The John Nielsen Award 

John Nielsen

John Nielsen was our head carpenter for 10 years before his death in 2003.  John was a creative problem solver, dedicated to his craft and to Theatre Ancaster. He was a leader who always worked hard to complete any job well and on time. The John Nielsen Award is presented annually to an individual on our production team who exemplifies John’s professionalism, knowledge, dedication and passion to the production work of Theatre Ancaster.

The nomination for such an award is prestigious, as the list of nominees suggests.

2021 Recipient - Krys Croxall

Tod Rich with Nielsen Award 

“This is special. I am honoured and very touched.”

Krys Croxall is a most deserving choice. She has been involved in every aspect of the work of Theatre Ancaster. She has been a producer, director, secretary to the Board of Directors and now treasurer. She has headed up a revision of the constitution for Theatre Ancaster and initiated popular shows such as The Christmas Radio Show with husband Al. Krys is also one of the founding directors for the new branch of Theatre Ancaster, The Classics Company, for those over 55.

“Being nominated before was wonderful, but being chosen is really special.”
Krys Croxall was a superintendent with the Hamilton Wentworth Board of Education for many years. “Since I retired, Theatre Ancaster has become my passion project. The company does wonderful work. It is a pleasure to serve and to be part of its growth and development. Theatre Ancaster is a great family. Thank you for giving me a place in it.”

The Nielsen Award honours both John Nielsen who was Theatre Ancaster’s head carpenter for a decade before his death in 2003 and a present day Theatre Ancaster leader in production and off-stage work for the company. Krys Croxall as a person has the same strong work ethic and dedication as John Nielsen had.  When Krys takes on a project, she does it to perfection and finishes it on time just as John did. If she has to go above and beyond, she does, and in this way, she is also like John Nielsen who always said, “Just leave it with me. I’ll look after it.” No project was ever too big for John and that is also true for Krys.

People are most important to Krys. She has supported adults and youth alike. She is a keen supporter of the ArtSMART experiential music theatre partnership program between Theatre Ancaster and the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board.  She has always helped Theatre Ancaster from behind the scenes even while carrying out educational responsibilities. Her husband Al was a founding director of Theatre Ancaster and its first president. Daughter Lindsay grew up singing and dancing with Theatre Ancaster and went on to a professional career at Charlottetown, Calgary, Toronto and Stratford.

Krys like others on the Theatre Ancaster Board of Directors has been working to plan for the move to the new Ancaster Memorial Arts Centre. “It is so exciting to be part of this. We hope that COVID will soon allow us to get back to doing what we love best. Until then, we have all been planning and working to develop new programs and shows for the community.”

Bibs Nielsen was delighted to learn that Krys was this year’s John Nielsen Award Winner.

“Krys is a wonderful choice. She has done so much for Theatre Ancaster in so many ways. And so much is happening with Theatre Ancaster and the new Memorial Art Centre. John believed in Theatre Ancaster and community. Not only did he build sets for Theatre Ancaster, he built the town gazebo and saved, moved and refurbished the Tisdale house, one of the earliest houses in Ancaster. John would be very proud and happy with Krys being chosen. I’m so glad she was selected.”

John Nielsen Award Winners

2020 - Todd Rich »
Nominees: Laura Bottrell, Bob Carle, Krys Croxall, Erin Bree Pierce

2019 - Janet Delsey »
Nominees: Bob Carle, Krys Croxall, Lindsay Jones and Todd Rich

2018 - Jim and Angela Broadley »
Nominees: Jim and Angela Broadley, Bob Carle, Todd Rich,  Roxana Waldes-Wice

2017 - Michelle Chin and Martin Suichies »
Nominees: Michelle Chin, Janet Delsey, Frank Shackleton, Martin Suichies, Zachary Viola

2016 - Joanne Baker »
Nominees: Joanne Baker, Laura Bottrell, Michelle Chin, Mary Jonker, Michelle Smith

2015 - Tina Rath »
Nominees: Tristan Bernardi, Laura Bottrell, Janet Delsey, Tina Rath, Michelle Smith

2014 - Colin Lapsley »
Nominees: Jim Hemrica, Colin Lapsley, Nancy Ravoi

2013 - Sam Frisk »
Nominees: Krista Cranston, Sam Frisk, Agnes Niewiadomski, Lynda Switzer

2012 - Brent Wice »
Nominees: Krista Cranston, Sam Frisk, Colin Lapsley, Brent Wice

2011 - Randy Osatchuk
Nominees: Randy Osatchuk, Nancy Ravoi, Brent Wice

2010 - Melanie Barlow
Nominees: Melanie Barlow, Laura Bottrell, Whitney Lane

2009 - Harvey Elms
Nominees: all nominations were for Harvey Elms

2008 - Bob Penny
Nominees: Melanie Barlow, Harvey Elms, Jim Hemrica, Bob Penny

2007 - Jim Langfrey
Nominees: Melanie Barlow, Jim Langfrey, Stephanie Garant

2006 - Nupi Lapsley
Nominees: Jim Langfrey, Nupi Lapsley, Bob Penny

2005 - Allison Osterman
Nominees: June French, Allison Osterman, Mardie Panabaker

2004 - Jim Hemrica
Nominees: Jim Hemrica, Meghan Speakman, Veronica Watkins