Bibs Nielsen says her late husband would have been very pleased with this year’s recipient of Theatre Ancaster’s John Nielsen Award.
Colin Lapsley was named the award winner at Theatre Ancaster’s annual meeting earlier this summer.
“John always said Theatre Ancaster had so much talent and Colin is certainly tops,” said Bibs.
John Neilsen had a long history of public service in the community and with Theatre Ancaster as a carpenter and craftsman until his death in 2003.
Lapsley said he was quite touched by his selection, and said he knew Neilsen a little better than most people realize.
“He was always very curious about music and would often strike up a conversation full of questions about what I do and how,” Lapsley said. “He loved to draw comparisons between the work of a musician and his work as a carpenter.”
Lapsley’s leadership with Theatre Ancaster has spanned 20 years. He’s been music director for countless shows, arranging music and directing bands, all while fronting his own professional band that has toured successfully throughout Canada and the U.S.
In addition, Lapsley has been Theatre Ancaster’s sound engineer. He researches and purchases sound equipment, and creates the sound design and mixing for most Theatre Ancaster shows. In addition, he’s put his engineering skills to work designing sets for shows like Joseph, in which he also played the lead role.
“Colin reminds me of John in a number of ways,” said Gord Conroy, one of the founding directors of Theatre Ancaster. “Like John, Colin has a keen mind, an ability to solve problems, and a determination to complete jobs when needed. Colin is a craftsman and technician, and like John, incredibly talented.”
Two other dedicated Theatre Ancaster production team heads were recognized as Nielsen Award nominees. Nancy Ravoi has headed up make-up since 1996 and Jim Hemrica has been the stage manager for more than 20 shows since 1998.