Joy Bell receives provincial Senior of the Year Award
Joy Bell of Orangeville has received a Provincial Senior of the Year Award. The award -- in recognition of outstanding contributions to the community -- was presented by Councillor Scott Wilson who chairs the Orangeville Seniors/Age-Friendly Community Committee.
Ms. Bell is well known in the community as a teacher, volunteer and musical mentor. During her 30 years as an elementary classroom and music teacher, Ms. Bell produced several large-scale musicals. In 1994, she founded the Theatre Orangeville Youth Singers (TOYS), along with Jim Betts, and directed it for 16 years. The choir performed in Joseph, with Donny Osmond, in 1998, and sang at the Queen’s Jubilee. Ms. Bell was Music Director of Orangeville Music Theatre for over 16 years, has been a member of local and church choirs for many years, and was recognized by the community as Arts Educator of the Year in 2014.
Joy Bell has been a cornerstone of Theatre Orangeville’s vocal programming for youth, providing many children the benefits of her musical tutelage and her passion and discipline for singing. Many of her former students have gone on to professional careers, and all of them have grown as individuals, in ability and confidence, under her mentorship.
At different times over the years, Ms. Bell worked in Theatre Orangeville’s box office, looked after school sales, and has provided musical accompaniment at auditions and during Young Company musical performances. She was also instrumental in organizing the theatre’s archives and assisted with producing the 20th anniversary memory book during the 2013-14 season.
When she retired from Theatre Orangeville, she was granted a prestigious Platinum Ticket, one of only seven awarded over the years, recognizing her commitment to the theatre company, the community and its youth.
Among her many community contributions, Ms. Bell has been involved in the Orangeville Music Theatre, the Orangeville & District Music Festival, the Belfountain Singers and the Dufferin Concert Singers. In 2010, In the Hills magazine recognized her as a Local Hero.
The Ontario Senior of the Year Award honours one outstanding local Ontarian in each community who, after the age of 65, has enriched the social, cultural or civic life of his or her community. Seniors who qualify for this award may have contributed in many different fields, such as the arts, literature, community service, voluntarism, education, fitness and sport or humanitarian activities.