Gina Wilkinson Prize for an Emerging Female Director

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Gina Wilkinson was a prolific actor/playwright and a stage director in constant demand. Her sudden passing was a great loss to her family, friends and the theatre community who cherished her joy, energy, and great lust for life. In memory of Gina’s great talent and in celebration of her life, the Gina Wilkinson Prize for an Emerging Female Director has been established. 

An award is given annually, offering financial support to a female theatre artist who is transitioning to directing from another discipline, e.g., acting, stage managing, playwriting, choreography, etc.


Anita La Selva

2019 Award Recipient

Anita La Selva is a director, dramaturg, actor and teacher. She recently created and directed Stones, an inter-disciplinary inter-cultural theatre odyssey about women and violence (Stones Project/Aluna Theatre).  

“Gina Wilkinson was more than just a female director. She was a visionary who had a fierce desire to forge a new path for herself as an artist in this country,” says Anita La Selva. ” Sometimes, when we choose to – or rather are driven by that unseen creative force inside us – to explore new terrain, the path can be daunting. And yet we persevere. This prize is a beautiful acknowledgement of women theatre artists who are passionate and committed to creating a new path for themselves. I am so deeply honoured to be the recipient of this year’s prize and in the company of my predecessors. For me, it is an affirmation that I do have a place in this community, that I am supported and encouraged; which in turn deepens my desire to carry this forward through my own support of future generations of women artists. With immense gratitude. Thank you, Gina, for creating the portal.”

Award & Nomination Details


Nominees must be members of the Canadian professional theatre community and Canadian citizens or have permanent resident status, as defined by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The re-nomination of previous candidates is welcome.

Preference will be shown to nominees who have spent several years in a theatre discipline other than directing (acting, stage management, design, theatre administration, etc.) and who are now transitioning into directing.


A prize of $5,000 will be awarded to the winning nominee.


Nominations open: October 15th
Nominations close: December 15th
Recipient is announced: March 10th (Gina’s Birthday)


The nomination should consist of:

1. A nomination letter in support of the nominee by a recognized theatre professional.

2. An acknowledgement of the nomination by the nominee, along with a brief outline of their artistic vision, and how the Gina Wilkinson Prize might assist them in furthering their practice in this time of transition.

3. The nominee’s resume.


Anyone wishing to re-nominate their past nominee is encouraged to do so.

All nominations must be submitted electronically.

Gina Wilkinson

Canadian actress, playwright and stage director.

Gina Clare Wilkinson was born on March 10, 1960, in Victoria, B.C. to visual artist, Jack Wilkinson, and ballet teacher, Marie Wilkinson. Gina graduated from the National Theatre School in Montreal and spent the first 20 years of her career as an actor working in theatres across Canada.

Her innate understanding of storytelling in the theatre was an invaluable asset when working on new plays and made her transition from actor to director a natural one.

Her incredible ability to communicate with everyone involved in the making of a play – actors, designers, technicians – made her a successful director and theatre collaborator.

Her dedication, imagination, humour and unique visual sensibility were some of Gina’s many strengths but it was her understanding and compassion for all things human – both the beautiful and the ugly – that made her a true artist.

“My focus is the rigor and discipline of clear storytelling. Collaboration is all. I come from a background of dance and visual art and in my work with designers, my desire is to ignite the fire of confluent imaginations. Out of that union must come the space for the ultimate alchemy – the actors’ process. I’m there to safeguard Story, yes, but beyond that, to help the artists, and therefore myself, defeat the limitations of fear.”

Gina Wilkinson

SubmiT a Nomination

All nominations must be submitted electronically, between October 15 and December 15, to the following email address:

Nominations will be reviewed by the Gina Wilkinson Prize Jury: Micheline Chevrier, Bonnie Green, Eda Holmes, Krista Jackson, Jackie Maxwell, Tom Rooney and Bob White.


Tom Rooney        

Alan Walker, Executive Director
Ontario Arts Foundation 
416-969-7413 |