Recognizing
Excellence and Innovation
in Canadian Theatre

$100,000 Siminovitch Prize in Theatre Awarded to Director Kim Collier

Collier chooses Anita Rochon to receive $25,000 as protégé

Theatre2010

TORONTO, November 1, 2010

BMO Financial Group announced today that Vancouver-based director Kim Collier has been selected as the recipient of the 2010 Elinore & Lou Siminovitch Prize in Theatre, the largest theatre award in the country. This year is the 10th year the Siminovitch Prize has been awarded and marks $1 million in prizes that have gone to enhance the Canadian theatre industry.

Collier received a cheque for $75,000 at a ceremony in Toronto tonight and selected Vancouver-based Anita Rochon as her protégé who received $25,000. The Siminovitch Prize is set up in this way to put an emphasis on the role of mentorship in Canadian theatre.

Collier was chosen from a short list of six finalists including Ron Jenkins (Edmonton), Ross Manson (Toronto), Alisa Palmer (Toronto), Soheil Parsa (Toronto), and Jennifer Tarver (Toronto).

“In choosing Kim Collier as the winner of the 2010 Siminovitch Prize, the jury wanted to recognize Kim’s leadership and spirit of innovation in the theatre world,” said Maureen Labonté, Jury Chair. “As a director, she encourages artistic risk and excellence, is a believer in the power of community and is an impressive mentor for emerging artists.”

Collier is credited with founding Electric Company Theatre, whose work quickly became recognized nationally as a driving force behind the resurgence of activity in Vancouver’s independent theatre scene. Under the direction of Collier, the company has created a dozen original works through an intensive collaborative process including three landmark site-specific productions. In 2011 her live-cinematic interpretation of No Exit will be presented by the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco.

Collier also has a growing presence on major stages and festivals across Canada with productions at Theatre Calgary, Festival TransAmerique, National Arts Centre, the Citadel Theatre and Canadian Stage.

“There is something divine about receiving the Siminovitch Prize at this time in my life. I pledge to honour this prize, to not forget this gift and how, through this opportunity, I can strengthen my heart, my vision, my knowledge, and my understanding. I vow to bring this inspiration into the work, and may that work ultimately reach and inspire the larger community,” said Collier.

“From all of us at BMO Financial Group, I would like to congratulate Kim on her outstanding achievements and contribution to Canadian theatre,” said Gilles Ouellette, President and CEO, Private Client Group, BMO Financial Group. “The Siminovitch Prize represents the excellence, innovation and exploration Kim has demonstrated continuously throughout her career. Her work is an example of the creativity that thrives in Canada and what is achievable with encouragement, mentorship and support.”

Anita Rochon, Protégé

Anita Rochon is a Vancouver-based director who has been involved in the development of more than 20 new pieces of theatre, ranging from movement-based works, to verbatim theatre, to traditional scripts. She is artistic director of The Chop Theatre with Emelia Symington Fedy, producers of KISMET one to one hundred, 2 Truths + 1 Lie = Proof (HIVE) and Townsville(Magnetic North). Among many other projects she choreographed and directed Now he belongs to the ages (angels) which was showcased at the Theatre Centre last spring. In Vancouver she frequently works with Théâtre la Seizième, Rumble Productions and at her alma matter Studio 58 where she directed a highly acclaimed interpretation of The Winter’s Tale. She has toured nationally and internationally with Theatre Replacement’s BIOBOXESand will co-direct their next work, Dress me up in your love, followed by Rumble Production’sCommunity Dinner, a re-imagining of dinner theatre made in collaboration with recent newcomers to Canada. In 2009 she graduated from the Directing program at the National Theatre School of Canada.

About the 2010 Siminovitch Prize Jury

This year’s jury was lead by Maureen Labonté, a Montreal-based translator and dramaturge. Other members of the jury included:

  • Marie Clements, Galiano Island, British Columbia, award-winning BC-based Métis performer, playwright, screenwriter, director, producer, and founding Artistic Director ofurban ink productions.
  • Jillian Keiley, St. John’s, Newfoundland, was artistic director and producer of a Victory Ceremony Celebration at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and is currently artistic director of Newfoundland’s Artistic Fraud.
  • Alain Jean, Ottawa, Ontario, director, actor and teacher, presently the Director General of Development Projects at the Association des théâtres francophonesdu Canada.
  • Marti Maraden, Stratford, Ontario, well-known actress and director, was Artistic Director of English Theatre at the National Arts Centre from 1997-2005.
  • Marcus Youssef, Vancouver, BC, Artistic Producer of Vancouver’s Neworld Theatre, and Artistic Associate of the Magnetic North Theatre Festival in Ottawa.

About the Siminovitch Prize

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. Previous recipients include:

  • Toronto director Daniel Brooks – 2001
  • Montreal playwright Carole Fréchette – 2002
  • Montreal designer Louise Campeau – 2003
  • St. John’s director Jillian Keiley – 2004
  • Toronto playwright John Mighton – 2005
  • Toronto designer Dany Lyne – 2006
  • Montréal director Brigitte Haentjens – 2007
  • Toronto playwright Daniel MacIvor -2008
  • Calgary and Toronto designer Ronnie Burkett – 2009

Contacts:
Amanda Robinson, Toronto, Amanda.robinson@bmo.com, (416) 867-3996
Nini Krishnappa, Toronto, nini.krishnappa@bmo.com, (416) 867-3996
Sarah Bensadoun, Montreal, sarah.bensadoun@bmo.com, (514) 877-8224
Laurie Grant, Vancouver, laurie.grant@bmo.com, (604) 665-7596

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