National Opera Directors Recognition Award

Nominations Due October 15, 2021

The purpose of the National Opera Directors Recognition Award is to honour an opera company volunteer director annually for exemplary leadership and support on behalf of their respective opera companies within their communities across Canada. It celebrates and acknowledges the invaluable efforts of these volunteers across the country.

Together with our sister organization, OPERA America, we share a recognition that the strength of an opera company, as with any not for profit organization, is directly linked to the quality of governance demonstrated by its board members.  It is AOC’s belief that strong commitment of volunteer directors in the key areas of leadership and support is essential.  The well-being of opera companies and, in effect, the communities in which they perform, depends to a great extent on these critically important areas.

Through the program, the contribution of one extraordinary director, whose efforts help to ensure the health of an opera company and the art form’s availability for future generations is acknowledged and celebrated each year.  While honouring the accomplishments of one distinguished board member, the National Opera Directors Recognition Award program:

  1. Amplifies the efforts of distinguished directors to a national audience;
  2. Strengthens the relationship between directors and the companies and communities they serve;
  3. Highlights the tenets of good governance; and
  4. Provides models of Director and volunteer excellence.

Program Eligibility

All Professional Company Members in good standing are invited to participate.

The committee will only consider nominations from companies whose board members have not received the honour in the past three years.


Our 2021/22 season nominations timeline will be:

  1. Nominations Open September 15, 2021
  2. Nominations Due October 15, 2021
  3. Recognition Event: March 4, 2022

This year’s Recognition Event will be held in New York, combining the 2020 and 2022 trustee awards with the induction of the 2020 and 2021 Hall of Fame, and an OPERA America 50th anniversary celebration event.

Nomination Process

Companies may nominate only one director each year from among their current boards.

Selection Process  

A Selection Committee will oversee the determination of the honouree.  The committee may include AOC directors (where no conflict exists) and directors, past and current, drawn from opera companies across Canada and the USA.

One volunteer director will be selected to be recognized.

Selection Criteria  

The committee will consider the breadth and depth of each nominee’s involvement with the opera company in the following ways:

  1. Demonstration of consistent and informed leadership
  2. Responsiveness to specific opera company needs and goals
  3. Financial or in-kind support
  4. Advocacy on behalf of the company in the public and/or private sectors

Honouree Recognition: 

AOC will work closely with the selected honoree and their opera company to create a national press release.  Together with OPERA America’s Awardees the AOC honouree will be prominently featured in OPERA America’s quarterly magazine, Opera America and in other appropriate media.

Annual Recognition Event  

The selected director will be honoured at recognition dinner in Washington, DC in March 2020 during OPERA America’s Trustee Weekend.

Nominations Form