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Obsidian Theatre Company & former company Producer Luke Reece announce the first-ever award of its kind, supporting emerging Black theatre artists in recognition of the legacy of Philip Akin.

$150,000 has been raised in support of this groundbreaking award, with an additional call for support announced today to ensure the continued legacy of one of the founders of Canadian theatre. The total fundraising goal is $650,000. This is the first award of its kind, solely dedicated to the success of Black Canadian theatre artists, ensuring creators are equipped with the skills to be at the top of their professional game. 

The Black Shoulders Legacy Award aims to support and nurture emerging Black Canadian theatre artists through financial support, artistic guidance, and national promotion. Five artists will be selected each year via submission and awarded a $5,000 honorarium towards training and other opportunities to enhance and grow their artistic craft.  This national award will be given to both performing and non-performing artists who show promise and are working towards a future in theatre, further amplifying Black voices in the Canadian theatre landscape. This fund is managed by the Ontario Arts Foundation and will be awarded by Philip Akin, Luke Reece, Taylor Akin and the Artistic Director of Obsidian Theatre at the time of that round of applications.

“To have a harvest you need to plant. This award is a way for there to be a growing crop of Black artists ready to create the future.”
— Philip Akin

“I looked around at all of the legacy awards in Canadian theatre and saw a gaping hole. Philip needed an award in his name, and it needed to be extraordinary. This will change lives for years to come.”
— Luke Reece

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