Montreal, Wednesday, April 19, 2023 — The Conseil des arts de Montréal (CAM) and Théâtre ESPACE GO, in collaboration with the members of the Award’s Development Committee*, are proud to announce that Alexia Bürger, Mélanie Demers and Marie-Eve Huot are the three finalists for the fourth edition of the Jovette-Marchessault Award, which is dedicated to women directors. The award recognizes and showcases the contributions of women artists in the Montréal theatre community and comes with a $20,000 cash prize, which the Conseil will award to the winner.
The winner of the fourth edition of the Jovette-Marchessault Award will be announced at a celebratory cocktail on Monday, May 15, 2023, at the Théâtre ESPACE GO.
FOURTH EDITION – DIRECTORS: THE THREE FINALISTS
Alexia Bürger is renowned for her stunning visual compositions. Her writing practice is based on rigorous research into complex, fundamental subjects, including the law, science, and philosophy. Her dramaturgy spotlights “the Other,” giving pride of place to women writers and performers and promoting voices that merit greater exposure. With her sensitive, supportive approach, she is a true agent of change who helps make the Montreal theatre scene more inclusive.
“Bringing the right people and conditions together, and then watching. Hoping that what is hidden from us will emerge upon encountering a voice, a light, a gesture, a sentence or a look. Searching. Waiting for meaning to emerge from the depths. Taking steps so that the things that escape us wants to find us again.” – Alexia Bürger
Learn more about Alexia Bürger here.
Mélanie Demers is fearless. Her exceptional trajectory in dance lends unique elements of physical theatre and set dressing to her dramatic efforts. Contemporary, audacious, and bold, her authentic works unite the two disciplines, pushing their limits and blurring boundaries between them. She has had a unique and undeniable influence on Montreal theatre in terms of both practice and community.
“To offer oneself to the public eye is to live in an oblique dimension where different times converge, break apart and are smashed into pieces. It means living in this cursed and sacred space that sometimes give rise to grace, beauty and divinity. And all this exists only on stage or maybe in real life, you know—those brief snatches of eternity, when we are about to climax, to give birth or to die.”- Mélanie Demers
Learn more about Mélanie Demers here.
Marie-Eve Huot is proof of the transformative power of theatre for young audiences. Her work addresses themes such as social inequities, homelessness, and living with disability, deftly raising awareness among the next generation about a range of human realities. These moving multidisciplinary works are beacons of hope and light. Her longtime political engagement is a significant and essential feature of the Montreal theatre landscape.
“After 15 years of creating works for children, I see that my commitment to young audiences is political and an integral part of the artistic process that I have relentlessly pursued: that of responsibility and the search for meaning. Ultimately, I hope to bolster the integrity and intelligence of child audiences.”- Marie-Eve Huot
Learn more about Marie-Eve Huot here.
The Conseil des arts de Montréal is responsible for the composition of the jury, the selection of applications and the awarding of the grant, while ESPACE GO oversees the logistics and promotion of the award. The jury consists of professional artists. The evaluation of the applications was based on the quality and originality of the artistic approach, as well as the impact of the artists’ artistic work on the development of theatre practice.
In 2018, one of the priorities the Conseil des arts de Montréal included in its 2018-2020 Strategic Plan was to achieve better balance between genders, notably for male-female parity within the artistic community. To this end, the Conseil helped fund ESPACE GO’s Chantier féministe, a week-long event on the place of women in theatre, held in the spring of 2019. At this event, the theatre community agreed that an award should be created specifically to recognize the outstanding work of women in theatre and to raise the profile of women theatre artists. On the same occasion, the Conseil’s Executive Director, Nathalie Maillé, expressed an interest in receiving proposals regarding the creation of the award.
Several partners (CAM, ESPACE GO, Imago Theatre, Théâtre de l’Affamée and artists associated with the F.E.T. movement) joined forces to make the new award a reality. All the stakeholders agreed that the award should be named for the inspiring woman artist Jovette Marchessault (1938-2012), a Montréal novelist, poet, playwright, painter and sculptor. Starting with the second edition, new members joined the original partners serving on the Award Development Committee. They were artists Nahka Bertrand, Margarita Herrera-Dominguez and Gabe Maharjan.
This award created by the Conseil des arts de Montréal was named for Jovette Marchessault as a tribute to a great “tuner of the soul,” whose body of work reflects her desire to bring women’s culture out of the shadows, to reshape History, and to forge a collective memory that allows women to be role models for any gender.
*Jovette-Marchessault Award Development Committee members: Nahka Bertrand, Micheline Chevrier, Margarita Herrera Dominguez, Gabe Maharjan and Marie-Ève Milot.
ABOUT THE CONSEIL DES ARTS DE MONTRÉAL
Offering various forms of assistance, the Conseil des arts de Montréal identifies, supports and recognizes artistic innovation and creative expression in all their diversity to promote Montreal’s artists and arts organizations active in creation, production and presentation. Since 1956, the Conseil has played a unique role as a catalyst for this artistic ecosystem, helping make Montreal one of the world’s great cultural metropolises.
Director of Communications
RELATIONS DE PRESSE