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TORONTO, July 14, 2008

BMO Financial Group, sponsor of the Elinore & Lou Siminovitch Prize in Theatre, today announced the names of the 26 Canadian playwrights (please see below) who have been recognized with nominations for this year’s award. The $100,000 prize – the largest in Canadian theatre – will be presented October 27, 2008, to a professional playwright who has made a significant contribution to theatre in Canada, based on their body of work.

“We are always impressed by the range and quality of the work produced by Canadian playwrights,” said Gilles Ouellette, president and CEO of the Private Client Group at BMO Financial Group. “The Jury again has a good representation of work from across Canada, in both languages, and it’s going to be a difficult decision for them.”

A distinguished panel of theatre experts will review the plays over the summer and a short-list will be announced at the end of September. The jury is chaired by Leonard McHardy, co-owner of Toronto’s TheatreBooks bookstore and board President of Necessary Angel, a Toronto theatre company.

The other members of the jury are: Patricia Hamilton, a celebrated Canadian actress with more than 45 years on the stage; Paul Lefebvre, a noted translator, stage director, dramaturge and theatre scholar.; Vicki Stroich, a prominent dramaturge, programmer and producer with Calgary’s Alberta Theatre Projects; and John Van Burek, a director, teacher, translator, and Founding Artistic Director of Toronto’s Pleiades Theatre.

2008 Siminovitch Prize Nominees 
(and the representative play accompanying the nomination)

Michele Riml, North Vancouver, BC (Rage)
Carmen Aguirre, Vancouver, BC (The Trigger)
Marie Clements, Galiano Island, BC (Copper Thunderbird)
Vern Thiessen, Edmonton, AB (Vimy)
Lyle Victor Albert, Edmonton, AB (Jumpin’ Jack)
Doug Curtis, Calgary, AB (Mesa)
Karen Hines, Calgary, AB (Hello Hello)
Rick Chafe, Winnipeg, MB (Shakespeare’s Dog)
Alex Poch-Goldin, Toronto, ON (Cringeworthy)
Linda Griffiths, Toronto, ON (Age of Arousal)
David S. Craig, Toronto, ON (Danny, King of the Basement)
Daniel Maclvor, Toronto, ON (A Beautiful View)
Morwyn Brebner, Toronto, ON (The Optimists)
Tony Nardi, Toronto, ON (Letter Two)
Michael Hollingsworth, Toronto, ON (Confederation)
Florence Gibson, Toronto, ON (Home is my road)
Colleen Murphy, Toronto, ON (The December Man)
Morris Panych, Toronto, ON (Girl in the goldfish bowl)
Daniel David Moses, Kingston, ON (The Moon and Dead Indians)
Drew Hayden Taylor, Curve Lake, ON (The Berlin Blues)
David Gow, Pointe-Claire, QC (Relative Good)
Vittorio Rossi, Montreal, QC (A Carpenter’s Trilogy)
Larry Tremblay, Montreal, QC (Abraham Lincoln va au théâtre)
Kent Stetson, Montreal, QC (The Harps of God)
Jasmine Dubé, Montreal, QC (La Couturiere)
Daniel Danis, St-David de Falardeau, QC (Le Langue-à-Langue des chiens de roche)

About BMO Financial Group’s support of arts and culture
BMO Financial Group is one of Canada’s largest corporate benefactors, and a major contributor to arts and culture. In 2007, BMO contributed more than $50 million in donations and sponsorships. BMO’s funding supports numerous cultural charities and organizations, ranging from grants to music and art programs in schools, to sustaining grants for national cultural institutions.

About the Siminovitch Prize in Theatre
The Elinore & Lou Siminovitch Prize in Theatre honours professional directors, playwrights and designers by acknowledging excellence and encouraging further exploration in Canadian theatre. The Siminovitch Prize was created in 2001 and is dedicated to distinguished scientist Lou Siminovitch and his late wife Elinore, a playwright. For further information:www.siminovitchprize.com.

Media Contacts:
Paul Gammal, Toronto, paul.gammal@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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