm.After the show we will celebrate with dancing and regaling ‘till all hours! The post-Gala bash is again sponsored by the fine people at Krush Ultra Lounge, just across the street with the whole club reserved just for all the Sterling Gala attendees!

• The show will be directed by Belinda Cornish and Jason Hardwick and written by Belinda Cornish and Jana O’Connor. Excerpts and montages by Mat Busby. Stage manager is Adam Beckett and Carmon Arlett will be production manager.

• This year’s Sterling Hosts will be putting together a sensational evening with our creative team: we’re delighted to announce that this years gala will be hosted by one of our finest, funniest and busiest actors, song and dance man Andrew MacDonald-Smith and a true theatre auteur, writer, actor, singer our beloved multi-Sterling winner Beth Graham.

• Tickets are $65+GST, include full buffet, a spectacular show & dance, and are available by calling the Mayfield Dinner Theatre box office (780-483-4051) starting Tuesday June 3rd.

• Questions? Interviews? Need more info? E-mail us at or call Judy Unwin at 780-484-6003. Or... log on to our website:

The Sterling Award for Lifetime Achievement

Jean-Pierre Fournier, Fight Director, Director, Actor

Jean-Pierre holds a BFA in Acting and an MFA in Directing from the University of Alberta. He is an Associate Professor of the Performance (Acting) stream with the Theatre Department at Mount Royal University, in Calgary,Alberta. He has taught fencing and stage combat at the University of Alberta Theatre Department since 1974.

He is into his 43rd year as an actor, fight director, director and teacher. He is the Maitre d’Armes of Fight Directors, Canada (FDC) and one of its founding directors. He was awarded the prestigious Paddy Crean Award at the Banff Centre’s International Paddy Crean Stage Combat Workshop for his influence and promotion of the historical study of Stage Combat at the International level. Jean-Pierre has taught across Canada, the United States, England, Belgium, and Norway with students from around the globe. Fight direction has enabled him to work with theatre, film and television, opera and the ballet, in schools, colleges, universities and communities across a wide spectrum of arts organizations. His

work at the Stratford Festival in Ontario, Canada from 1986 to 1988, afforded him the opportunity to work with Paddy Crean for three years.There, they taught countless actors’ workshops together for the company.

During the last 43 years, Jean-Pierre has continued the work across Canada and abroad. He is an Honourary Fellow of the British Academy of Dramatic Combat. Here at home he is affectionally known as J-P, and when he is not inspiring students and professionals alike in the classroom and the rehearsal hall, he is in the house seats bearing witness to countless performances and supporting our theatre community and those across the province. And afterward, J-P is often the first to visit backstage sharing goodwill and wisdom.The 2014 Sterling Committee is thrilled to recognize the amazing and ongoing career of J-P Fournier.

The Margaret Mooney Award for Outstanding Achievement in Administration

Troy Funk

This year’s recipient has been a tireless advocate for Edmonton’s arts community for the past twenty years, using his boundless energy, good will and creativity to build public and media relations for numerous theatres across the city.Victoria School, Phoenix Theatre, Azimuth Theatre, to name but a few, have benefited from his expertise, as well as, under the banner of Bottom Line Productions, touring companies such as the Ukrainian Shumka dancers, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and Edmonton’s International Street Performers’ Festival. He also brought

his invaluable media mastery to the halls of the Citadel Theatre, before, in 2001, joining the International Children’s Festival at the

Arden Theatre, where he has been ever since, employing his inexhaustible commitment and imagination to do everything from booking acts to media relations to overseeing conferences to scheduling and managing over 300 performances each festival. Somehow, he also manages to find time to stage manage the odd fringe show or cabaret.

His dedication to our theatre community is truly remarkable, and the 2014 Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Awards Committee is delighted to honour Troy Funk.

The Ross Hill Award for Outstanding Achievement in Production

Barbara Becker

For nearly forty years Barbara has been a dedicated and hugely valued part of our theatre family. Her talents are as prodigious as they are varied, and the depth of her experience inspires us all. Barbara first walked into the Citadel Theatre in 1975 when she was only 17 years old and in many ways has never left. She is a skilled scenic painter and properties builder and when not resident at our city’s largest and oldest playhouse, has shared those talents with Stage West (now The Mayfield Dinner Theatre) in the mid-70s and Theatre Calgary from 1979 to 1982, freelancing all the while.

Barbara is a member of our very own IATSE local 210 and is presently at the Citadel as Wardrobe Maintenance and Fabricator.

Her first show with the Citadel was Cole Porter’s joyous all-singing all-dancing Anything Goes in 1975.A fitting beginning to a long and still-vibrant career.

The 2014 Sterling Committee is thrilled to honour Barbara Becker with the Ross Hill Award for Career Achievement in Production.

A Special Sterling
for Outstanding Innovation in the Theatre

The National Elevator Project
Theatre Yes!

In October of 2013 a remarkably intrepid and thoroughly unexpected piece of theatre exploded onto the performing arts scene in our city.Then, in January of 2014, it happened again. In both its editions,The National Elevator Project, produced by Theatre Yes!, took theatre-goers and artists alike into that most intimate and surprising of venues, the elevators of downtown Edmonton, and in the meantime produced one of the most original and inventive collaborations ever in a community with a very long history of innovation indeed. Bringing together writers of every level of experience from across the city, the province and the country, each with a new five minute fully produced play, with dozens of actors, designers, directors, and commissioned companies,The National Elevator Project was an ambitious, exciting and phenomenally enterprising theatrical experiment. It was a testament to the diligence of every participant, but especially to the spirit, determination and artistic fearlessness of its proud parent, Heather Inglis.

The Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Awards Committee is delighted to honour Theatre Yes! and The National Elevator Project

2014 Sterling Committee

Brian Bast, Belinda Cornish, Kristi Hansen, Jason Hardwick, Jeff Haslam, Mathew Hulshof, Judy Unwin

Show Committee 2014

Belinda Cornish, Mathew Hulshof, Jason Hardwick, Pat Burden, Adam Beckett

Our Sterling Sponsors

Without the following award sponsors we would not be able to put on the tremendous celebration of the theatre in our city that the Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Awards has become:

Players de Novo Production Lighting CITT

Theatre Alberta
Value Village
The Next Act
Canadian Actors’ Equity Association

Victoria School of the Arts

Mosaic Entertainment

Axe Productions
Krush Ultra Lounge

Mayfield Dinner Theatre

Dimensions Graphics

The 28th Annual Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Awards will take place Monday, June 22, 2015 at the Mayfield Dinner Theatre!

2014/2015 nominees will be announced at The Next Act Pub, 8224 104 Street, on Monday, June 1st at 4:30pm. Come lift a glass to Mrs. Haynes!