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  • June 4th deadline for theatre Director nominations fast approaching
  • Jury to award $100,000 prize on November 1

TORONTO, May 28, 2010 – BMO Financial Group announces the members of the jury for the2010 Elinore & Lou Siminovitch Prize in Theatre, taking place November 1 in Toronto. The distinguished panel of theatre experts will select this year’s recipient of the $100,000 prize – the largest prize in Canadian theatre.

The deadline for nominations for the Siminovitch Prize is Friday, June 4th. This year’s award honours a professional director advancing Canadian theatre through a body of work achieved in recent years. The Prize allows and encourages the artist to go further in the pursuit of their craft. A short list will be announced in September, and the recipient revealed in November, with $25,000 of the prize money awarded to a protégé of the recipient’s choosing.

BMO Financial Group, a founding sponsor, will host the award ceremony. “BMO is proud to contribute to the continued advancement of Canadian theatre and culture,” said Gilles Ouellette, President and CEO, Private Client Group, BMO Financial Group. “This award nurtures, promotes and preserves the great work being done by countless men and women in theatres across the country.”

Maureen Labonté, will preside as jury chair for the second consecutive year. Ms. Labonté is a past Siminovitch Prize jury member, with extensive theatre experience in English and French communities across the country.

“This year’s jury encompasses a wealth of knowledge and experience in Canadian theatre,” said Ms. Labonté. “We look forward to the challenge of recognizing the exceptional work achieved by these directors, whose passion for Canadian theatre is displayed in full force through their work.”

The other members of the jury are:

Marie Clements – an award-winning, BC-based Métis performer. She is also a playwright, screenwriter, director, producer, and founding Artistic Director of urban ink productions, whose mandate is to encourage and support the pursuit of artistic excellence in the development of new aboriginal and diverse cultural works.

Jillian Keiley – Artistic Director of Newfoundland’s Artistic Fraud. Her work has been seen in theatres and festivals across the country. She was artistic director and producer of a Victory Ceremony Celebration at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Ms. Keiley is also a past winner of the Siminovitch Prize for directing.

Alain Jean – presently Director of Development Projects at the Association des théâtres francophones du Canada. He will take over as its Director General as of June 2010. From 2002 to 2009, Alain Jean was coordinator of play development at the Centre des auteurs dramatiques (CEAD) in Montreal and, from 1997 to 2002, Artistic Director of the Theatre de la Seizieme (Vancouver).

Marti Maraden – a well-known actress and director who was Artistic Director of English Theatre at the National Arts Centre from 1997-2005. This summer she will direct The Winter’s Tale for the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, where she has spent 18 seasons.

Marcus Youssef – Artistic Producer of Vancouver’s Neworld Theatre, and Artistic Associate of the Magnetic North Theatre Festival in Ottawa. Mr. Youssef’s 2009 production of Are We There Yet? won three Jessie Richardson Awards – Best Directing, Acting and Production.

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