Maureen Labonté Appointed next Siminovitch Prize in Theatre Jury Chair

    -  Chosen for her extensive experience working in both the French and
        English theatre communities.

    TORONTO, Oct. 27 /CNW/ - BMO Financial Group has selected Montreal-based
translator and dramaturge, Maureen Labonté as the next Jury Chair of the
Elinore & Lou Siminovitch Prize in Theatre. The appointment will be officially
revealed at a ceremony this evening announcing the 2008 Siminovitch Prize
    Earlier this year, Leonard McHardy, co-owner and co-founder of
TheatreBooks in Toronto who has been Jury Chair since 2003 announced that the
2008 Siminovitch Prize in Theatre would be his last.
    "We are proud to announce that Maureen Labonté will be the next Chair of
the Siminovitch Prize jury," said Susan Payne, Senior VP and Chief Marketing
Officer, BMO Financial Group. "Maureen was an invaluable member of the jury in
2005 and we are confident she will fulfill her duties as jury chair
whole-heartedly. Our deepest appreciation goes out to Leonard, who has led and
guided the jury for six years."
    Labonté was chosen for her extensive experience working in both the
French and English theatre communities across Canada, especially with emerging
and leading theatre artists.
    "I'm thrilled to have been asked to head up the Siminovitch jury," said
Labonté. "It's Canada's most important prize in theatre and is unique in its
recognition of both the contribution and the needs of the theatre artist in
Canadian society. It is a great, great honour for me to be able to accompany
it for a few years."

    The 2008 short-listed nominees, selected from 26 nominated Canadian
playwrights include:

    -   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 2008 Siminovitch Prize Jury

    The 2008 Siminovitch Prize jury was chaired by Leonard McHardy and

    -   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.

    The 2008 Siminovitch Prize recipient will be announced at a ceremony on
Monday, October 27.


For further information:

For further information: or to attend, please contact: Jodi Salem,
Toronto,, (416) 867-3996; Lucie Gosselin, Montreal,, (514) 877-8224; Laurie Grant, Vancouver,, (604) 665-7596; Internet:

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