OAF News

Recipient of the 2012 Virginia and Myrtle Cooper Award in Costume Design Announced

Toronto - June 19, 2012 –Costume and set designer, Dana Osborne is the 2012 recipient of the $15,000 Virginia and Myrtle Cooper Award in Costume Design. The award is given annually to professional Canadian costume designers in Ontario in mid-career to further enrich their careers through research and travel.

One of Dana Osborne’s renderings for Hosanna, Stratford Festival, 2011.


Dana Osborne has been working as a costume and set designer across Canada for fifteen years. This is Dana’s  twelfth season at the Stratford Shakespearean Festival where she is the designer for You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown and Wanderlust. Her credits at Stratford include the costumes for Hosanna, As You Like It, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Moby Dick, The Comedy of Errors, The Lark, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Timon of Athens, Agamemnon and set and costumes for King Henry IV, Part One.

Dana’s other credits include the upcoming productions of Macbeth, Pacific Opera and Speed the Plow, Soulpepper Theatre Company as well as designs for theatre companies including Globe Theatre (Regina), Grand Theatre (London), Canadian Stage, Theatrefront, Young People’s Theatre, Pleiades Theatre, and Factory Theatre (Toronto).

Dana has an Honours BFA in theatre design from York University. She began her career in costume management, working for the Canadian Opera Company, the Shaw Festival and Mirvish Productions before choosing design. In 2004 she was named as one of the Young Designers to Watch in Entertainment Design magazine. Dana received the 2010 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Costume Design for The Mill (Theatrefront).

Dana Osborne was selected as the winner from an outstanding group of nominees. This year’s jury consisting of theatre professionals Bonnie Deakin (Stratford), Ken MacDonald (Toronto), and Kim Renders (Kingston) was impressed by Dana’s strong and creative interpretations, stating “She is a modern designer for today’s theatre. She uses her strong sense of today’s fashions cleverly blended with historical looks to give her show unique designs. She also makes excellent use of found objects and has strong technical skills.”

Established through a generous gift under the will of Dr. Virginia Cooper, the Virginia and Myrtle Cooper Award is to be given "For the Love of Creation". Dr. Cooper served as a director of the Tarragon Theatre, and was a charter member of the Arts and Letters Club of Toronto and active in its activities. She had a keen interest in the performing arts, particularly in costume design.

The Ontario Arts Foundation manages the endowment that funds the award. The Ontario Arts Council administers the nomination and selection process.


For information, please contact:
Alan Walker, Executive Director, Ontario Arts Foundation

Tel: (416) 969-7413 awalker@arts.on.ca

The Ontario Arts Council (OAC) is the province of Ontario’s main funding body for professional arts activity. Since 1963, the OAC has played a vital role in promoting and assisting the development of the arts and artists for the enjoyment and benefit of Ontarians. In 2010-2011, the Ontario Arts Council funded 1,720 individual artists and 1,057 organizations in 223 communities across Ontario for a total of $52.3 million.

The Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) works with arts patrons to build long-term support for the arts in Ontario.


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