Sahra Soudi is replacing our other Admin Assistant who is on a leave of absence because of school. Sahra is a multimedia artist, curator, educator, and community organizer based in Hamilton whose art practice is rooted in social justice activism. Inspired by collectivity and community, their efforts are reflected in two artist collectives, HAVN (Hamilton Audio Visual Node) and COBRA (Coalition of Black and Racialized Artists). They have advocated for the inclusion and participation of BIPOC communities, from artist run centres to national galleries, and DIY venues. Soudi is passionate about disability justice and centers this framework when thinking about collaborations that enhance opportunities for artists with invisible and visible disabilities. They are an emerging curator who is interested in disrupting ableism and colonialism that exist in institutional art spaces through practices that empower marginalized communities by combining accessibility, mutual aid, and restorative justice.  Reach Sahra at


Athalia Green is the project coordinator of the Disability Justice Network of Ontario. She recently graduated with her degree in Political Science at McMaster University. She has had experience during her education with researching and addressing policies regarding life and liberty. As well as community advocacy work throughout the years. She is dedicated to shifting a society and removing countless barriers where individuals with disability are affected. In addition she is motivated and determined to focus on mutual aids and open communication to ensure a thriving, accessible and liberating society for everyone. Reach Athalia at:

On November 11th 2020, the Disability Justice Network of Ontario (DJNO) hosted a Canada wide meeting to begin building a strategy around a Just Recovery that centres people with disabilities in Canada. In attendance were individuals across the country, as well as the Disabled Womens' Network of Canada, the ODSP Action Coalition, ARCH Disability Law Centre, Winnipeg Police Cause Harm, and many other groups.

To get involved in building out this strategy and campaign, email to be put on the mailing list to receive updates!

Tickets for The Gilded Hammer Awards ceremony on Saturday, November 21st are now on sale!

Hosted by Donna-Michelle St. Bernard, this fully accessible online event features The Gilded Hammers awards presentations, local artist performances, Scroll Down digital premiere funded by Canada Council for the Arts and community partners, and a community conversation hosted by theatre collective Femmepire

Tickets range from $5-$40 and 50% of ticket sales from The Gilded Hammer Awards will be donated to the Disability Justice Network of Ontario. For new and existing Hamilton Fringe members, your ticket account will automatically discount a full price ticket to the special member price of $10.

Announcing the Nominees

The Cutting Edge: Innovation Award

Valeri Kay Michael Kras Stephanie Hope Lawlor

The Groundbreaker: Emerging Artist Award

Will Gillespie Camille Intson Kitoko Kasiama Maddie Krusto Carlyn Rhamey Claud Spadafora

The Force of Impact: National Achievement Award

Anna Chatterton Juno Rinaldi

Why award Hamilton Theatre artists?

It is our belief that a strong and inclusive theatre culture contributes to the cultural life of all Hamiltonians. We are committed to creating presentation opportunities for local artists and to supporting the growth of professional theatre in Hamilton. The Gilded Hammers are designed to celebrate the fierce spirit of independent theatre artists, to award innovation and growth, to nurture emerging talent, and to recognize the national achievements of artists from Hamilton.

The Gilded Hammers theatre awards categories include:

  • The Cutting Edge: Innovation Award Celebrating the change-makers, the innovators, the courageous, the revolutionaries. This award recognizes the skills and achievements of a local artist or arts leader who has carved out new pathways for theatre in Hamilton. This award will have a $1,000 cash prize attached.

  • The Groundbreaker: Emerging Artist Award Awarded to an artist who is young in craft and shows great promise. The winner exhibits vision, sensitivity, and strength in the art form. Community impact and burgeoning creativity are given greater weight than polish. This award will have a $1,000 cash prize attached.

  • The Force of Impact: National Achievement Award An artist from Hamilton who is making a name for themselves and for the city on the National stage and beyond. This award winner will have travel and accommodations paid for to attend the theatre showcase event.

  • The Dramatic Backer: Community Contribution Award Awarded to a business, sponsor, or donor who has made a significant impact on the theatre arts through their financial support of artists and arts organizations.

2020 Nomination and Selection Process:

An individual or an organization may put forth a nomination in any of the categories listed above. Only one nomination per person/organization per year is permitted. Artists are encouraged to self-nominate. There is no fee to apply.

Nominations closed September 18, 2020.

The Gilded Hammers Jury:

An independent jury of theatre artists and professionals will evaluate all nominations. The size of each the jury will be between 3-5 members, depending on the number of nominees. The 2020 jury includes: Aaron Jan, Lisa Pijuan-Nomura, Rick Roberts.

The Gilded Hammers Announcement:

The 2020 Award Nominees will be announced in October. The 2020 Award Recipients will be announced at The Gilded Hammer Awards online event on November 21st, 2020. 

Tickets are on sale now!

The Gilded Hammers Steering Committee:

The Gilded Hammers Steering Committee is composed of theatre artists and professionals from all experience levels dedicated to providing consultation on the development of an awards program that represents the needs of the local Theatre industry. Steering Committee members have contributed to the development of The Gilded Hammers and Theatre Showcase beginning in September 2019 and will continue through 2020. 2019-2020 Steering Committee Members: Trevor Copp, Ruth Flynn, Radha Menon, Micaela Morales, Cairine Wilson.

This pilot theatre awards program is supported by the City of Hamilton’s City Enrichment Fund: Capacity Building for Arts Organization grant.

Thank you to all our government, foundation, and community partners. 

© 2020 by Disability Justice Network of Ontario.

Brand partner: FlyPrint

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