OAF News

Tamara Marie Kucheran Awarded the 2017 Virginia and Myrtle Cooper Award in Costume Design

Toronto, April 26, 2017 – Costume and set designer, Tamara Marie Kucheran is the 2017 recipient of the $20,000 Virginia and Myrtle Cooper Award in Costume Design.  The award is given annually to professional costume designers in Ontario in mid-career to further enrich their careers through research and travel.

Intimate Apparel, written by Lynn Nottage, directed by Philip Akin, Obsidian Theatre (2007-2008) | Mayme: Lisa Berry (foreground), Esther: Raven Dauda (background) | Set and Costume Design: Tamara Marie Kucheran | Lighting Design: Renee Brode

A graduate of the University of Victoria (Bachelor of Fine Arts with Distinction) and the National Theatre School of Canada, Tamara has had the privilege of working with some of the world's top theatre professionals on stages across Canada.

Most recently, Tamara was the Set and Costume Designer for Cabaret (Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre) and Macbeth (Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre). Awards include a Dora Award for Outstanding Costume Design (plus multiple nominations for Set and Costume), a Tyrone Guthrie Award (Stratford Festival), and the Ian and Molly Lindsay Young Design Fellowship (Stratford Festival).

Tamara's teaching credits include: Artist Instructor at Off the Wall Stratford Artists Alliance, Sessional Instructor at the University of Victoria (Costume Design and History of Fashion and Body Modification), and Visiting Artist and Guest Lecturer at Michigan State University.

Tamara was selected as the winner from an outstanding group of nominees. This year’s jury consisted of Kathleen Johnston, Wardrobe Supervisor, Melanie McNeill, Costume Designer, and Sean Mulcahy, Costume Designer. The jury was unanimous in their choice of Tamara Marie Kucheran as the 2017 laureate. They said, "We are very impressed with Tamara's nuanced use of pattern and mix of textiles in her innovative designs. She is a storyteller. Her designs define character but do not overshadow the actors. Tamara’s commitment to mentoring emerging designers enriches the arts in Ontario."

Established through a generous gift under the will of Dr. Virginia Cooper, the Virginia and Myrtle Cooper Award is to be given "For the Love of Creation".  Dr. Cooper served as a director of the Tarragon Theatre, and was a charter member of the Arts and Letters Club of Toronto and active in its activities.  She had a keen interest in the performing arts, particularly in costume design. 

The Ontario Arts Foundation manages the endowment that funds the award.  The Ontario Arts Council administers the nomination and selection process. Click here to see the full list of previous laureates.


For more information, please contact:
Alan Walker, Executive Director, Ontario Arts Foundation

416-969-7413 | awalker@arts.on.ca


The Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) works with arts patrons to build long-term support for the arts in Ontario. In 2015-2016, the OAF paid out over $3.0 million in endowment income and $300,000 in awards and scholarships.

For more than 50 years, the Ontario Arts Council has played a vital role in promoting and assisting the development of the arts and artists for the enjoyment and benefit of Ontarians. In 2015-2016, the Ontario Arts Council 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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