Montréal, Thursday, December 1, 2022 — The Conseil des arts de Montréal (CAM) and Théâtre ESPACE GO, in collaboration with members of the Award Development Committee,* are pleased to announce the call for applications for the 4th Jovette-Marchessault Award, which recognizes and showcases the contribution of women artists from Montréal’s theatre scene. The recipient of the award receives a $20,000 grant from the Conseil des arts de Montréal.
The 2022–2023 call for applications is for directors. It starts today and ends on Monday, January 23, 2023 (at midnight). For the dates, details and rules of the award, visit: https://espacego.com/prix-jovette-marchessault/. Applications will be evaluated based on the quality and originality of the artistic approach. The impact of the artists’ artistic works on the development of theatre practice will also be considered. The jury will consist of professional artists representing the diversity of theatre practices.
The three finalists will be announced on Wednesday, April 19, 2023.
The winning director will be announced on Monday, May 15, 2023.
Calls for applications for this annual award vary on a three-year rotation based on the candidates’ artistic roles, alternating between directors, designers and playwrights. The first three-year cycle is now completed. The finalists for the first edition were theatre directors Catherine Bourgeois, Pol Pelletier and Catherine Vidal, with Catherine Vidal being named the winner in May 2020. The finalists for the second edition were designers Sophie El Assaad, Claude Rodrigue and Nancy Tobin, with Nancy Tobin being named the winner in May 2021. For the third edition, the finalists were playwrights Fanny Britt, Rébecca Déraspe and Marie Leofeli Romero, with Marie Leofeli Romero announced as the winner in May 2022.
Objectives of the award
- Showcase women artists’ contribution to the development of theatre arts and the vitality of Montréal’s theatre scene
- Recognize the excellence of their work
- Highlight an artistic approach that contributes to the development of theatre practice, whether as a director, designer or playwright
Any professional creator who identifies as a woman, works in the theatre and is recognized by her peers, regardless of her number of years of experience, and who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident on the date of submission is eligible. Applicants must also reside on the Island of Montréal or, for Indigenous creators only, within 50 km of the Island of Montréal (including the Kahnawake and Kanesatake communities) and work on the Island of Montréal.
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.
*Jovette-Marchessault Award Development Committee members: Nahka Bertrand, Micheline Chevrier, Margarita Herrera Dominguez, Gabe Maharjan and Marie-Ève Milot
Director of Communications