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$100,000 Siminovitch Prize Awarded to Set and Costume Designer, Dany Lyne

Two young designers selected as protégés, emerging designer receives an honourable mention

TORONTO, October 24, 2006

BMO Financial Group today announced that Toronto Set and Costume Designer, Dany Lynewas named the 2006 recipient of the Elinore & Lou Siminovitch Prize in Theatre, Canada’s largest annual theatre award. Ms. Lyne was chosen from a short-list of five finalists the juryselected from 36 of Canada’s top lighting, sound, costume and set designers who received nominations. The announcement was made during a ceremony this evening at University of Toronto’s historic Hart House Theatre.

According to the jury citation, “In selecting Ms. Lyne as the recipient of the 2006 Siminovitch Prize in Theatre, the Jury was particularly impressed by the evolution of her work. While sensitive to the metaphors of words and music, Ms. Lyne’s work sustains the narrative logic of the piece. She rises to the demands of working in the realm of opera, while also being able to deftly apply her creative vision to productions for both small and large theatres. Each project is a laboratory in which she collaborates with her fellow artists, while exploring and applying her vision. Poised to fully realize her creative powers, Ms. Lyne is an artist who establishes a visible and highly unique creative signature in Canadian theatre and beyond.”

Ms. Lyne has been involved in 72 productions in Canada, the United States and Europe, from new plays, to opera, from small independent theatres to large international theatres. Her work has been seen at the Stratford Festival of Canada, the Canadian Opera Company, Theatre Français de Toronto, Necessary Angel Theatre Company, Soulpepper, National Arts Centre, Tarragon Theatre, Elgin Theatre, Tapestry New Opera Works, Pacific Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Central City Opera – Denver, Nationale Reisopera – Netherlands, Opera North – England, De Vlaamse Opera – Belgium, among others.

The Siminovitch Prize jury was chaired by Leonard McHardy, co-owner and co-founder of TheatreBooks in Toronto. Joining Mr. McHardy were Luc Boulanger, author and well-known journalist in Montreal’s media community; Mary Kerr, a distinguished production designer whose work has been seen on stages across Canada and throughout the world; Diana Leblanc, an actress and director who has received acclaim in French and English throughout the country; and Keith Turnbull, a director, dramaturge and producer committed to contemporary and new work in both theatre and opera.

“The jury had a strong field of theatre artists to consider this year with five outstanding designers on the short-list. All five designers are remarkably gifted in their own unique ways, contributing immensely to the experience of theatregoing,” said Mr. McHardy. “We found Dany’s sensibility, while being distinctly Canadian, has been honed by international experience. She has become a designer of great Canadian significance. We look forward to the work and direction her designs will take in years to come.”

Tony Comper, President and CEO of BMO Financial Group, the founding sponsor of the Siminovitch Prize, applauded the selection. “On behalf of BMO Financial Group, a long-time supporter of the arts in Canada, I am pleased to congratulate Ms. Lyne on this outstanding achievement. I hope the Siminovitch Prize will enable her to further pursue the impulse toward curiosity and research that has fuelled her career thus far.”

Ms. Lyne was awarded a cheque for $75,000 and she chose two local set and costume designers, Camellia Koo and April Anne Viczko, as her protégés, who each received half of the remaining $25,000. In addition, Ms. Lyne singled out a new young designer, Jung-Hye Kim with an honourable mention. The prize founders have structured the Siminovitch Prize in this way to underscore the importance of mentorship in Canadian theatre.

“I chose to honour two designers whose work and commitment I admire very much – April Anne Viczko, a discerning, architectural and poetic creator and Camellia Koo, a meticulous, sculptural and symbolic interpreter. I also wish to encourage a young graduate, Jung-Hye Kim, whose talent and determination to become a designer are remarkable,” said Ms. Lyne.

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April Anne ViczkoProtégé

April has designed sets, costumes, lights and projections on various productions from stadiums to black boxes spanning Toronto to Vancouver. Theatres April has worked for include: Birdland Theatre (Dora nomination for The Last Days of Judas Iscariot), Tarragon, Factory, Theatre Calgary, Theatre Network, LKTYP, Moonhorse, Theatre by the Bay, Globe Theatre, Necessary Angel, Canadian Opera Company and Stratford Festival (Guthrie Award, 2000). April was born in Edmonton, Alberta but grew up in the village of Prud’homme, Saskatchewan. For the last 7 years April has called Toronto, Ontario home. April studied art in Varese, Italy and apprenticed with Scenotecnica Piu’ in Rome. Over the last three years she has worked along side Dany Lyne on various productions including RodelindaMacbeth andHalf Life. In 1998, April received her B.F.A. from the University of Alberta. Recently, April returned to Edmonton to continue her artistic research as an M.F.A. Theatre Design candidate at the U of A.

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Camellia KooProtégé

Camellia is a set & costume designer and installation artist; born in London, Ontario, raised in Mississauga, and now based in Toronto. During the past seven years, she has garnered a considerable body of work concentrating primarily on new works and dynamic collaborations. Recent collaborations include fu-Gen Asian Canadian Theatre Company, Cahoots Theatre Projects (Dora Awards for both set & costume designs, Bombay Black), Nightwood, Obsidian, Native Earth Performing Arts, Soulpepper, Theatre Direct, Factory, Fujiwara Dance Inventions, and Great Canadian Theatre Company. She has assisted Dany on several productions including, La Voix HumaineSeven Deadly SinsMedusaNathan the WiseRodelinda, andHalf Life (2006). Camellia received her B.F.A. from Ryerson Univeristy (Technical Production) and immediately entered apprenticeship with Soulpepper. In 2002, she completed her M.A. in Scenography at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design (UK) and Hogeschool de Kunst, The Netherlands as part of the European Scenography Centres Exchange. Camellia has also designed the stage and Great Hall décor for The Siminovitch Prize ceremonies for the past two years.

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Jung-Hye KimHonourable Mention

Jung-Hye, born in Seoul Korea, is a young Toronto based designer. She decided to pursue her career as a set and costume designer when she had fallen in love with operas while she was studying painting in Florence Italy. She feels privileged to have worked in various exciting productions after graduating from Ryerson Theatre School last year. She also holds a degree in Textile Design from the Ontario College of Art and Design.

The other finalists placed on the short list for the 2006 Siminovitch Prize were: Judith Bowden, Set and Costume Designer, Niagara on the Lake, ON; Bretta Gerecke, Set and Lighting Designer, Edmonton, AB; Anick La Bissonnière, Set Designer, Montréal, QC; and Danièle Lévesque, Set Designer, Montréal, QC.

The Siminovitch Prize in Theatre was introduced in 2001 and dedicated to renowned scientist Lou Siminovitch and his late wife Elinore, a playwright. Sponsored by BMO Financial Group, Canada’s largest annual theatre arts award recognizes direction, playwriting and design in three-year cycles, beginning with the 2001 award to Toronto director Daniel Brooks; the 2002 award to Montreal playwright Carole Fréchette; the 2003 award to Montreal designer Louise Campeau; the 2004 award to St. John’s director Jillian Keiley and the 2005 award to Toronto playwright John Mighton.

Contacts:
JoAnne Hayes, Toronto, joanne.hayes@bmo.com, (416) 867-3996
Lucie Gosselin, Montreal, lucie.gosselin@bmo.com, (514) 877-1101
Laurie Grant, Vancouver, laurie.grant@bmo.com, (604) 665-7596

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