The Harry and Martha Cohen Award

Harry and Martha copy

Since 1984, Alberta Theatre Projects has been proud to partner with the Cohen family to present The Harry and Martha Cohen Award for significant and sustained contribution to theatre in Calgary.

Do you know someone who is an inspiration in our theatre community in Calgary?

Is there someone who continually inspires you?  Does this person set the bar in terms of their passion and commitment to Calgary theatre community?

This person may be a leader onstage, offstage or backstage; an actor, director, playwright, designer, administrator, philanthropist, dramaturg, manager, teacher, technician or volunteer.

Want to show your appreciation? 

The recipient will be honoured at an award ceremony in the Martha Cohen Theatre following an ATP performance. At that ceremony the recipient will receive a cash prize of $1500 and a framed certificate. Additionally, the recipient’s name will be added to the list of our past honourees and inscribed on a scroll that hangs in our lobby in Martha’s Corner.

Stay tuned for the 2025 Call for Nominations early next year!

2024 Harry & Martha Cohen Award winner, Haysam Kadri | Photo by Jeff Yee

2024 Recipient, Haysam Kadri

“There were an unprecedented number of nominations. The pool was deep; there are so many worthy people in our vibrant, exciting theatre community,” said Kathryn Kerbes, Chair of the Award Committee. “But Haysam’s immeasurable contributions to the community, enormous impact on the organizations he’s led, and ability to inspire the theatre-makers around him made him a stand-out to receive this year’s award.”

2019 award recipient, Denise Clarke (who presented Kadri with his award) said, “Being asked to introduce the recipient of this award is its own small honour. This year’s recipient is truly the perfect person; fun, smart, an exceptionally talented artist and all-round theatre whiz plus a human being par excellence, so … check, check check!” Adding, “In these tough times, the Cohen Award is an encouraging and generous acknowledgment. Cheers to the Foundation!”

Photo by Jeff Yee

2019 Recipient, Denise Clarke

“Denise has been an iconic member of Calgary’s theatre and dance communities for over 30 years. Her influence as a teacher, mentor, creator, dancer, choreographer, director, writer and cultural ambassador has seen her influence countless artists and engage with numerous organizations both here at home and around the world.”

“A tireless advocate for art, a lifelong student and teacher, a dedicated mentor a guide to artists of all levels, Denise Clarke is a highly valued member of the community and she is more than deserving to be recognized for her lifelong dedication and contribution to the creative heart of our city.”

-Co-nominators Mark Bellamy and Elizabeth Stepkowski-Tarhan

Photo by Benjamin Laird

2018 Recipient, Christopher Hunt

Christopher Hunt is the recipient of the 2018 Harry & Martha Cohen Award for his sustained and significant contribution to theatre in Calgary. Christopher is a prolific, award-winning actor whose career spans over twenty roles in ATP productions alone.

“An extraordinary actor, mentor, teacher, dramaturg; but equally importantly, a kind and humble man. The Calgary theatre community is blessed to have Chris in our midst.” – Kathryn Kerbes

Thank you, Chris, for your dedication and talent! You’ve truly changed the face of theatre in Calgary!

Check out the Spotlight on Christopher Hunt on our blog!

Photo by Jeff Yee

2017 Recipient, Carol Dann

Carol Dann is simply one of the best supporters an arts organization could ask for, and we’re delighted to be one of the many theatre companies in Calgary she so generously supports with her time. The health and vibrancy of our city’s arts scene depends on the dedication and tireless effort of volunteers like Carol. From the bottom of our hearts: thank you Carol! We couldn’t do it without you!

Photo by Jeff Yee

Harry & Martha Cohen Award recipients including 2024 recipient Haysam Kadri. March 9, 2024 | Photo by Jeff Yee
Harry & Martha Cohen Award recipients including 2024 recipient Haysam Kadri. March 9, 2024 | Photo by Jeff Yee

All Previous Recipients:

1986   Betty Gibb
1987   Grant Reddick
1988   Margaret Bard and Bartley Bard
1989   Joyce Doolittle
1990   Georgie Collins
1991   Blake Brooker and Michael Green
1992   D. Michael Dobbin
1993   Marilyn Potts
1994   Fred Scott
1995   JoAnne James
1996   Duval Lang
1997   Gillian Dalton
1998   Hal Kerbes and Kathryn Kerbes
1999   Sharon Pollock
2000   David LeReaney
2001   Bob White
2002   Jock Osler
2003   John Murrell
2004   Valerie Ann Pearson
2005   Dianne Goodman
2006   Clarice Evans
2007   Lynn DuFort
2008   Stephen Hair
2009   Doug Curtis
2010   Patricia Benedict
2011   Celebration of Past Recipients
2012   Mark Bellamy
2013   Patti Pon
2014   Patricia Moore and Sherrold Moore
2015   Kevin McKendrick
2016   Terry Gunvordahl
2017   Carol Dann
2018   Christopher Hunt
2019   Denise Clarke
2024   Haysam Kadri