Banks Prize

Eva Foote. Photo by Dahlia Katz
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The Syd & Shirley Banks Prize

This annual opportunity is open to musical theatre artists under 30 years of age who are under-exposed in Toronto and its surrounding areas. The Syd & Shirley Banks Prize for Emerging Musical Theatre Artists generously provides two musical theatre artists the opportunity to advance their careers through financial assistance, mentorship, and increased exposure.

For all Banks Prize related questions please contact Artistic Associate Ray Hogg at ray@musicalstagecompany.com.

Introducing the 2020-21 Banks Prize Winners!

DILLAN CHIBLOW
Aniin! Dillan is an Ojibwe storyteller from Garden River First Nation. He is a graduate of Sheridan’s Music Theatre Performance program and has a master’s degree in Musical Theatre from The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Dillan is very honoured to be awarded the Banks prize this year. He looks forward to the opportunity to be challenged and grow from this experience. Dillan would like to acknowledge the many people who helped get him to this point in his career and highlight that he stands on the shoulders of the many Indigenous storytellers that came before him. He thanks them for the work they have done and will use this opportunity to honour their legacy. Dillan is also host/producer of Voicing The Circle, an Indigenous-led podcast about life in the arts. Dillan and his guests share stories and experiences in hopes that, through storytelling, we can listen and learn to address structural changes that are long overdue in our arts community. Selected Credits: Tommy/Tom-Children of God (Urban Ink, Citadel, Segal Center, Western Canada Theatre); Only Drunks and Children Tell The Truth (Magnus); Sedna (Urban Ink/Caravan Farm); The Talking Stick (Charlottetown Festival’s Young Company).

 

GERMAINE KONJI
Germaine is a proud Kenyan-Canadian actor, singer, writer, director, and mover. Her artistry rooted in her culture, storytelling for her is not a profession, but a way of life. Germaine is passionate about adding to the canon of female voices of the African Diaspora. Her spoken word piece, Bordered Blood, and the Making of a Foreigner was chosen to be developed by Canadian Stage Company as part of their Territorial Tales series in 2018. Germaine is a produced playwright, having made her directorial debut in 2019 directing her first full-length play Burning House. Smoking Gun, premiered by The And, Stage Company. She is currently co-writing a new musical that was chosen to be workshopped by The Grey Area Theatre Company in the UK this August. Germaine is a 2020 graduate of Sheridan’s Music Theater Performance Program, where she was awarded The Highest Achievement in Acting Performance, and The Outstanding Contribution to the Canadian Musical Theatre Project. During her studies, she worked as a researcher for a project investigating the decolonizing, and decentering of the American musical. She plans to continue her studies on the institutionalization of diversity and the maintenance of a dominant culture as it interacts with music theatre performance, and artistic practice. Recent performance credits include; Molly, Hoarding the Musical (CMTP, Theatre Sheridan), Sarraghina, Nine (Theatre Sheridan) Meryl, Stars of Mars (Theatre Sheridan). Germaine is also a co-founder of The And, Stage Company; a not for profit corporation creating theater opportunities for artists that identify as women.

Sponsors

Leading Lights
The Banks Family

The Syd & Shirley Banks Prize

This annual opportunity is open to musical theatre artists under 30 years of age who are under-exposed in Toronto and its surrounding areas. The Syd & Shirley Banks Prize for Emerging Musical Theatre Artists generously provides two musical theatre artists the opportunity to advance their careers through financial assistance, mentorship, and increased exposure.

For all Banks Prize related questions please contact Artistic Associate Ray Hogg at ray@musicalstagecompany.com.

Introducing the 2020-21 Banks Prize Winners!

DILLAN CHIBLOW
Aniin! Dillan is an Ojibwe storyteller from Garden River First Nation. He is a graduate of Sheridan’s Music Theatre Performance program and has a master’s degree in Musical Theatre from The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Dillan is very honoured to be awarded the Banks prize this year. He looks forward to the opportunity to be challenged and grow from this experience. Dillan would like to acknowledge the many people who helped get him to this point in his career and highlight that he stands on the shoulders of the many Indigenous storytellers that came before him. He thanks them for the work they have done and will use this opportunity to honour their legacy. Dillan is also host/producer of Voicing The Circle, an Indigenous-led podcast about life in the arts. Dillan and his guests share stories and experiences in hopes that, through storytelling, we can listen and learn to address structural changes that are long overdue in our arts community. Selected Credits: Tommy/Tom-Children of God (Urban Ink, Citadel, Segal Center, Western Canada Theatre); Only Drunks and Children Tell The Truth (Magnus); Sedna (Urban Ink/Caravan Farm); The Talking Stick (Charlottetown Festival’s Young Company).

