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Theatre Ancaster’s Janet Delsey honoured with prestigious Nielsen Award

“This is amazing,” said Jan Delsey, who is this year’s honoured recipient of the John Nielsen Memorial Award for 2018-2019. The award was announced at The Annual Meeting and Barbecue of Theatre Ancaster in June with some 100 members and friends in attendance at the home of Krys and Al Croxall in Jerseyville.

“It’s a great honour to receive the Nielsen Award,” said Delsey, “I feel really privileged to work with this group of talented, passionate and dedicated people. All the nominees are so deserving.”

Michelle Chin, herself a Nielsen Award recipient, highlighted Delsey’s contributions to the crowd of supporters.


“Jan is a Jack-of-all-trades and master of many in her 14 years with the company. She is a talent both on stage and off.”

The playbills of most Theatre Ancaster shows feature Jan not just once, but often twice or more. She created and manages the Theatre Ancaster website, welcomes patrons as part of the front-of-house teams, helps with props and has created posters and programs. In 2012, Jan co-developed the youth programs online registration system and continues to provide database support for the registration process each term. She has also served as secretary on the board of directors.

Jan founded the Theatre Ancaster Chorus in 2013 and has been its program director ever since. The Chorus has flourished under her leadership, hard work and determination. The Chorus shows shine because of Jan’s attention to decor and costuming.

“Jan is a lovely, kind and supportive person, which is a big reason for the success of the shows she is involved in,” said Chin. “She does whatever it takes and is always willing to go the extra mile to make things happen. I cannot imagine Theatre Ancaster without her.”

The John Nielsen Award was established to honour John Nielsen, Theatre Ancaster’s master carpenter for ten years before his death in 2003. John took on many projects both for Theatre Ancaster and his community. In addition to his set building work with Theatre Ancaster that included building a whole town for Fiddler on The Roof and a pyramid to hold more than 50 people for Joseph, John restored the interior of The Ancaster Old Town Hall, built the town’s gazebo, did much work at the Senior Centre in Alberton, and headed the restoration work of The Tisdale House, Ancaster’s oldest heritage building.

Gord Conroy who chairs the Nielsen Award Committee explains: “The Nielsen Award salutes a member of Theatre Ancaster’s production team who is a leader, like John was, who works hard, and by example, encourages and motivates others. That certainly fits Jan Delsey.”

Other nominees included Bob Carle, Krys Croxall, Lindsay Jones and Todd Rich.

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