May 12, 2016 – OTTAWA (Canada) – The Siminovitch Prize and the National Arts Centre today announced a call for nominations for the Siminovitch Prize, Canada’s most prestigious award in theatre. The Prize was launched in 2000 to honour the values and achievements of the renowned scientist Lou Siminovitch and his late wife Elinore Siminovitch, a pioneering playwright. Dr. Siminovitch celebrates his 96th birthday on May 15.
The Siminovitch Prize shines a spotlight on excellence and innovation in Canadian theatre with an annual prize of $100,000. Over a three-year cycle, the Prize honours a professional director, playwright or designer who is an acknowledged leader in the theatre and whose work is transformative and influential. This year’s Prize will be awarded to a director on Friday, October 28, 2016 at the National Arts Centre.
“The Siminovitch Prize is the most distinguished honour in Canadian theatre. We look forward to receiving nominations championing the work of the best and brightest directors working in the country today,” said Jury Chair Bob White.
The Prize also recognizes the importance of mentorship to support emerging talent. The recipient receives $75,000 and, in turn, chooses a protégé to receive $25,000.
Nomination details can be found at the end of this release.
This year, the Siminovitch Prize is launching a new partnership with the National Arts Centre, which acts as a catalyst for performance, creation and learning across the country. The only bilingual, multi-disciplinary performing arts centre in Canada, the National Arts Centre is home to NAC English Theatre and French Theatre, which together play a national role in developing, co-producing and showcasing theatrical works in collaboration with theatre-makers across Canada. In addition, the NAC recently announced a major new emphasis on creation to benefit artists and arts organizations across Canada who are creating ambitious new work for national and international audiences, as well as the creation of an Indigenous Theatre department that will launch in 2019.
Both the NAC’s English Theatre and French Theatre are led by Siminovitch Prize laureates – Jillian Keiley (2004) and Brigitte Haentjens (2007). In fact, since the Prize’s inception in 2001, works from all fifteen laureates have graced the national stage at the NAC.
“We are so happy to be a part of making the Siminovitch Prize truly national,” said Jillian Keiley, Artistic Director of English Theatre. “The Siminovitch Prize values and strengthens Canadian theatre, and the NAC’s aim of celebrating the work of Canadian art and artists fits perfectly with their mission. It’s a natural partnership.”
“The Siminovitch Prize made a big difference in both my career and the way others see my work,” says Brigitte Haentjens, Artistic Director of NAC’s French Theatre. “It’s an extraordinary award that recognizes the talent of young creative artists, and opportunities like these are pretty rare. I am also thrilled that the National Arts Centre will now be a partner in celebrating some of the most exciting artists in Canadian theatre today. I can’t wait to raise my glass to this year’s nominees.”
The shortlist for this year’s Siminovitch Prize will be announced in mid-October 2016.
Also new this year is an alliance with the National Theatre School of Canada. NTS is the preeminent Canadian theatre school, offering high-level, rigorous professional training programs in acting, production, set and costume design, playwriting, and directing, in both official languages. NTS trains passionate leaders who will shape the future of theatre in Canada and abroad. Building upon the Siminovitch Prize’s focus on mentorship, the NAC will bring together nominees and students of the National Theatre School for a series of workshops and podcast discussions around this fall’s festivities.
“NTS is delighted to be associated with the Siminovitch Prize, which honours the best in theatre creation across the country. At the heart of the Prize is a commitment to fostering the next generation of artists and a belief that mentorship is a true marker of excellence, and our students will benefit greatly from meeting and working with these celebrated artists,” said Gideon Arthurs, Chief Executive Officer of the National Theatre School.
ABOUT THE SIMINOVITCH PRIZE
The Siminovitch Prize shines a spotlight on excellence and innovation in Canadian theatre with an annual prize of $100,000. Over a three-year cycle, the Prize celebrates a professional director, playwright or designer, an acknowledged leader in the theatre whose work is transformative and influential. The Siminovitch Prize also encourages and supports emerging talent with a protégé prize awarded to a theatre artist chosen by the recipient. The Prize was launched in 2000 to honour the values and achievements of the renowned scientist Lou Siminovitch and his late wife Elinore Siminovitch, a pioneering playwright. The 2015 Prize was awarded to designer Anick La Bissonnière and protégé Marilène Bastien. In 2016 the Siminovitch Prize also celebrates its 16-year partnership with the University of Toronto.
ABOUT THE NAC
The NAC is a home for some of Canada’s most creative artists, and where the most exciting emerging and established artists perform on its national stage. As part of its Strategic Plan, the NAC recently announced a major new emphasis on creation to benefit artists and arts organizations across Canada who are creating ambitious new work for national and international audiences. The National Arts Centre (NAC) is the only bilingual, multi-disciplinary performing arts centre in Canada and one of the largest in the world. The NAC presents more than 1,000 performances a year in Music, Dance, Theatre, and Contemporary Music. The NAC’s mandate is to work with artists and arts organizations across the country to support the performing arts everywhere and to create a national stage.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Please help us spread the word through your theatre companies, organizations, newsletters and social media. Visit www.siminovitchprize.com for more information.
Nominations are welcome for stage directors who, through their body of work, have made a significant creative contribution to noteworthy theatre projects in Canada, and who are continuing to create work that demonstrates innovation and excellence. Nominees must have at least ten years’ experience as professional directors and should be continuing to make substantial achievements in their work.
Nominees will have developed a marked personal style or artistic approach to their craft, vision, technique, interests and/or collaborations.
In addition, the jury will consider the following aspects of the artist’s work: originality, sense of evolution, growing maturity, continuing experimentation, impact upon audiences, and influence upon younger artists.
Artists are eligible whose work is performed in either English or French in the not-for-profit or commercial theatre sector in Canada. Issues regarding the eligibility of nominees are decided at the sole discretion of the jury.
Full-time employees and board trustees of the National Arts Centre are not eligible to be awarded the Siminovitch Prize, in any year during which they are actively serving the National Arts Centre.
Self-nominations will not be considered. Completed nominations should be submitted electronically by Friday, July 15, 2016 at 5 p.m. Eastern Time.
A national jury of distinguished members of the Canadian theatre community is chosen annually to select the Siminovitch Prize recipient. The Jury Chair leads the selection of the jury and presides over the deliberations.