The Siminovitch Prize will announce its 2015 shortlist on Tuesday – with four designers up for the $100,000 prize, the richest in Canadian theatre.
Bretta Gerecke is best known as the long-time resident designer with Edmonton's Catalyst Theatre, creator of such cross-country hits as Nevermore and Elephant Wake – but has in recent years created sets and costumes for the Stratford Festival and Cirque du Soleil. She was first short-listed for the prize in 2009.
Anick La Bissonnière is a frequent collaborator with Brigitte Haentjens, the artistic director of the National Arts Centre's French theatre (and, herself, a Siminovitch Prize winner for direction), and has worked with directors such as André Brassard and Canadian Stage's Matthew Jocelyn. She was short-listed previously in 2009 and 2012. (Both Gerecke and La Bissonnière also appeared on the Siminovitch long list in 2006.)
Two first-time nominees join these two Siminovitch veterans on the list: Trevor Schwellnus is the artistic producer of Aluna Theatre – where he recently won Dora Awards for both his lighting design and set design for that company's production of Blood Wedding. Nancy Tobin is a sound designer who has worked with many of Quebec's top directors, including Denis Marleau, Wajdi Mouawad and François Girard.
The Siminovitch Prize is awarded to directors, playwrights and designers on a three-year cycle. The winner will be announced at a ceremony hosted by Shaw Festival ensemble member Fiona Reid at Hart House Theatre in Toronto on Oct. 18.