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The Siminovitch Prize 2018 Call for Nominations in Design

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May 3, 2018 – OTTAWA (Canada) – The Siminovitch Prize and the National Arts Centre today announced a call for nominations for Canada’s most prestigious award in theatre. The Siminovitch Prize was launched in 2000 to honour the values and achievements of the renowned scientist Lou Siminovitch and the late Elinore Siminovitch, a pioneering playwright.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 theatrical designer on Monday, November 5, 2018 at the National Arts Centre.

The Siminovitch Prize is Canadian Theatre’s most prestigious award, and it can literally be life-changing for an artist in mid-career. This year we welcome nominations that champion our country’s most transformative and influential designers,” said Jury Chair Vanessa Porteous.

Past laureates include celebrated designers Anick La Bissonnière in 2015, Robert Thomson in 2012, Ronnie Burkett in 2009, Dany Lyne in 2006 and Louise Campeau in 2003.

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, generously sponsored by TD Bank Group.

Nomination details can be found at the end of this release.

This year marks the continuation of a successful partnership which began in 2016 between the Siminovitch Prize and the National Arts Centre. The NAC acts as a catalyst for performance, creation and learning across the country.

The Siminovitch Prize Foundation is delighted to be announcing its call for nominations in partnership with the National Arts Centre, whose vision we share to support, nurture and celebrate excellence in Canadian theatre. We look forward to receiving submissions from a diverse group of Canada’s best and brightest theatre designers,” says Siminovitch Prize Board Chair, Kathy Siminovitch.

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 seventeen laureates have graced the national stage at the NAC.

The shortlist for this year’s Siminovitch Prize will be announced in early October 2018 and a celebration of the finalists will be held at University of Toronto Hart House on Monday, October 15, 2018. The University of Toronto has been a proud partner of the Siminovitch Prize since its inception.


As noted above, over a three-year cycle, the Siminovitch Prize celebrates a professional director, playwright or designer who is an acknowledged leader in the theatre and whose work is transformative and influential. The 2017 Prize was awarded to playwright Marcus Youssef and protégée Christine Quintana.

Twitter: @SiminovitchPrix
Hashtag: #SiminovitchPrize


The National Arts Centre is a home for Canada’s most creative artists. As the only bilingual, multi-disciplinary performing arts centre in the country 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. Operating under the banner, “Canada is our stage,” the NAC works with artists and arts organizations across the country to create a national stage for the performing arts. The NAC is home to a unique combination of national theatre companies: NAC English Theatre, NAC French Theatre, and the soon-to-debut NAC Indigenous Theatre.



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Nominations are welcome for designers who, through their body of work, have made a significant creative contribution to theatre in Canada and who are continuing to create work that demonstrates innovation and excellence. The Prize jury has been charged with selecting a recipient who would most typically self-identify as “mid-career.” In other words, this is a prize for an artist whose career is perceived to be gaining significant momentum rather than a “lifetime achievement” award. The Prize is intended to provide an artist who has created remarkable work to date with the freedom to deepen their practice and make an even more significant contribution to the field in the years to come.

Nominees must have at least ten years’ experience as professional designers. Nominees will have developed a marked personal style or artistic approach to their craft, vision, techniques, 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.

Nomination Procedure
Self-nominations will not be considered. Completed nominations should be submitted electronically by Monday, July 9, 2018 at 5 p.m. Eastern Time.

Click here for the nomination form. Additional questions can be directed to

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.