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Six Outstanding Canadian Designers Short-Listed for 2009 Siminovitch Prize in TheatreDesigners from Vancouver, Montreal, Edmonton, Toronto and Calgary in the Running for $100,000 Prize – the Largest in Canadian Theatre

TORONTO, October 13, 2009 BMO Financial Group, sponsor of the Elinore & Lou Siminovitch Prize in Theatre, today announced the names of six Canadian designers who have made the 2009 short-list for the largest prize in Canadian theatre. The finalists are:

  • Jean Bard, Montreal, Quebec;
  • Ronnie Burkett, Calgary, Alberta and Toronto, Ontario;
  • Bretta Gerecke, Edmonton, Alberta;
  • Anick Labissonni�re, Montreal, Quebec;
  • Richard Lacroix, Montreal, Quebec; and
  • Ken MacDonald, Vancouver, British Columbia and Toronto, Ontario.

The six finalists were selected from a list of 17 nominees, recognized for their work in professional lighting, costume, set, sound and mixed media design and for their inspiration to younger theatre designers.

“On behalf of BMO Financial Group, our congratulations go out to all nominees short-listed for the 2009 Siminovitch Prize in Theatre,” said Gilles Ouelette, President and CEO, Private Client Group, BMO Financial Group. “We would like to extend a sincere thank you to Jury Chair Maureen Labont� and the rest of this year's jury for their commitment to recognizing such remarkable achievements in Canadian theatre.”

“The jury feels strongly that each of the nominees on this year's short-list show incredible artistic talent and provide vision in Canadian theatre,” said Maureen Labont�, a Montreal-based translator and dramaturge who was selected as the new Jury Chair for this year's Siminovitch Prize in Theatre.

“Whether it is set, costume or lighting design, the short-listed nominees demonstrate impressive skills which inspire creativity and exemplify excellence in the world of theatre,” Labont� said.
Other jury members include:

  • M�r�dith Caron – Montreal, Quebec, one of Quebec's foremost costume designers and a teacher at Montreal's National Theatre School;
  • Rachel Ditor – Vancouver, British Columbia, a dramaturge who has freelanced around Canada and currently Literary Manager at the Arts Club Theatre in Vancouver as well as adjunct professor in dramaturgy at the University of British Columbia;
  • Sue LePage – Toronto, Ontario, celebrated set and costume designer for more than 25 years; and
  • Mieko Ouchi – Edmonton, Alberta, playwright, actor, stage and film director as well as co-founder and Artistic co-director of the Concrete Theatre in Edmonton.

The recipient of the Siminovitch Prize will receive $100,000, of which $25,000 will be awarded to a prot�g� or organization of their choice. The Prize will be presented on November 2, 2009 at a ceremony in Toronto.

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

The Selection Process
The Jury reviewed nominations of professional Canadian designers 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 three 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.

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 in 2001;
  • Montreal playwright, Carole Fr�chette in 2002;
  • Montreal designer, Louise Campeau in 2003;
  • St. John's director, Jillian Keiley in 2004;
  • Toronto playwright, John Mighton in 2005;
  • Toronto set and costume designer, Dany Lyne in 2006;
  • Montr�al director, Brigitte Haentjens in 2007; and
  • Toronto playwright, Daniel McIvor in 2008.

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