Congratulations to Kaitlin Nihill

Winner of the 2017 Mary Porter Professional Development Scholarship.


New patrons announced

The CAT Awards is proud to announce two new patrons: Michael Edgley and Simon Gallaher. Read more>>


Vale Jon English

The CAT family was shocked to hear the news of the passing of Jon English on 6 March. Words cannot describe how much we loved and appreciated everything he did for the CAT Awards, as well as his friendship and loyalty to everyone he touched in both his theatrical career and personally. Thank you Jon for all the support you have given everyone, we all love you dearly. See our tribute to Jon.


Welcome Jon English, NSW regional patron

Jon English

We are thrilled to announce that Jon English has agreed to be our NSW Regional Patron.

We now have 4 Patrons:

  • Mary Porter MLA
  • Toni Lamond
  • John Wood
  • Jon English

Here’s what Jon wrote on his Facebook page:

Over the past 6 years I’ve been involved in presenting at the CAT (Canberra Amateur Theatre) Awards. Last week a media release announced that the NSW Gov is going to be involved in sponsoring the awards, and this week I’m proud to say that I have been asked to be the NSW regional patron. I’m a big supporter of what the CAT Awards do in helping to foster up and coming theatre talent in the ACT and in surrounding regional NSW, and would love to see something of the same calibre grow and expand into other states. Thanks to the ever fabulous Coralie Wood who has worked tirelessly to organise these awards for 20 years!> Looking forward to attending the awards in my new role next Feb.


CAT Awards to roar again following NSW Government grant

Johm Barilaro, Coralie Wood and Troy Grant at the announcement of the grant from the NSW government

An awards scheme recognising the contribution of amateur theatre groups in Canberra and throughout regional NSW for the past two decades, will receive much needed financial assistance from the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government.

Member for Monaro John Barilaro was joined by Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts Troy Grant to announce a $20,000 grant to help fund the Canberra Area Theatre (CAT) Awards.

Following the ACT Government’s decision to withdraw funding support for the CAT Awards, Mr Barilaro said the NSW Government was keen to ensure financial viability of the awards.

Mr Barilaro said the NSW Government is committed to supporting and developing theatre.
“Amateur theatre might not be ‘avant-garde’ enough for the ACT Government to have any interest, however it is popular for regional communities and brings people together,” Mr Barilaro said.
“This region in particular has cemented a growing reputation as a centre of cultural and artistic excellence and recognising the need to nurture artistic talent is just as important as celebrating and appreciating the work of established artists.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts Troy Grant said since the awards were founded in 1995, they have grown to become a major event in the theatrical calendar in the ACT and throughout NSW.
“The event held in Canberra showcases a variety of theatrical productions and raises the profile of home grown talent,” Mr Grant said.

“Last year 21 of the 44 CAT Award winners were from theatre companies across regional NSW demonstrating the depth of creative talent existing in regional communities.
“Many companies, performers and production personnel in the region have found the CAT Awards bring the satisfaction and enjoyment of having their talent recognised and build a higher profile for their theatre company locally.

“The NSW Liberals and Nationals Government is committed to fostering a vibrant creative arts presence in regional communities,” Mr Grant said.


Special 20th Anniversary Nominations Dinner 15 December

The 2014 nominations will be announced at a special 20th Anniversary Nominations Dinner at the Q Theatre, 253 Crawford Street Queanbeyan, on Monday evening 15 December starting at 6.30 pm.

The evening will be hosted by John Barilaro MP with special guests John Wood and Allyn Smith and some special entertainment.

Tickets $40.00 per person, which includes a two course dinner, complimentary wine on tables and then bar service, entertainment, and announcement of nominations.

BOOK NOW. Booking are essential! Numbers are limited so we suggest you book ASAP.


Mary Porter Professional Development Scholarship

Applications will open soon for the 2015 Mary Porter Professional Development Scholarship. Watch this space for details of how to apply.


Recognition for CAT judges

Our team of CAT judges is proud to have been nominated in the Teams category of the ACT Volunteer of the Year Awards for 2014. This demonstrates the contribution the judges make to recognising and encouraging community theatre in the ACT and south-eastern NSW.

Read more about the ACT Volunteer of the Year Awards>>


Welcome to new judges

A big welcome to the latest additions to our judging panel: Sophie Benassi, Andrew Snell, Peter Dark, Jordan Kelly, Paul Dion (Merimbula), Bill Jayet (Parkes), Peter Cox (Wagga Wagga) and Peter Young (Orange).

For the first time, we have expanded our panel beyond the ACT. This will give greater representation to our regional community theatre companies, and will reduce the travel load of our Canberra judges.

Read more about our panel of judges>>


2014 20th Anniversary Gala Awards Night

The 2014 Gala Awards Night will be held on Saturday 21 February 2014 at The Llewellyn Hall, ANU. Ticket prices and booking details will be available soon.

Celebrating 20 years of the CAT Awards.


CAT Awards go mobile!

If you see our CAT buzzing around town or along the highway, don’t think you’re hallucinating. It’s just our CEO Coralie Wood in her new car proudly painted with our logo, thanks to our generous sponsors at National Capital Motors.

Make sure you wave next time you see the mobile CAT out and about.

The Mobile CAT


ActewAGL new major sponsor for Canberra Area Theatre Awards


Amateur Theatre's Big night Out

From the Porter Report March 2008

Almost 900 people, many of the them from as far away as Parkes, Orange, Wagga and Merimbula, packed the Canberra Theatre for the 2007 Telstra Country Wide Canberra and Area Theatre Awards.

It was the 13th annual occasion that the awards have been presented and patron Mary Porter again thanked Telstra General Manager for Capital South East, Ian Peters, for Telstra’s ongoing support.

Three years ago it looked as if the awards would fold because their founder and driving force, Coralie Wood, could no longer afford to continue to fund the award’s presentation night and the accommodation costs of the volunteer judges who travel to regional areas to adjudicate on the shows presented by member companies.

As the area serviced by Ian Peters was similar to that of the CATs, Mary approached the Telstra GM with a proposition that his organisation become the naming rights sponsor.

Having a personal interest in amateur theatre and believing that Telstra had a role to play as a good corporate citizen, as well as looking at the commercial benefits of reaching such a large audience, Mr Peters agreed to come on board and the rest, as they say, is history.

Among the winners on the night were the Parkes Musical and Drama Society with their production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.

In his acceptance speech, Neil Westcott a farmer and the production’s Musical Director told the audience that in the dire months of one of the worst droughts the area had experienced the show kept the town’s spirits up and gave people hope that together they would get through it.

“This is the sort of community spirit that amateur theatre produces” said Mary Porter. “Of course we all love to see great shows but the really important benefit is the value of people working together and producing something worthwhile.”

Belinda Green, Ian Peters & Mary Porter MLA at the CAT Awards in 2007
Belinda Green, Ian Peters & Mary Porter MLA
at the CAT Awards in 2007

CAT Awards now a registered company

As a further step in improving its administration and ensuring its future, the CAT Awards announces that it has become a registered company under the Corporations Act 2001.
The company is limited by guarantee.
The company is a public company.
The day of commencement of registration is 8 October 2007.

Don and David Whitbread, Cathy and Joe McGrail-Bateup in Green Room CAT Awards 2007
Don and David Whitbread, Cathy and Joe McGrail-Bateup
in Green Room CAT Awards 2007