BMO Financial Group

BMO Financial Group

October 04, 2010 10:00 ET

Six Outstanding Canadian Directors Make Short-List for 2010 Siminovitch Prize in Theatre

Directors from Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver in the Running for $100,000 Prize-the Largest in Canadian Theatre

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 4, 2010) - BMO Financial Group, sponsor of the Elinore & Lou Siminovitch Prize in Theatre, today announced the names of six Canadian directors who have made the 2010 short-list for the largest prize in Canadian theatre. The finalists are:

  • Kim Collier, Vancouver, British Columbia;
  • Ron Jenkins, Edmonton, Alberta;
  • Ross Manson, Toronto, Ontario;
  • Alisa Palmer, Toronto, Ontario;
  • Soheil Parsa, Toronto, Ontario; and
  • Jennifer Tarver, Toronto, Ontario.

The six finalists were selected from 19 nominated Canadian directors.

"On behalf of BMO Financial Group, I'd like to congratulate the six finalists for their creativity, innovation and for their contributions in advancing Canadian theatre," said Gilles Ouellette, President and CEO, Private Client Group, BMO Financial Group. "I'd also like to extend our gratitude to Maureen Labonté and this year's jury for their steadfast dedication to honouring such excellence."

"The jury was thrilled with the scope of talent and the breadth of directional styles represented in the submissions this year," said jury chair Maureen Labonté. "The spirit of the Siminovitch Prize truly inspired them and this spirit is reflected in the short-list announced today.

"The Prize not only recognizes excellence within an evolving body of work but innovation, exploration and risk-taking as well. It is not a lifetime achievement award and therefore it has the very exciting potential to make a real difference in the recipient's artistic path allowing him or her to go further in the pursuit of excellence," said Labonté.

Joining Maureen Labonté on the Jury were:

  • Marie Clements, Galiano Island, British Columbia, award-winning BC-based Métis performer, playwright, screenwriter, director, producer, and founding Artistic Director of urban ink productions.
  • Jillian Keiley, St. John's, Newfoundland, was artistic director and producer of a Victory Ceremony Celebration at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and is currently artistic director of Newfoundland's Artistic Fraud.
  • Alain Jean, Ottawa, Ontario, director, actor and teacher, presently the Director General of Development Projects at the Association des théâtres francophones du Canada.
  • Marti Maraden, Stratford, Ontario, well-known actress and director, was Artistic Director of English Theatre at the National Arts Centre from 1997-2005.
  • Marcus Youssef, Vancouver, BC, Artistic Producer of Vancouver's Neworld Theatre, and Artistic Associate of the Magnetic North Theatre Festival in Ottawa.

The recipient of the Siminovitch Prize will receive $100,000, of which $25,000 will be awarded to a protégé or organization of their choice. The Prize will be presented on November 1, 2010 at a ceremony in Toronto.

For more information about the short-listed directors, please visit

The Selection Process

The Jury reviewed nominations of professional Canadian directors who have advanced Canadian theatre through a body of work achieved in recent years while influencing and inspiring younger theatre artists. The jurors assessed the nominees' originality, sense of evolution, growing maturity, continuing experimentation, impact upon audiences, and/or influence upon younger artists. They also considered whether the artists were at a point in their professional career where the recognition and resources associated with the prize would make a significant difference, allowing and encouraging the artist to go further in the pursuit of his or her craft.

About the Siminovitch Prize

The Siminovitch Prize in Theatre was introduced in 2001 and dedicated to renowned scientist Lou Siminovitch and his late wife Elinore, a playwright. Sponsored by BMO Financial Group, Canada's largest annual theatre arts award recognizes direction, playwriting and design in three-year cycles. Previous recipients include:

  • Toronto director Daniel Brooks - 2001;
  • Montreal playwright Carole Fréchette - 2002;
  • Montreal designer Louise Campeau - 2003;
  • St. John's director Jillian Keiley - 2004;
  • Toronto playwright John Mighton - 2005;
  • Toronto designer Dany Lyne - 2006;-
  • Montréal director Brigitte Haentjens - 2007.
  • Toronto playwright Daniel MacIvor -2008
  • Calgary and Toronto designer Ronnie Burkett - 2009


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