Jovette-Marchessault Award

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The Conseil des arts de Montréal (CAM) and ESPACE GO, in collaboration with Imago Theatre, Théâtre de l’Affamée and Femmes pour l’Équité en Théâtre (F.E.T.), are pleased to announce, for the second consecutive year, the opening of the call for nominations for the Jovette Marchessault Award, an annual award to honour and promote the contribution of women to Montreal’s theatre scene. This award is accompanied by a $20,000 cash prize from the Conseil des arts de Montréal.

Calls for nominations for this annual award will vary on a three-year rotation based on the candidates’ artistic roles, alternating between directors, designers and playwrights. 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 2020-2021 call for nominations is for women theatre designers, of costumes, sets, make-up, wigs, hairstyles, puppets, masks, props, lighting, sound and video. The call for nominations will close at midnight on January 25, 2021.

For more details about the award, click here.

Candidates will be evaluated based on the quality and originality of their artistic approach as well as the impact of their artistic production(s) on the development of theatrical practices. The jury will be made up of male and female professional artists representing all theatrical practices.

The three women designers selected as finalists will be announced in April 2021.
The winning designer will be announced in May 2021.

Objectives and eligibility criteria
  • Recognize and raise awareness of the contribution of women to advances in theatre arts and to Montreal’s artistic vitality;
  • Increase the visibility of women artists;
  • Recognize the excellence of their work;
  • Highlight the remarkable work and potential of women theatre artists;
  • Acknowledge an artistic approach adopted by a female director, designer or playwright that contributes to the development of theatrical practices;
  • Eligible candidates must identify as female, must be professional artists working in theatre, regardless of their years of experience, and must be recognized by their peers; they must also be Canadian citizens or permanents residents of Canada on the date their nomination was filed and they must reside on the Island of Montreal.

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. At the same time, the Conseil’s Executive Director, Nathalie Maillé, made a call for proposals for such an 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 this new award a reality. All the stakeholders agreed that the award should be named for the inspiring woman artist Jovette Marchessault (1938-2012), Montreal novelist, poet, playwright, painter and sculptor.

For more information


Emeline Goutte
Project Coordinator, Creative Division and Assistant to the Executive Director
Tel.: 514 845-5455, extension 223

Frédéric Côté
Cultural Advisor – Theatre
Conseil des arts de Montréal
Tel.: 514 280-3793


Image: Odetka Tuduri | Photo: Télé-Québec