Siminovitch Prize in Theatre

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Siminovitch Prize in Theatre
Awarded forBest in Canadian theatre
Presented byRBC Wealth Management Hart House
First awarded2001

The Siminovitch Prize in Theatre (formally, the Elinore & Lou Siminovitch Prize in Theatre; commonly, the Siminovitch Prize) is given to recognize achievement in Canadian theatre; specifically, professional directors, playwrights and designers in three-year cycles. The prize was launched in 2000 to honour the values and achievements of the distinguished scientist Louis ("Lou") Siminovitch and his late wife Elinore Siminovitch who was a pioneering playwright. A group of Dr. Siminovitch’s friends and colleagues came together on the occasion of his 80th birthday to create this award which is national, bi-lingual, and juried by theatre professionals.[1]

In March 2012, organizers announced that the 12th edition of the prize would be its last. No reasons were given for the award's termination.[2] although in an interview one of the prize's founders, Joseph Rotman, stated that the prize was never conceived to run in perpetuity.[3] However, in July 2013, organizers announced a new partnership with the University of Toronto and the RBC Foundation that resulted in the revival of the prize.[4] The prize was reinstated for the 2013 year and had continued ever since.[4]

The prize[edit]

Established in 2001 to honour Elinore Siminovitch and her husband Lou Siminovitch,[5][6] the purpose of the prize is to celebrate "the marriage between the arts and the sciences".[7] Twelve individuals and six organizations founded the prize; primary amongst them was the prize's largest financial sponsor, the BMO Financial Group.[5][8]

The prize is awarded annually to a director, playwright, or a designer, rotating through each of these theatre professions in a three-year cycle.[5][6] It is one of the few theatre awards that includes designers.[9] Winners are selected by a jury made up of prominent theatre professionals and awarded CAD$100,000, making it the largest prize of its kind in Canada.[5][7][10] Anyone may nominate a qualified candidate for the prize; the jury may also nominate qualified candidates.[7] Individuals who may be nominated must be a professional director, playwright, or designer who, in the preceding 10 years, has made a significant creative contribution to no fewer than two (in the case of playwrights) or three (in the case of directors and designers) noteworthy theatre projects in Canada.[5]

A condition of the award is that one quarter of the prize (CAD$25,000) must be awarded to a "protégé" selected by the winner.[5][6] The protégé may be an individual or organization (such as a theatre or educational facility) involved in professional direction, playwriting, or design in Canadian theatre.[7] The winner may choose to grant the amount to a single protégé or divide it between two eligible protégés.


The recipients of the Siminovitch Prize since its inception are:[5][11]

The protégé recipients of the Siminovitch prize are:[12]

  • 2001 Chris Abraham of Toronto
  • 2002 Geneviève Billet of Montreal
  • 2003 Magalie Amyot and Michèle Magnon both of Montreal
  • 2004 Danielle Irvine
  • 2005 Anton Piatigorsky of Toronto
  • 2006 Camellia Koo and April Anne Viczko of Calgary
  • 2007 Christian Lapointe
  • 2008 Daniel Arnold and Medina Hahn of Vancouver
  • 2009 Clea Minaker of Vancouver and Montreal
  • 2010 Anita Rochon of Vancouver
  • 2011 Anusree Roy of Toronto
  • 2012 Jason Hand and Raha Javanfar both of Toronto
  • 2013 Mitchell Cushman of Toronto
  • 2014 Annick Lefebvre
  • 2015 Marilène Bastien
  • 2016 Shaista Laif and Sarah Conn
  • 2017 Christine Quintana of Vancouver


  1. ^
  2. ^ Adams, James (18 March 2012). "Prestigious Siminovitch theatre prize coming to an end". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 18 March 2012.,
  3. ^ Adams, James (19 March 2012). "Siminovitch Prize was never meant to run forever". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  4. ^ a b "The Siminovitch Prize in Theatre announces new partnerships with University of Toronto and RBC Foundation". Yahoo! Finance. 24 July 2013. Archived from the original on 2 January 2014. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "Siminovitch Prize in Theatre". Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2011-11-10.
  6. ^ a b c "Joan MacLeod wins Siminovitch Prize". The Globe and Mail. 2011-11-07.
  7. ^ a b c d "Siminovitch Prize". Siminovitch Prize/BMO Financial Group. Retrieved 2011-11-10.
  8. ^ "Siminovitch Prize – The People Behind the Award". Siminovitch Prize/BMO Financial Group. Retrieved 2011-11-10.
  9. ^ Brockett, Oscar; Hildy, Franklin (2007). History of the Theatre, 10th ed. Westport, CT: Allyn & Bacon. p. 549. ISBN 0-205-51186-4.
  10. ^ King, Kimball (2007). Western Drama Through the Ages: Four great eras of western drama. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. p. 137. ISBN 0-313-32934-6.
  11. ^ "Siminovitch Prize – Celebrating Excellence and Mentorship". Siminovitch Prize/BMO Financial Group. Retrieved 2011-11-10.
  12. ^

External links[edit]