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

    TORONTO, Sept. 24 /CNW/ - 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
    "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.

    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 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: Jodi Salem, Toronto,, (416)
867-3996; Lucie Gosselin, Montreal,, (514) 877-8224;
Laurie Grant, Vancouver,, (604) 665-7596, Internet:

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