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Nominations for second annual Gina Wilkinson Prize now being accepted

Media Release #26

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, October 9, 2012…Nominations for the second annual Gina Wilkinson Prize will open October 15, 2012. The Gina Wilkinson Prize pays tribute to Canadian actor, playwright and director Gina Wilkinson and her unyielding dedication, vision and indomitable spirit that imbued her work and her life. The prize is intended to recognize and assist female theatre artists who have spent several years in a theatre discipline other than directing (acting, stage management, design, theatre administration, etc.) and who are now attempting to transition into directing. The recipient will be chosen from nominations brought forward by members of the Canadian theatre community. The nomination deadline is December 15, 2012. The six-member Gina Wilkinson Prize Jury will review all eligible nominations and announce the recipient of the Gina Wilkinson Prize on March 10, 2013.

An actor for over twenty years, Ms. Wilkinson began turning her attention to both writing and directing and, in the last few years of her too short life, established herself as a daring, strong, inventive and important director and collaborator in the Canadian theatre community. Shortly after Ms. Wilkinson died in December 2010, this prize was established in her name and was made possible by the generous support of over 200 people from across Canada. In the spirit of Ms. Wilkinson’s generosity and appetite for life, this prize is a gift to be used in any way that the recipient chooses.

“When I first won, I had a flood of people write to me that knew and loved Gina. Some of them I knew too, some I didn’t,” describes Ann-Marie Kerr of Halifax, the inaugural Gina Wilkinson Prize recipient. “This experience has lifted me, and carried me into making some new shows; given me a directing job that I would not have had before and I even made a trip to Stratford and Shaw in honour of this prize. I have been able to redefine myself through this, and stretch into new places, I’ll be forever grateful.”

The Gina Wilkinson Prize is administered by the Ontario Arts Foundation. Anyone wishing to donate to the fund may do so by visiting the Ontario Arts Foundation website at www.ontarioartsfoundation.on.ca.

Award Details:

Eligibility:
Nominees must be members of the Canadian professional theatre community and must be Canadian citizens or have permanent resident status as defined by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

The Prize:
A prize of $2000 will be awarded to the winning nominee.

The Process:
The nomination should consist of:
1) A nomination letter from a recognized theatre professional in support of the nominee.
2) Acknowledgement from the nominee.
3) The nominee’s resume

*Anyone wishing to re-nominate their past nominee is encouraged to do so.

All nominations must be submitted electronically to ginasprize@gmail.com. Nomination deadline is December 15, 2012. The recipient will be announced March 10, 2013.

The nomination will be reviewed by the Gina Wilkinson Prize Jury: Micheline Chevrier, Bonnie Green, Eda Holmes, Jackie Maxwell, Tom Rooney and Bob White.

Gina Wilkinson – Bio

Born on March 10, 1960, in Victoria, B.C. to visual artist, Jack Wilkinson, and ballet teacher, Marie Wilkinson, Gina Clare Wilkinson graduated from the National Theatre School in Montreal and spent the first 20 years of her career as an actor working in theatres across Canada. Her innate understanding of storytelling in the theatre was an invaluable asset when working on new plays and made her transition from actor to director a natural one.

Her incredible ability to communicate with everyone involved in the making of a play – actors, designers, technicians – made her a successful director and theatre collaborator. Ms. Wilkinson’s dedication, her imagination, humour and unique visual sensibility were some of her many strengths.  But it was her understanding and compassion for all things human – both the beautiful and the ugly – that made her a true artist.

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For more information, members of the media may contact:

Odette Yazbeck
Public Relations Director
905-468-2153 or 1-800-657-1106 ext. 2222
odette@shawfest.com

Tom Rooney
519-305-0082
tadrooney@yahoo.ca

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