Skip to content

Shortlist Announced for 2013 Siminovitch Prize for Theatre

Image: Name, Title, Description

Jury members Martine Beaulne (Montéal), Ann-Marie Kerr(Halifax), Janet Munsil (Victoria), John Van Burek (Chair, Toronto), and Bob White(Stratford) have deliberated and made their choices.

“The Jury was uniformly thrilled,” says John Van Burek, “by the quality of the nominations and was frankly amazed by the extraordinary talent that has developed in the realm of directing for the theatre in Canada. Whittling all this down to a list of three finalists was one of the most difficult tasks we have faced in a long time. Determining the winner will only be that much more arduous.”

The finalists for the 2013 Siminovitch Prize are as follows:

Chris Abraham is Artistic Director of Toronto’s Crows Theatre. He has made a name for himself in both English and French, through his highly successful productions, seen in theatres ranging from the smallest to the largest, the most recent being his stellar production of Othello at the Stratford Festival. He is widely acclaimed for his mentorship abilities and he was the first protégé of the Siminovitch Prize, in 2001.

Marie-Josée Bastien runs her own company Les Enfants Terribles, in Québec City. She is renowned for her ability to make a veritable symphony of her productions, which have ranged from new work to the classics, and which demand virtuoso efforts from all her collaborators, actors, designers and composers. She has made an enormous contribution to the theatre in Québec City and virtually created a new theatrical vocabulary through her highly musical use of language and images.

Benoît Vermeulen has devoted his extraordinary talents to far more than mere directing: he quite simply conceives and writes his productions for adolescents with such verve, passion and commitment to their needs and concerns that he has inspired whole new audiences with the power of theatre and its ability to rally the young. Inventive, original, and most of all, respectful of what he calls “the mystery of adolescence,” this Montréal director, through his company Le Théâtre Clou, has made a name for himself in many countries of the world.

Hosted by Dora Award-winning performer Rick Miller (Just for Laughs, Bigger Than Jesus) with special guest Tony Award-winning performer Louise Pitre (Mamma Mia, On The Rocks) the gala evening of October 21, 2013 will culminate in a $100,000 award allowing the recipient to take his/her craft to the next level of accomplishment, while encouraging a next generation artist by allocating $25,000 of the prize money to a protégée of the recipient’s choice. This year’s Protégée Prize is generously supported by the RBC Emerging Artist Project.

With new partnerships securely in place with the University of Toronto and the RBC Foundation, the 2013 Siminovitch Prize will be awarded at a gala dinner and reception on Monday, October 21, 2013 at Hart House Theatre at the University of Toronto. Created in 2001, the Siminovitch Prize in Theatre recognizes excellence in direction, playwriting and design on a three-year cycle and goes to an artist who is deemed to be in mid-career.

“Over the last few months, many individuals and organizations have rallied together to support the Siminovitch Prize and help ensure that its legacy and impact on Canadian theatre continues,” said Dr. Lou Siminovitch“We are delighted to partner with University of Toronto and RBC Foundation.”

“The RBC Emerging Artist Project is committed to helping identify and support artists in the early stages of their careers,” said Shari Austin, vice-president, Corporate Citizenship, RBC and executive director, RBC Foundation. “We are excited to partner with the Siminovitch Prize to recognize the next generation of Canadian artists who have demonstrated potential but need some assistance.”

2013 Siminovitch Prize in Theatre
Monday, October 21, 2013
Hart House Theatre, University of Toronto
7 Hart House Circle

Media contact: Sue Edworthy,

About the Siminovitch Prize in Theatre
The Siminovitch Prize in Theatre honours professional directors, playwrights and designers by acknowledging excellence while encouraging even greater exploration and originality 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. A jury awards the $100,000 prize annually. Previous recipients include director Daniel Brooks (2001), playwright Carole Frechette (2002), director Jillian Keiley (2004), playwright Daniel MacIvor (2008), designer/puppeteer Ronnie Burkett (2009), and director Kim Collier (2010). For more information visit

About RBC and the Arts
RBC supports a wide-range of grassroots and local initiatives that contribute to the cultural fabric of our communities. Through the RBC Emerging Artist Project, RBC provides opportunities for up-and-coming artists through programs such as the RBC Canadian Painting Competition and the RBC Emerging Filmmakers Competition. In 2012, RBC contributed more than $95 million to causes worldwide, including donations and community investments of more than $64 million and $31 million in sponsorships. For more information, please visit