Every year as part of our closing night celebrations, we acknowledge 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, with the exception of the NOW Magazine Audience Choice Award, which is determined by ballot.

Buddies in Bad Times Vanguard Award for Risk and Innovation

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.

Canadian Stage Award for Direction

$500 cash prize awarded for outstanding direction of a work at the Festival.

The Contra Guys Award for New Performance Text

Generously supported by two SummerWorks founders, Benj Gallander and Ben Stadelmann, the Contra Guys Award for best new performance text is a $1,500 cash prize presented to a performance-maker for an outstanding new work (script or performance text).

The Jon Kaplan Spotlight Award

Awarded to a featured performer in a SummerWorks show. The winner receives an Unlimited Pass to the Festival next year.

The Theatre Centre Emerging Artist Award

$500 cash prize awarded to an artist early in their career who made an artistic impression during the Festival.

The NOW Magazine Audience Choice Award

Vote for your favourite SummerWorks production. Simply place your ticket stub in the NOW Audience Choice box as you leave the theatre. The winner will receive $2,000 in free advertising with NOW Magazine.

Stratford Festival Lab Award for Research & Development

Awarded to a company or collective that creatively uses the SummerWorks Lab platform to pursue artistic inquiry. Winners receive a residency week in Stratford, including fees, accommodations & travel, designed with the Stratford Festival Lab team.

SummerWorks Production Prize in Association with Artscape 

A guaranteed spot in the 2020 SummerWorks Festival, in addition to two weeks of rehearsal space at Artscape Weston Common to support the development of a new creation. Awarded for an outstanding production in the Festival.


The winners of all awards will be announced at our Closing Night Party on Saturday, August 17, with the exception of the NOW Magazine Audience Choice Award, which will be announced after the closing weekend.