It’s time to celebrate the annual unveiling of one of the most prolific awards in Canadian theatre — the Siminovitch Prize. The December 1st ceremony and film premiere will focus on introducing the four finalists for the prestigious Canadian theatre award to audiences while honouring their achievements and artistry.
The Siminovitch Prize is a $100,000 award presented in a three-year cycle to a Canadian director, playwright, or designer. Over the past two decades, the prize has changed the lives of 22 artists, 27 emerging artists, and 80+ finalists. The prize, awarded in a three-year cycle between directors, writers, and designers, provides laureates and their protégés with financial resources to continue taking risks and developing their work and methodology.
Not only is the award an opportunity to celebrate a visionary Canadian artist making groundbreaking contributions to the industry, but it also celebrates and acknowledges the importance of mentorship. Each year, the Siminovitch Prize laureate selects a protégé, who receives $25,000 of the $100,000 prize.
This year’s four directing finalists represent a diverse range of work from across Canada: Marie Brassard (Montreal, QC), Ravi Jain (Toronto, ON), Anne-Marie Kerr (Halifax, NS), and Sherry J. Yoon (Gibsons, BC). Jain has previously been a finalist for the award in both 2019 and 2016. The 2022 finalists were selected by a jury comprised of Marcia Babineau (NB), Omari Newton (BC), Genevieve Pelletier (MB), and Maryse Warda (QU), with Guillermo Verdecchia (ON) as Jury Chair.
The 40-minute premiere will feature four short documentaries profiling each of the finalists. Filmed in Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and British Columbia, the documentaries feature the finalists’ collaborators and peers, providing audiences with an inside look at each artist’s work, vision, and path through the industry. It’s a unique opportunity for viewers to get to know the finalists through the eyes of others within the industry to gain a sense of their impact and aesthetic.
In a free, digital production beginning at 8:00 p.m. on December 1, audiences will have the opportunity to take in the premiere of these shorts before the 2022 Siminovitch Prize Laureate is announced. The event will be a bilingual presentation with subtitles.
To register for your free ticket to view the live-streamed 2022 Siminovitch Prize awards, visit their Eventbrite page.
2022 Siminovitch Prize Trailer
Meet the 2022 Siminovitch Prize finalists
Director | Writer | Artist
“When I embark on a new creative project, I am driven by the desire to instigate an encounter, a human experience, conducive to intellectual and sensitive exchanges. I wish to develop, with those who share my path, works sourced from the best and most intimate parts of us all.” – Marie Brassard
Poetic, dreamlike, rigorous, complex, and rich, Marie Brassard’s work is a universe unto itself. A fiercely independent artist, Marie often works with artists from outside the boundaries of theatre to create pieces in which sound and image are not adjuncts or secondary considerations but central elements of the artistic proposal. Working from improvisation, following a deeply intuitive, seemingly chaotic impulse, Marie resists familiar narrative or theatrical schema, searching for something truer, something truly arresting, unheard and unseen till now. An artistic leader in her home province of Quebec, her work has also travelled across Canada, Europe, and Japan.
Director | Artistic Director | Artist
“My whole career has been about mobilizing and motivating people to go beyond what they think is possible and to do it with fearlessness and joy. At the heart of what I do is creating processes and work that inspire alternative visions of existence. Art is a tool for social change; both the process and the art are revolutions of imagination, and ways to inspire us all to be better listeners, feelers and people.” – Ravi Jain
Whether staging a bilingual (English, ASL) Hamlet with Canada’s first professional female Hamlet and a Deaf actor playing Horatio, adapting the Mahabharata, or staging a performance lecture about climate change years before anyone else was programming such work, Ravi Jain’s art challenges our expectations while achieving very high levels of artistic excellence. Driven by a radical commitment to inclusion, diversity and equity, Ravi’s productions re-imagine how we might work and play together. They offer bold models for an aesthetically exciting, joyful, and inclusive theatre.
Director | Teacher | Artist
“I am interested in intensity. In rules and structure of play. In the notion that everyone is terrified of expression most of the time. In the dramaturgy of images. I’m interested in collaborating at every step of the process with designers. In exposing a social issue on stage, no matter how uncomfortable it is to do so.” – Ann-Marie Kerr
Simultaneously generous and demanding, Ann-Marie Kerr invites risk, invention, and play in all her rehearsal processes. Actors love her because she asks everything of them and more, inviting and supporting artists to go further than they ever have before. Profoundly curious, Ann-Marie creates rehearsal environments in which everyone becomes a creator. Her work, in large or intimate houses, on new and established pieces, with large casts and small is characterized by the visceral quality of the performances and by the physical poetry she creates through her precise shaping of narrative, expression, time and space: the sort of poetry one only finds in the theatre.
Sherry J. Yoon
Director | Producer | Artistic Director | Artist
“My world view and life experience as a woman of colour, an immigrant, and outsider has impacted my work and has contributed to my passion as a creator. Focused only on the barriers, I would not be working as a director. It is the thrill of being in a creative space, literally and figuratively, that fuels me with endless energy and courage.” – Sherry J. Yoon
Sherry J. Yoon is a trailblazer, having for over twenty years created and staged thrilling, technically audacious, exuberant work outdoors, in trees, in shipping containers, online, in historic buildings, and in private homes for adult and young audiences. Her work has upended some of the fundamental assumptions of theatre practice: What is an audience? A stage? Exploring these questions she has created new relationships between audiences and spaces, between people and places. She has pushed the boundaries of theatrical performance, creating truly site-specific work that probes our connections to the land and the spaces that sustain and welcome us, work that connects the past to the present. As one of her colleagues said, her work has not only moved us forward but has also prepared us for where we are going.
To learn more about the history and legacy of the Siminovitch Prize, visit their website.
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