Nadia Ross, boundary-pushing theatre artist, wins $100K Siminovitch Prize

Ross was celebrated in Ottawa Friday afternoon at a ceremony at the National Arts Centre.

“We felt the integrity of her work, her profound vision for the theatre and her fierce spirit best reflected the aspirations of the Siminovitch Prize,” jury chair Bob White said in a statement.

Based in Wakefield, Que., Ross is founder and artistic director of STO Union, a multidisciplinary troupe that’s gained renown abroad for original theatre creations, live art, video and installation works grounded in real-life and focussed on human interactions.

Nadia Ross

Nadia Ross and her troupe STO Union tour theatre works in Canada and abroad. (David Irvine/National Arts Centre)

Ross founded her company in 1992, while she was part of an alternative theatre movement in Toronto (her contemporaries included Daniel Brooks, Daniel MacIvor, Tracy Wright and Jacob Wren). 

“To be recognized by the Siminovitch Prize for directing is life-changing,” Ross said.

The annual prize — which recognizes playwriting, theatre design and direction in three-year cycles — also includes a protégé element: each year’s recipient chooses someone to receive $25,000 of the total prize.

Launched in 2000 in honour of scientist Lou Siminovitch and his late wife Elinore Siminovitch, the Siminovitch Prize celebrates Canadian theatre industry leaders who have created transformative and influential work. 

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