Celebrating the Professional Theatre in Edmonton

Top right: 2014 Sterling Gala hosts Beth Graham and Andrew MacDonald-Smith

Top to bottom above: Thomas Peacocke gives Patricia Casey her Sterling for Outstanding Contribution to Theatre in Edmonton, 2008

Elizabeth Sterling Haynes

2015 hosts; Edmonton’s own first lady Sarah Chan and favourite leading man John Ullyatt

Leah Paterson, Amber Bissonnette and Jason Hardwick perform Tap Your Troubles Away from musical nominee Mack and Mabel at the 2014 Sterling Gala.

PricewaterhouseCoopers & the 2017 Sterling Committee are proud to present the 30th Annual Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Awards, celebrating the professional theatre in Edmonton.The Sterling Awards were created in 1987 to enhance the profile of live professional theatre and bring about a greater awareness of the performing arts in this remarkably dynamic city. Elizabeth Sterling Haynes, or Mrs. Haynes as she was known to her many students, was a pioneer in the development of theatre and theatre education in Alberta, and is the perfect example of the dedication and achievement we seek to celebrate.

  1. The 30th Annual Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Awards will take place at The Mayfield Dinner Theatre, 16615 - 109 Avenue on Monday June 26th beginning at 4:30pm for cocktails with dinner at 5:00pm and show promptly at 6:30pm.After the show we will celebrate with dancing and regaling in the Mayfield Ballrooms, where DJ Leif Ingebrigsten will be spinning the tunes!

  1. The show will be written by Ellen Chorley, and directed by Kate Ryan and Belinda Cornish. Ariel Spanier will be production manager and Rachel Rudd will be Stage Manager.

  1. Tickets are $65+GST, include full buffet, a spectacular show & dance, and are available by calling the Mayfield Dinner Theatre box office (780-483-4051) starting Tuesday June 6th.

• Questions? Interviews? Need more info? E-mail us at or call Judy Unwin at 780-484-6003.

Outstanding Contribution to Theatre in Edmonton

The award for Outstanding Contribution to theatre in Edmonton is the greatest honour that we can bestow, and this year’s recipient is a ceaselessly creative Renaissance woman whose 40 years on Canadian stages have taken her across the country, acting, directing, teaching, puppeteering and utterly delighting all who cross her path - the inimitable Maralyn Ryan.

Maralyn was born and raised in Chicago, and she set the tone for her wide- ranging career early on - co-founding a theatre company, an opera company, a touring theatre company and a childrens’ theatre in Cleveland, Ohio before emigrating to Canada with her family, where she launched her career in earnest!

As an educator, Maralyn’s work is extraordinarily far-reaching. She has taught drama for Artstrek, Keyano College, Grant MacEwan University,The University of Alberta, Red Deer College and Opera Nouva. She created youth theatre programs for Northern Light Theatre, Regina’s Globe Theatre, Fort Edmonton Park, and the City of Edmonton, to name a few. While working as associate director at the Citadel Theatre with the late Robin Phillips, she was principal of the theatre school, as well as director of the International Children’s Festival and Teen Festival of the Arts. Most famously, of course, she founded the renowned St.Albert Children’s Theatre, whose hallowed halls have provided formative education for many of Edmonton’s finest performers, and for which Maralyn received a National Arts Award for Innovation.

Her renowned puppetry company - Kaybridge Puppets - founded 34 years ago, has performed for Edmonton public libraries, as well as at numerous schools and festivals.

She is also an accomplished writer and director, though, naturally, many of us know her best for her remarkable and far reaching acting career - gracing the stages of theatres across the country, from New Brunswick toVictoria - and most frequently lending her unique and glorious voice to Edmonton’s own companies - The Citadel Theatre,The Phoenix, Northern Light Theatre,Workshop West, Shadow Theatre,The Mayfield, to name a few - and is the recipient of three Sterling awards for acting.

She is also, of course, the matriarch of a remarkable Edmonton theatre dynasty, which continues to perpetuate the creation of diverse and remarkable art with a huge and dedicated passion.

The 2017 Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Awards committee is delighted to honour Edmonton’s very own Meryl Streep - Maralyn Ryan.

The Margaret Mooney Award for Outstanding Achievement in Administration

The Margaret Mooney Award for Outstanding Achievement in Administration honours an administrator who has most embodied the hard work and excellence the professional theatre demands.

