A major change is coming to the 2019 Dora Awards. At a press conference at Buddies in Bad Times today, TAPA announced that all performance categories starting with the 2018-2019 season will be gender-neutral. That means the male and female performance awards will be eliminated, and replaced with a gender-inclusive “Outstanding Performance” category. The new category will up the number of nominees from five to eight. So instead of highlighting five male performances and five female ones, there will be a total of eight gender-inclusive nominees per category.
The decision came from the Dora Review Working Group, a fourteen-month review process TAPA’s Board of Directors organizes every five years.
“TAPA strives to be responsive to the changing cultural environment of our times,” board president Régine Cadet said in a statement. Chris Goddard, President of TAPA’s charitable arm Performing Arts Information Services, called the gender neutral policy “a proactive step towards inclusivity and equity in the Toronto performing arts community.”
The change will be implemented next year, and won’t affect the 2018 Dora Awards on June 25.