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Five Outstanding Canadian Playwrights Make Short-List for 2008 Siminovitch Prize in Theatre


Playwrights from Toronto, Montreal and St-David de Falardeau in the Running for $100,000 Prize – the Largest in Canadian Theatre

BMO Financial Group, sponsor of the Elinore & Lou Siminovitch Prize in Theatre, announced the names of five Canadian playwrights who have made the 2008 short-list for the largest prize in Canadian theatre. The finalists are:

* Morwyn Brebner, Toronto, Ontario;
* Daniel Danis, St-David de Falardeau, Quebec;
* Daniel MacIvor, Toronto, Ontario;
* Colleen Murphy, Toronto, Ontario; and
* Larry Tremblay, Montreal, Quebec.

The five finalists were selected from 26 nominated Canadian playwrights, recognized for their body of work and inspiration to younger theatre artists.

“On behalf of BMO Financial Group, congratulations to all of the extraordinary playwrights who were short-listed for the 2008 Siminovitch Prize in Theatre,” said Gilles Ouellette, President and CEO, Private Client Group, BMO Financial Group. “Our gratitude to Leonard McHardy and this year’s jury for their steadfast dedication to honouring such excellence in Canadian theatre.”

“The jury feels that each playwright on the short-list possesses a very strong and unique voice,” said Leanard McHardy, Jury Chair, Siminovitch Prize in Theatre and co-owner of Toronto’s TheatreBooks bookstore. “The diversity of vocabulary and style of their writing is impressive and bodes well for the growth of a strong Canadian theatre.”

Other jury members include:

* Patricia Hamilton, Toronto, Ontario, a Canadian actress with more than 45 years on the stage;
* Paul Lefebvre, Ottawa, Ontario, a translator, stage director, dramaturge and theatre scholar;
* Vicki Stroich, Calgary, Alberta, a dramaturge, programmer and producer with Calgary’s Alberta Theatre Projects; and
* John Van Burek, Toronto, Ontario, a director, teacher, translator, and Founding Artistic Director of Toronto’s Pleiades Theatre.

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 October 27, 2008 at a ceremony in Toronto.

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

The Selection Process
The Jury reviewed nominations of professional Canadian playwrights who have advanced Canadian theatre through a body of work achieved in recent years while influencing and inspiring younger theatre artists. In the preceding 10 years, nominees were to have made a significant creative contribution to no fewer than two noteworthy theatre projects in Canada. 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.


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