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News (National): 2024 Gina Wilkinson Prize Recipient and Finalists Announced

News (National): 2024 Gina Wilkinson Prize Recipient and Finalists Announced

Toronto, ON, March 11, 2024 — The Gina Wilkinson Prize Committee announced that Warona Setshwaelo (Montreal, Quebec) is the recipient of the 13th annual Gina Wilkinson Prize. The Gina Wilkinson Prize recognizes theatre artists from underrepresented genders which includes cis women, trans women, and non-binary people with a demonstrated body of work, who are recognized by their communities for their practice, leadership and dedication to their craft.

Among the finalists, Marie Beath Badian (Toronto, Ontario), Lianna Makuch (Edmonton, Alberta), and Fiona Sauder (Toronto, Ontario) were considered to be the recipient of the award. Theatre Alberta congratulates Lianna Makuch for her finalist position for the award!

Lianna Makuch (she/her) is a Ukrainian Canadian playwright, director, performer, and co-Artistic Director of Pyretic Productions based in amiskwaciwâskahikan (Edmonton). She has travelled several times to Ukraine to research and develop her plays Barvinok and Alina, which have her garnered recognition across the country and in Ukraine, including the Shevchenko Foundation’s REACH Award, an Edmonton Artist Trust Fund Award, and was shortlisted for the Alberta Playwrighting Award. Lianna’s directorial debut, First Métis Man of Odesa, earned her a Dora Award for Outstanding Direction, has been seen on stages across the country, and later this year will be presented at Soulpepper Theatre and the National Arts Centre. Lianna is thrilled to be directing A Christmas Carolat the Citadel Theatre in the 2024/25 theatre season. Passionate about activism, Lianna has also been a key advocate for raising awareness about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine through various fundraising initiatives and advocacy efforts.

Nominations and Selection Committee
The 31 nominations from across the country spoke to an incredibly diverse, dynamic and passionate group of artistic leaders who are serving their communities. They were inspiring, original and dedicated to creating positive spaces centered around care and innovative practice.

About the Prize
Gina’s Prize pays tribute to Gina Wilkinson, who passed away in 2010, and whose dedication, vision and indomitable spirit imbued her work and her life.

Gina’s interdisciplinary artistry as a dancer, visual artist, actor, playwright and director established her as a daring, strong, inventive leader and collaborator in the Canadian theatre. She believed in the necessity of fun in the rehearsal hall, on and off stage, and in all aspects of one’s life. In the spirit of Gina’s appetite for life, the prize money is a gift to be used in any way the recipient chooses. The award recipient receives a $10,000 prize, and $2,500 is awarded to each of the finalists.

The Gina Wilkinson Prize Committee (Micheline Chevrier, Krista Jackson, Ann-Marie Kerr, Lindsay Lachance, Kimberley Rampersad, Tom Rooney & Tanisha Taitt) extends its heartfelt thanks to all of our supporters. Through their incredible generosity, the spirit of Gina lives on

To contribute a gift to Gina’s Prize:

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