OAF News

Vivienne Muhling is Honoured with the Inaugural Mary Jolliffe Award for Senior Arts Administrators

Toronto, September 26, 2016 - Vivienne Muhling is the recipient of the inaugural $5,000 Mary Jolliffe Award for Senior Arts Administrators. The triennial award recognizes the career and contributions made by an Ontario arts administrator in the field of arts communications, marketing and/or development in the non-profit arts sector.

As a teenage actress, Vivienne Muhling was elected V.P. of Northern British Equity. When she first came to Canada in 1951 she worked as a stage manager for Dora Mavor Moore.  Assisting folklorist Edith Fowke at CBC led Vivienne to presenting The Weavers in concert at Massey Hall, and becoming the only folk and jazz impresario in central Canada.  Vivienne subsequently ran two theatre businesses, Vivienne Stenson Concerts and Vivienne Stenson Publicity.  From 1962 to 1972 Vivienne lived and worked in New York where she took publicity assignments and became Director of National Roosevelt Day followed by Executive Director of the Reinhold Niebuhr Award Committee.

Vivienne returned to Toronto as the AGO's Communications Director, and subsequently started  PR Projects, a company that managed publicity for new alternate theatres such as Theatre Passe Muraille, Toronto Free Theatre and Factory Theatre. Vivienne continued to produce, winning a Dora Award for Indigo, starring Salome Bey.  Her production of Heaven Will Protect The Working Girl received a command performance at Rideau Hall for celebrations marking Canadian women’s right to vote.

Vivienne has served on the Boards of the Performing Arts Publicists' Association (created by Mary Jolliffe and Stephen Adler) and of Performing Arts Lodges, where she became a resident in 1999. Vivienne is Chair of the SCRABBLE with the Stars fundraising committee.

Muhling was selected by a jury comprising John Karastamatis, Director of Sales and Marketing, Mirvish Productions (Toronto, ON) and Carrie Sager, President, Flip Publicity (Toronto, ON).  The jury members stated that, “Vivienne Muhling is a great inaugural laureate for the Mary Jolliffe Award.  As an arts administrator who specialized in marketing and communication in both large and small arts organizations, Vivienne fiercely supported her co-workers.  Her advocacy for the acceptance of marketing and communications as part of the process of creating theatre is deeply appreciated.”

The Mary Jolliffe Award for Senior Arts Administrators was established at the Ontario Arts Foundation in honour of Mary Jolliffe, an esteemed theatrical press agent and arts publicist. The Ontario Arts Council is responsible for the nomination and selection process.


For more information, please contact:

Alan Walker
Executive Director, Ontario Arts Foundation
Tel: (416) 969-7413


Established in 1991, the Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) is passionately committed to building long-term support for the arts in Ontario. In 2015-2016, the OAF paid over $3.0 million in endowment income and $300,000 in awards and scholarships.

For more than 50 years, the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) has played a vital role in promoting and assisting the development of the arts for the enjoyment and benefit of Ontarians. In 2015-2016 the  OAC funded 1,676 individual artists and 1,125 organizations in 209 communities across Ontario for a total of $50.5 million.

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