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Gillian Gallow wins Canada’s top theatre award.
Gallow chooses Joshua Quinlan & Joyce Padua as Prize Protégés.

Last night, set and costume designer Gillian Gallow was named the 2021 Laureate of the Siminovitch Prize, Canada’s largest and most prestigious theatre award.

The Siminovitch Prize is an astounding investment in Canadian theatre artists and is a recognition of the value of theatre in our cultural landscape,” Gallow said. “I’m overwhelmed and honoured to be this year’s Laureate. This recognition emboldens me to persevere, to challenge and to risk.”

Gillian Gallow is a Toronto-based artist who most recently designed costumes for the Shaw Festival’s The Devil’s Disciple and set and costumes for the Dora award-winning production of Human Cargo’s The Runner. She is the 2018 recipient of the Virginia and Myrtle Cooper Award in Costume Design, and has been nominated for eight Dora Mavor Moore awards, receiving four. Gillian studied design for the theatre at York University and graduated with an honours BFA.

Other design credits include: Hadrian and Louis Riel (Canadian Opera Company); An Octoroon, The Russian Play and Stage Kiss (Shaw Festival); Long Day’s Journey Into Night, The Physicists, The Three Musketeers, and Hirsch (Stratford Festival); King Lear, Stuff Happens and Thirsty (National Arts Centre); Idomeneus, The Testament of Mary and Incident at Vichy (Soulpepper); A Christmas Carol, Million Dollar Quartet, Hand to God and Seminar (Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre); The RunnerThe Road To Paradise and Night (Human Cargo); One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Theatre Calgary/Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre), The Kite Runner (Theatre Calgary/Citadel Theatre); A Christmas Carol, Pride and Prejudice and Cinderella (Grand Theatre).

The Siminovitch Prize is a celebration of Canadian theatre and represents the highest level of peer recognition in the profession. This year’s jury (Vanessa Porteous, Catherine Bourgeois, Jenny Jiminez, James Lavoie, Corey Payette) selected Gillian Gallow, from peer nominations submitted for exceptional artists working in English and French across the country.

Gillian’s designs reveal hidden themes, paradoxes, and even contradictions,” Jury Chair Vanessa Porteous said. “They tap into the deepest forces at work in the piece. She’s a teacher, a mentor, and a keen and open-spirited collaborator with a noted ability to communicate with production teams.” The jury also remarked upon her work on complex intercultural projects, in which her collaborators praised her respect, dedication, and care.”

The announcement took place during a virtual event yesterday evening featuring mini documentaries about each of the ground-breaking female designers shortlisted for the 2021 Siminovitch Prize: Linda Brunelle, Nancy Bryant, Gillian Gallow, and Michelle Ramsay.

Miss the show? It’s available now at

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