$100,000 Siminovitch Prize in Theatre Awarded to Toronto Playwright, Daniel MacIvor

    -   MacIvor selects BC Playwrights as Protégés to receive $25,000

    TORONTO, Oct. 27 /CNW/ - BMO Financial Group announced that Toronto
playwright Daniel MacIvor was named the 2008 recipient of the Elinore & Lou
Siminovitch Prize in Theatre, Canada's largest annual theatre award. MacIvor
was chosen from a short list of five finalists including Morwyn Brebner
(Toronto, ON); Daniel Danis (St-David de Falardeau, QC); Colleen Murphy
(Toronto, ON); and Larry Tremblay (Montreal, QC). They were selected from 26
nominated Canadian playwrights.
    "In choosing Daniel MacIvor as the recipient of the 2008 Siminovitch
Prize, the jury wanted to recognize the voice he gives through his plays to
those for whom solitude provides a perception of the world through a different
set of optics," explained Leonard McHardy, Jury Chair. "Daniel's playwriting
brings to the stage moments in life for which there are no words, exploring
those things that escape categorisation by language."
    MacIvor has written nearly 20 plays of which 15 have been published. His
plays include See Bob Run, Wild Abandon, The Soldier Dreams, You Are Here, How
It Works, His Greatness, and A Beautiful View. He also created the solo
performances of House, Here Lies Henry, Monster and Cul-de-sac with long time
collaborator Daniel Brooks. MacIvor has won several national awards including
two Chalmers New Play Awards and a 2006 Governor General's Award for Drama for
his collection of five plays called I still Love You.
    "The Siminovitch Prize reminds me that theatre has the power to transform
lives," said MacIvor during his acceptance speech at First Canadian Place.
"The lives of the practitioners transform - because certainly mine has - and
the lives of those audiences who come into the dark rooms with their minds and
their hearts open, who are filled with questions and find a moment of peace in
the presence of something innately familiar."
    Born in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, MacIvor is a graduate from the
Dalhousie University Theatre Department and George Brown Theatre Department.
In addition to playwriting, MacIvor is also a screenwriter and filmmaker and
was Artistic Director of the international theatre touring company da da
kamera from 1987-2007.
    "As a long-time supporter of the arts in Canada, I am thrilled to
congratulate Daniel on this outstanding achievement, from all of us at BMO
Financial Group," said Gilles Ouellette, President and CEO, Private Client
Group, BMO Financial Group. "The Siminovitch Prize recognizes excellence in
Canadian theatre and Daniel MacIvor exemplifies the extraordinary talent that
can be cultivated in our country, given support, encouragement and
    MacIvor was awarded a cheque at a ceremony on Monday, October 27 for
$75,000 and he chose Vancouver playwrights, Daniel Arnold and Medina Hahn, as
his protégés, who received $25,000. The Siminovitch Prize is structured this
way to demonstrate the importance of mentorship in Canadian theatre.

    Daniel Arnold and Medina Hahn, protégés

    Arnold and Hahn are recipients of the New York Fringe's Overall
Production Award for their play Tuesdays & Sundays. The play also garnered
three Edmonton Sterling Awards, was published twice and broadcast as a radio
play on CBC and BBC. Their most recent play, Any Night, received the jury
prize for Outstanding New Play in Toronto's Summerworks Festival and will be
published next year. Both Arnold and Hahn are professional actors and writers
living in Vancouver, B.C. and produce under the company DualMinds.

    The Siminovitch Prize 2008 Jury

    The Siminovitch Prize jury was chaired by Leonard McHardy, co-owner and
co-founder of TheatreBooks in Toronto. Other Jury members included:

    -   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.

    About the Siminovitch Prize in Theatre

    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 Fréchette 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; and
    -   Montréal director Brigitte Haentjens in 2007.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Jodi Salem, Toronto,
jodi.salem@bmo.com, (416) 867-3996; Lucie Gosselin, Montreal,
lucie.gosselin@bmo.com, (514) 877-8224; Laurie Grant, Vancouver,
laurie.grant@bmo.com, (604) 665-7596; Internet: Full biographies, photos and
video are available at www.siminovitchprize.com

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