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PRESS RELEASE – For Immediate Distribution

Announcing the Launch of a Bold, New Bra d’Or Award!

Ontario, March 8th, 2018 – In honour of International Women’s Day, The Women’s Caucus (WC) of Playwrights Guild of Canada (PGC) and the Bra d’Or Award Revamp Committee are celebrating the re-opening of the Bra d’Or Award after a two-year hiatus.

Established in 2006 , The Bra d’Or (Golden Bra) Award is bestowed annually upon an individual who supports and promotes the work of Canadian women playwrights. Repeated studies indicate that women are under-represented both on our stages and in positions of power. Although women comprise 53% of PGC’s membership, on average, less than 30% of the plays produced on our nation’s stages are written by women, and for Indigenous women, women of colour, and trans creators, the numbers are significantly lower. The purpose of the Award then is to honour people who lead the way by example, working towards greater equity, diversity, and inclusion for women writers in theatre. Past recipients of the award include Brian Quirt, Hope McIntyre, Katrina Dunn, Eric Coates, Andy McKim, Philip Aikin, Rachel Ditor, Robert Metcalfe, Mary Vingoe, Rebecca Burton, and Diane Brown.

The Bra d’Or Revamp Committee is composed of Award winners Eric Coates, Rachel Ditor, Andy McKim, and Mary Vingoe (Committee Chair), as well as PGC representatives Rita Shelton Deverell and Rebecca Burton (PGC staff). The Committee was tasked with overhauling the Bra d’Or to refresh, renew, and reinvigorate the procedures for greater impact and visibility. And that’s just what they did!

To increase the award’s profile, it will be a part of PGC’s Tom Hendry Awards. The timing of the call for nominations and the announcement of the winner will be made in concert with PGC’s other awards. As before, nominations may only be put forward by PGC Women’s Caucus members, but a new voting procedure allows for the entirety of PGC’s membership to select the winner. Enhancing visibility and providing greater clout, now the Award winner will be saluted at three different community events. The first presentation will be made at the Tom Hendry Awards ceremony, held in October at Toronto’s Arts and Letters Club. The second celebration will occur sometime in the five months after that, partnered with an event in the recipient’s home community. The final engagement, in partnership with the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT), will take place in May at their annual conference.

With these changes, the Bra d’Or Award will better recognize and celebrate people who make positive contributions to our industry by supporting and promoting the work of Canadian women playwrights. May the award and its recipients inspire us all!

Click HERE for the Bra d’Or Award Nomination Form.

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