The Margaret Mooney Award for Outstanding Achievement in Administration honours an administrator who has most embodied the hard work and excellence the professional theatre demands. This year’s recipient is a beacon of efficiency and warmth, whose more than three decades in professional theatre have seen her steady hand help steer countless productions through waters both turbulent and smooth, first as a dauntless stage manager, and later as incomparable production director - Cheryl Hoover

Cheryl received her BFA in Stage Management at the University of Regina in 1984, and swiftly went on to work across the country - her career taking her from Newfoundland to BC and even as far north as Dawson City in the Yukon, and just about everywhere in between. She was resident stage manager for 3 years at the Globe in Regina, and for 7 years at the Phoenix here in Edmonton, before taking up that position at the Citadel Theatre, where she lent her boundless cheer and stalwart expertise to nine full seasons. In 2008, she became Director of Production at the Citadel, in which position she has the monumental task of overseeing and guiding a staff of one hundred employees, technicians and craftspeople as they build and run the epic multi-show seasons of the largest regional theatre in Canada.

In 2014, Cheryl received the Distinguished Alumni Award for the University of Regina’s Theatre Department, and has twice been the recipient of the Sterling Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Production. She has, for three decades, managed the world behind the scenes with accomplished grace and efficacious calm.

The Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Awards Committee is delighted to honour Cheryl Hoover.

The Ross Hill Award for Outstanding Achievement in Production

The Ross Hill Award for Outstanding Achievement in Production honours the experts behind the scenes for a body of work exemplifying a career of distinction and accomplishment.This year’s recipient is a fabulous firecracker who brings verve to every venture to which she applies her considerable skill: we are delighted to celebrate Betty Hushlak.

Betty’s interest in the arts began when, in formative years, she fostered a growing fascination for the technical aspects of rock concerts. She took the Theatre Production program at Grant MacEwan, and followed that up by attending the University of Calgary. She apprenticed in the 80s at the Citadel,Workshop West, Northern Light and the Phoenix, before going on to work with literally every theatre company in Edmonton - no mean feat in our many-faceted community. She has also worked across Canada - including in PEI, and several seasons with the Charlottetown Festival, and in recent years has been splitting her time between Edmonton and Calgary. She also works in corporate video, film and tv, as well as having provided her expertise to both Grant MacEwan and the University of Alberta as production advisor, and more recently has taken on roles in production and production management.

She presently works as volunteer manager for the Calgary arts and engineering festival Beakerhead, and as technical producer with the acclaimed Skirts Afire Festival, as well as gracing rehearsal rooms around the city with her organizational acumen and alacrity!

The 2017 Sterling Committee is thrilled to honour the glorious Betty Hushlak.

2017 Sterling Committee

Shannon Blanchet, Ellen Chorley, Belinda Cornish, Kristi Hansen, Jason Hardwick, Mathew Hulshof, Judy Unwin

Show Committee 2017

Belinda Cornish, Kate Ryan, Ellen Chorley, Kristi Hansen, Ariel Spanier, Rachel Rudd, Shannon Blanchet

Our 2017 Sterling Sponsors

Without the following award sponsors we would not be able to put on the tremendous celebration of the theatre in our city that the Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Awards has become:

Canadian Actors’ Equity Association
The Canadian Institute for Theatre Technology

Edmonton Arts Council
Players de novo
Theatre Alberta
Rapid Fire Theatre
The Varscona Theatre
The Mayfield Dinner Theatre
Verifive Realty Ltd.
Red Deer College
Dimensions Graphics
Mosaic Entertainment
Production World

Barber Ha
PriceWaterhouse Coopers

The Sterling Awards were created in 1987 to celebrate outstanding professional theatre in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. They are named in honour of Elizabeth Sterling Haynes, director, actress, educator and architect of innumerable theatre programs and schools throughout the province. As renowned western playwright Gwen Pharis Ringwood wrote, Elizabeth was a force, a creative energy unleashed at a time when creativity was suspect and at a place where creativity was often ignored in the hope that it would go away....Her theatre exists in the people whose lives she touched.

We seek to honour the outstanding legacy of Mrs. Haynes every season here in one of Canada’s most vibrant theatre cities. Click around above, check out our updated archives in History, biographies of Mrs. Haynes. Margaret Mooney and Ross Hill as well as our Sterling guidelines and contacts.


The 30th Annual Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Awards will take place Monday, June 26, 2017 at the Mayfield Dinner Theatre!

Click Here for the 2017 Nominees and Recipients!