#CdnCult Times; Volume 7, Edition 3: THE HAROLDS

#CdnCult Times; Volume 7, Edition 3: THE HAROLDS


The banner image on The Harold Awards website reads:

Celebrating Shit Disturbers and Community Members since 1995“. This is a good distillation of what’s going on with these awards now celebrating their 21st year.

Founded in memory of Harold Kandel, a notorious and beloved audience member of indie theatre known for his propensity to heckle – the awards are the closest thing Toronto theatre has to an underground institution (okay, maybe also The Wrecking Ball).

The way The Harold Awards work is simple: Everyone who won an award last year has to organize the the following year and pass their Harold Award on to someone new. Anyone can receive a Harold be it an artist, stage manager, volunteer – heck they’re founded in memory of an audience member so that’s cool too. Each Award has it’s own ‘House’ named after the founders of The Harolds  – which you can check out here:

Ideally Haroldees, as they are known, don’t know they are being Harolded so there is a high degree of subterfuge and, well, lying, that goes into the event. Drinking and heckling is encouraged. Any mention of the Dora Awards is rigorously boo’d.

In this edition two of the founders of the Awards, Sarah Garton Stanley and Daniel MacIvor write about what the awards mean to them now, while I reflect on what they mean to someone who never met Harold Kandel.

This year the Harold Awards are June 6 8PM at Cadillac Lounge, if you read these articles and you don’t want to come – that’s cool, but here’s hoping you do.

Michael Wheeler
Co-Editor: #CdnCult V7




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About the Authors

Michael is Artistic Director of SpiderWebShow, which he co-created with Creative Catalyst Sarah Garton Stanley. He was previously Executive Director and Transformation Designer of Generator, where he led the transition from a fee-for-service model named STAF, to the current capacity-building model it operates on. Since 2003, he has run Toronto-based Praxis Theatre, with which he has directed 14 plays and curated several festivals while writing for and running performance-based websites. He teaches regularly at The National Theatre School and Queen's University, where SpiderWebShow is currently in residence.
With firm footing in performing arts practice and community building, I'm curious and passionate about change, systems, and participation. I'm a producer and an artist. I value collaboration, efficiency, and resourcefulness. Currently Artistic Director of Kingston-based SpiderWebShow Performance, which includes co-curating and producing the Festival of Live Digital Art (FOLDA). During eight years as Artistic Producer of Neworld Theatre, I collaborated with colleagues to found PL 1422, a shared rehearsal and administration hub in East Vancouver, as well as shepherding the creation and production of over 80 live events – including a series of 11 "podplays" audio plays before podplays were cool. In 2015, I was the inaugural artist in residence on CBC Radio’s q based on my digital project The Apology Generator. My formal training is in arts creation and producing, and I have practical experience managing production projects, festivals, and special events. I'm functionally bilingual in English and French. I'm a parent, a gardener, a cook and have recently started running.