Linda Brunelle, Elen Ewing and Sonoyo Nishikawa, Named the Three Finalists for the fifth Edition of the Jovette Marchessault Award


April 22 2024




Press Release

Montreal, Monday, April 22, 2024 — The Conseil des arts de Montréal (CAM) and Théâtre ESPACE GO, in collaboration with members of the Award Development Committee,* are pleased to unveil the three finalists for the fifth edition of the Jovette-Marchessault Award of which recognizes creators: Linda Brunelle, Elen Ewing, and Sonoyo Nishikawa. This award, which recognizes and showcases the contributions of women to Montréal’s theatre scene, comes with a $20,000 grant to be awarded by the Conseil to the winner.

The winner of the fifth Jovette-Marchessault Award will be announced on Monday, May 6, 2024, during a special evening at the ESPACE GO Theatre.

Fifth edition – creators: the three finalists

Linda Brunelle, Elen Ewing et Sonoyo Nishikawa sont les trois finalistes de la cinquième édition du prix Jovette-Marchessault! 1
Linda Brunelle

For Linda Brunelle, a virtuoso of textiles and a keen observer of humanity, the artistic dimension of her craft always come first. Like a sculptor, she shapes characters by transforming bodies. Her creations are boundless and skilfully interweave past and present in an apotheosis of disparate, deliberately anachronistic elements. She passes on her infectious passion for her work as a plastic artist to younger generations through her teaching.

“How do you make the invisible appear and the elusive materialize? How do you give form to the characters’ humanity and their place in the world? I’m not looking to put a garment on a character or to “dress” a body, but rather to establish a dialogue between the textile and the performer’s body and to use the costume to sculpt a meaningful theatrical space.”

Linda Brunelle, Elen Ewing et Sonoyo Nishikawa sont les trois finalistes de la cinquième édition du prix Jovette-Marchessault! 3
Elen Ewing

Elen Ewing works in a wide range of esthetics and registers and is known for her unparalleled inventiveness, responsiveness and spontaneity. Keenly aware of the implications of every artistic choice she makes, this exceptional costume designer selects her materials carefully, often giving them a second life. Through textures, brilliant colours and shimmering textiles, she translates artistic visions with accuracy and authenticity.

“The wonder that arises from changing perceptions holds magical possibilities. I value the art of being on the move and observing the world around me; ideas shift and change, and I seek to capture them while letting them evolve in pace with their endless transformations. Letting several possible representations coexist allows me to echo the world we live in. I create with and through dialogue, in a constellation of components where teamwork always takes pride of place.”

Linda Brunelle, Elen Ewing et Sonoyo Nishikawa sont les trois finalistes de la cinquième édition du prix Jovette-Marchessault! 4
Sonoyo Nishikawa

Described as a quiet force by her peers, Sonoyo Nishikawa boldly embraces risk-taking. Seeming to emerge from some elsewhere, her lighting designs reveal themselves as immaterial manifestations of space-time, stunning audiences with their estheticism and rare chromatic quality. Informed by a quest for universal beauty, the daring artistic proposals of this meticulous and dedicated creator have garnered widespread international acclaim.

“Why do we cry when we see a magnificent sunrise or sunset? Probably because the ever-changing beauty of light transcends the thinking and analysis taking place in our brains and goes straight to our hearts. In the same way, I believe the essence of lighting design is to create images that constantly change and evolve over time.”

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.

Award background

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.

Source et relations de presse

Luc Chauvette
Directeur des communications et du marketing


  • Prix Jovette-Marchessault