The Dora Awards ceremony gets a new venue

The artistic team that made last year's awards a success returns

The Dora Mavor Moore Awards, the annual celebration of Toronto’s performing arts, heads for the water for its 35th anniversary party.

The new venue for the Dora Awards and party, to be held June 23, is Harbourfront Centre’s WestJet Stage, a larger venue than the downtown spaces used for previous shows.

The outdoor concert venue with a covered roof holds 1,300, which means more people can attend the sold-out event.

Though the theatre is new, last year’s artistic team returns following a stellar outing in 2013: writer Chris Earle, director Ed Roy, lighting and scenic designer Andrea Lundy and musical director Waylen Miki.

And we can’t wait for the return of last year’s hosts, Matt Baram and Naomi Snieckus, Second City alumni and founding co-artistic directors of the National Theatre of the World. They brought the snappy show in at a running time under three hours, probably some kind of record.

Their energy, timing and chemistry were first class, as were their occasional ad libs and Snieckus’s constantly changing and elegant wardrobe. When the audience burst into a spontaneous rendition of Happy Birthday for scenic designer Julie Fox, who won a Dora for Arigato, Tokyo, Snieckus quipped that three of the evening’s Doras had to be jettisoned the royalties for Happy Birthday would eat into the show’s budget.

We remember ending our coverage of the 2013 Doras with a plea that Baram and Snieckus come back for the following ceremony. Producer and executive director of the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (which sponsors the Doras) Jacoba Knaapen clearly felt the same way.

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