How the SATAwards Began
In 2006 a group of professional theatre artists based in and around Saskatoon got together to talk about a way to recognize, encourage and applaud the outstanding work that fellow professionals were creating for our audiences. To do so, we looked around the country at various other theatre awards such as the Sterlings, the Jessies, and the Doras, and custom fit these ideas to our own parameters given the uniqueness of our particular community.
From the outset our goal was not to compare one piece of theatre to another but to show appreciation for productions, performances, and so on, that moved us. For this reason there is no ‘BEST’ of anything in our awards, only ‘OUTSTANDING’, much like the Off-Broadway award, the Obies. This approach keeps the focus on celebration.
About the Awards
In 2017, the SATAwards were proud to lead the way in gender inclusivity as the first theatre awards in Canada to dispense with gender-binary performance categories.
Our juries are composed of 6 to 8 theatre professionals along with one theatre supporter (patron, media, and/or sponsor). All awards are chosen through the deliberation of the jury, and award categories can include outstanding achievement in performance, directing, design, playwriting, and production. On some occasions, the jury may choose to create a special category in order to recognize work that exists outside these parameters, or that may not occur often enough to warrant its own category.
In addition to the juried awards, the SATAs invite nominations from the community for the Henry Woolf Award Continuing Achievement Award. The SATA Steering Committee carefully reviews each nomination and selects the recipient each year.
Our other special category is the Steering Committee’s Award for Innovation. This award recognizes an individual or organization that has made a special contribution to the Saskatoon and Area cultural community in the past season through innovation in theatre practice. The recipient is selected by the Steering Committee.