Buddies Queer Emerging Artist Award

The Buddies Queer Emerging Artist Award recognizes and encourages the achievements of queer artists who are founding careers in the theatre while engaging with the community, and is made possible by a gift from the estate of John Alan Lee. Award recipients receive a $1,000 cash prize.

Nominations for the this year have now closed. Congratulations to award recipient Erum Khan!


  • Be nominated by an individual or group (nominators may not nominate more than one individual per year);
  • Be involved in the arts community and work as a professional artist in theatre and/or other live performance;
  • Be recognized as an emerging artist as evidenced by their body of work;*
  • Identify within the queer spectrum;**
  • Reside and work primarily in Canada;
  • Not have previously received this award.
  • Posthumous nominations will not be accepted.


  • The nominee fully meets the eligibility criteria.
  • The value and rigour of the nominee’s body of work.
  • The nominee demonstrates a commitment to further developing their career.
  • Evidence that the nominee’s work enters into a conversation with broader ideas and aesthetics within queer culture.
  • The impact of the nominee’s work on the queer arts community.


To complete the nomination submission, you will need a Letter of Nomination (max one page); The Nominee’s CV and a one-page artist statement; up to three links to support materials (up to five minutes of video, 5 pages of written materials, and 10 digital images). You also have the option of including up to five pages of additional letters of support.

*Buddies will use the Canada Council for the Arts criteria to distinguish between emerging and mid-career artists (e.g. up to ten years of professional experience).

**For the purpose of this award, Buddies uses queer as a word to encompass the identities of people who identify as part of the 2SLGBTQ+ spectrum of gender and sexual diversity.


2019 – Erum Khan

2018 – Monica Garrido

2017 – Izad Etemadi

2016 – Katie Sly

2015 – Ill Nana DiverseCity Dance Company

2014 – Jordan Tannahill


Ken McDougall Award

Harold Awards

Established in 1995 by Buddies In Bad Times Theatre, Platform 9 and Theatre Passe Muraille, the annual Ken McDougall Award serves to acknowledge a promising emerging director. Previous recipients have been: Franco Boni, Cathy Gordon, Michael Waller, Chris Abraham, Simon Heath, Patrick Conner, Ellen Ray Hennessey, Rebecca Brown, Nina Aquino, Kimahli Powell, Brendan Healy, Bea Pizano, Evalyn Parry, Mitchell Cushman, Jiv Parasram, and Jacob Zimmer.

The Ken McDougall Award is given out annually at the Harold Awards, which since 1995 have come to represent the independent and hard­working spirit of Toronto’s vibrant theatre community – a kind of rabble­rousing alternative to the Dora Awards.


Buddies in Bad Times Vanguard Award for Risk and Innovation

SummerWorks Performance Festival

Sponsored by Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, this $500 cash prize is awarded to an individual or company in recognition of an artistic choice or choices exemplifying innovation and/or artistic risk.

Every year as part of the SummerWorks Performance Festival closing night celebrations, the festival acknowledges the achievements of festival artists with a series of awards sponsored by local arts organizations. All awards are adjudicated by a jury of three performance professionals.