OAF News

Virginia and Myrtle Cooper Award in Costume Design given to film and telivision costume designer Lea Carlson

Toronto – September 7, 2011 – Toronto based costume designer, Lea Carlson is the 2011 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. 



2011 Virginia and Myrtle Cooper Award in Costume Design recipient Lea Carlson with her father,
Lance Carlson (left) and Director Don McKellar (right)

She is an award-winning costume designer and production designer whose talents have enhanced numerous Canadian independent film productions. Most recently, she designed costumes for Sarah Polley's Take this Waltz, opening at this years' Toronto International Film Festival, and production designed Polley's feature documentary The Dark Room.

Her work includes multiple projects with Bruce McDonald: Picture Claire (costume design, 2001), The Tracy Fragments (costume design, 2007), Pontypool (production design, 2008), This Movie is Broken (production and costume design, 2010). Carlson also costumed designed Don McKellar's feature Last Night.


One of Lea Carlson's costume design for Slings and Arrows

Lea Carlson is a four-time Gemini nominee: two seasons of Twitch City (1995, 1996) directed by Bruce McDonald, Heyday! (2006) directed by Gordon Pinsent and Slings & Arrows (2003), directed by Peter Wellington, and a onetime Dora Mavor Moore award nominee for the production Claudius (1993) directed by Ken Gass.  

The Virginia and Myrtle Cooper Award in Costume Design was established through a generous gift under the will of the late Dr. Virginia S. Cooper of Toronto. 

The award is given "For the Love of Creation".  Dr. Cooper served as a director of the Tarragon Theatre, and was a charter woman 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, and was working on a book titled "Pins and Needles", which featured some of the dresses that her mother, Myrtle Cooper, designed and made for her. 

The Ontario Arts Foundation manages the endowment that funds the Virginia and Myrtle Cooper Award.  The Ontario Arts Council administered the selection process.  A jury consisting of Ian Drummond, Marie-Grogan Hales and Ruth Secord selected Ms Carlsonas the winner from a field of nominated costume designers from across Ontario. 

 The Ontario Arts Foundation holds over 300 endowments established by individuals, private foundations, corporations and arts organizations in support of the arts. 




For information, please contact:

Alan Walker, Executive Director, Ontario Arts Foundation

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

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