Return to News

The 2023 Johanna Metcalf Performing Arts Prizes/Les Prix Johanna-Metcalf des Arts de la scène 2023

Celebrating Ontario’s leading creators in the performing arts


The Johanna Metcalf Performing Arts Prizes/Les Prix Johanna-Metcalf des Arts de la scène (Johannas) is one of the largest unrestricted prizes for artists in Ontario, celebrating mid-career and early-career artists across multiple disciplines.


For the 2023 Johannas, 15 finalists have been selected from across Ontario in the disciplines of dance, theatre, and music/opera, including artists who are working in the spaces between and across these disciplines.


From the 15 finalists, five winners will be selected who will each receive a prize of $25,000. Each winner will name a protégé who will be awarded $10,000 as a way of celebrating early career artists who are showing formidable promise. Starting this year, each of the remaining 10 finalists will receive a prize of $2,000, bringing the total value of the prizes to $195,000.


Established in 2019 and named in honour of Johanna Metcalf — who was at the heart of the Metcalf Foundation’s work for over 40 years — the biennial prizes amplify her legacy as a passionate supporter of the arts and artists, and is delivered in partnership with the Ontario Arts Council.


Nominees for the 2023 Johannas were selected by peers in partnership with the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) through over 20 juried OAC competitions in dance, music/opera, and theatre, as well as competitions focused on Francophone, Indigenous, and Northern communities. Artists who have been producing and showing work over a period of at least 10 years were eligible to be nominated.


The 15 finalists for the 2023 Johanna Metcalf Performing Arts Prizes/Les Prix Johanna-Metcalf des Arts de la scène are:


Keith Barker, theatre director, playwright, and actor
Sina Bathaie, composer and musician
Sid Bobb, multidisciplinary artist
Emily Cheung, choreographer
Penny Couchie, choreographer and multidisciplinary artist
Alain Doom, playwright and actor
John Kameel Farah, composer and pianist
ShoShona Kish, songwriter
Tanya Lukin Linklater, multidisciplinary artist
Natasha Powell, choreographer and dancer
Suba Sankaran, composer and musician
Roydon Tse, composer
Vineet Vyas, tabla artist
Mandy Woo, composer
Sashar Zarif, choreographer and multidisciplinary artist


The 2023 finalist jurors were: Tova Arbus, President of Fringe North; Herbie Barnes, Artistic Director of Young People’s Theatre; iskwē, musician and 2021 Johannas winner; Umair Jaffar, Executive Director of Small World Music; Ange Loft, Associate Artistic Director of Jumblies Theatre; Karine Ricard, Artistic Director of Théâtre français de Toronto; and Heidi Strauss, Artistic Director of adelheid dance projects.


For more information, please see: