ArtsAlive.ca – The Secret Life of Costumes
Olga Dimitrov

Olga Dimitrov

Olga Dimitrov served as painter and later as costume designer in Civic Theatre Kladno after finishing her schooling in 1949 in the Czech Republic, where she was born. Next she became full-time resident costume designer at the Civic Theatre in Presov and guest designer throughout Czechosolvakia creating costume designs for over 360 productions spanning drama, opera, ballet and musical comedy repertoires.

In her first four years in Prague, aside from working on a few theatre productions Dimitrov designed 18 feature films including Academy Award winning film “Closely Watched Trains” and Vatican Peace Prize winner “The End of August in Hotel Ozon”.

In 1968 Dimitrov, along with her husband Antonin and daughter Petra, came to Canada and took classes to learn English. In the fall of 1969 husband and wife worked as resident designers in Halifax at the Neptune Theatre. From 1971-1973 Olga Dimitrov worked as costume designer for the Indiana University School of Music, and from 1973-1977 as resident costume designer at Theatre London Co. During this period also designed costumes for the National Arts Centre in Ottawa and various arts productions in Toronto.

Since 1977 Olga Dimitrov has designed costumes for the children’s short film Fantastica, as well as the following feature films: In Praise of Older Women (1978), Agency (1980), Silence of the North (1981), Death Hunt (1981), Harry Tracy (1982), Dead Zone (1983), The Undergrads (1985), Beer (1985), Samuel Lount (1985), One Magic Christmas (1985), John and the Missus (1987), Bethune: The Making of a Hero (1989), Millennium (1989), Shadow of the Wolf (1992), Woman on the Trail, Squanto: A Warrior’s Tale (1994), Johnny Mnemonic (1995), Pocahontas: The Legend (1995), and 22 episodes of the television series The Adventures of Sinbad (1996-1997).

Dimitrov has received a Dora Mavor Moore for The Boyfriend and Man of La Mancha (1982, Outstanding Costume Design). She was nominated for three Genie Awards for One Magic Christmas, Samuel Lount, and Millenium, and she won one for Bethune – Making of the Hero, and Shadow of the Wolf.

Dimitrov has been retired since 2004 and lives in Bobcaygeon, Ontario.