The Harold Awards
The annual Harold Awards are named after Harold Kandel, a regular Toronto theatre patron known for loudly and persistently heckling performers onstage, commenting both positively and negatively about the productions and the actors from his usual vantage point in the front row. Kandel's presence at a play could mean outspoken appreciation or scorn but often, to the actors, dread, as his remarks throughout a show could distract actors and audience alike. The elderly white-haired gentleman, who was hard of hearing and had poor eyesight, was in such regular attendance that when he died in 1994 the awards were created to honour his spirit as well as the outstanding work of often under-recognised theatre individuals.
Winners of the Harold Awards are chosen by former recipients and, unlike the better-known DORA AWARDS, the Harold Awards are presented in an informal atmosphere and the nominees are unaware that they are in the running for the award. The Harold Awards are presented annually each spring.