 

GERMAINE KONJI
Germaine is a proud Kenyan-Canadian actor, singer, writer, director, and mover. Her artistry rooted in her culture, storytelling for her is not a profession, but a way of life. Germaine is passionate about adding to the canon of female voices of the African Diaspora. Her spoken word piece, Bordered Blood, and the Making of a Foreigner was chosen to be developed by Canadian Stage Company as part of their Territorial Tales series in 2018. Germaine is a produced playwright, having made her directorial debut in 2019 directing her first full-length play Burning House. Smoking Gun, premiered by The And, Stage Company. She is currently co-writing a new musical that was chosen to be workshopped by The Grey Area Theatre Company in the UK this August. Germaine is a 2020 graduate of Sheridan’s Music Theater Performance Program, where she was awarded The Highest Achievement in Acting Performance, and The Outstanding Contribution to the Canadian Musical Theatre Project. During her studies, she worked as a researcher for a project investigating the decolonizing, and decentering of the American musical. She plans to continue her studies on the institutionalization of diversity and the maintenance of a dominant culture as it interacts with music theatre performance, and artistic practice. Recent performance credits include; Molly, Hoarding the Musical (CMTP, Theatre Sheridan), Sarraghina, Nine (Theatre Sheridan) Meryl, Stars of Mars (Theatre Sheridan). Germaine is also a co-founder of The And, Stage Company; a not for profit corporation creating theater opportunities for artists that identify as women.

The Prize

Two emerging artists are awarded the prize through an annual open audition process, each winner receives:

1. A $1,200 cash prize.

2. A cabaret created by and starring both winners.

3. An opportunity to perform alongside leading professional artists as a part of The Musical Stage Company’s season.

4. Mentorship with industry experts throughout the 2020-21 season.

For all Banks Prize related questions please contact Artistic Associate Ray Hogg at ray@musicalstagecompany.com.

Who is Eligible?

All musical theatre artists are eligible if they meet the following criteria:

  • They are under 30 years of age
  • They reside in Ontario
  • They are under-exposed in theatre in Toronto & GTA

This opportunity is open to both Equity members and non-members who are emerging musical theatre artists under 30 years of age, and who are under-exposed in Toronto and its surrounding areas.  The two artists selected for this prize will be contracted under the Independent Theatre Agreement.

We are actively seeking submissions from actors of all backgrounds, abilities, and ethnicities as we are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion within this selection process.  We especially encourage folks who identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, LGBTQ2S+, d/Deaf, Mad, Disabled/People with Disabilities, and/or Neurodiverse to submit.

For all Banks Prize related questions please contact Artistic Associate Ray Hogg at ray@musicalstagecompany.com.

Submissions

Submissions for the 2020-21 Syd & Shirley Banks Prize for Emerging Musical Theatre Artists are now closed!

Submission information for the 2021-22 Syd & Shirley Banks Prize for Emerging Musical Theatre Artists will be made available here in early 2021.

For all Banks Prize related questions please contact Artistic Associate Ray Hogg at ray@musicalstagecompany.com.

The 2020-21 Banks Prize Winners

DILLAN CHIBLOW
Aniin! Dillan is an Ojibwe storyteller from Garden River First Nation. He is a graduate of Sheridan’s Music Theatre Performance program and has a master’s degree in Musical Theatre from The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Dillan is very honoured to be awarded the Banks prize this year. He looks forward to the opportunity to be challenged and grow from this experience. Dillan would like to acknowledge the many people who helped get him to this point in his career and highlight that he stands on the shoulders of the many Indigenous storytellers that came before him. He thanks them for the work they have done and will use this opportunity to honour their legacy. Dillan is also host/producer of Voicing The Circle, an Indigenous-led podcast about life in the arts. Dillan and his guests share stories and experiences in hopes that, through storytelling, we can listen and learn to address structural changes that are long overdue in our arts community. Selected Credits: Tommy/Tom-Children of God (Urban Ink, Citadel, Segal Center, Western Canada Theatre); Only Drunks and Children Tell The Truth (Magnus); Sedna (Urban Ink/Caravan Farm); The Talking Stick (Charlottetown Festival’s Young Company).

GERMAINE KONJI
Germaine is a proud Kenyan-Canadian actor, singer, writer, director, and mover. Her artistry rooted in her culture, storytelling for her is not a profession, but a way of life. Germaine is passionate about adding to the canon of female voices of the African Diaspora. Her spoken word piece, Bordered Blood, and the Making of a Foreigner was chosen to be developed by Canadian Stage Company as part of their Territorial Tales series in 2018. Germaine is a produced playwright, having made her directorial debut in 2019 directing her first full-length play Burning House. Smoking Gun, premiered by The And, Stage Company. She is currently co-writing a new musical that was chosen to be workshopped by The Grey Area Theatre Company in the UK this August. Germaine is a 2020 graduate of Sheridan’s Music Theater Performance Program, where she was awarded The Highest Achievement in Acting Performance, and The Outstanding Contribution to the Canadian Musical Theatre Project. During her studies, she worked as a researcher for a project investigating the decolonizing, and decentering of the American musical. She plans to continue her studies on the institutionalization of diversity and the maintenance of a dominant culture as it interacts with music theatre performance, and artistic practice. Recent performance credits include; Molly, Hoarding the Musical (CMTP, Theatre Sheridan), Sarraghina, Nine (Theatre Sheridan) Meryl, Stars of Mars (Theatre Sheridan). Germaine is also a co-founder of The And, Stage Company; a not for profit corporation creating theater opportunities for artists that identify as women.

Past Recipients

2019-20: Eva Foote & Kale Penny

2018-19: Brandon Antonio & Michelle Bouey

2017-18: George Krissa & Celine Tsai

2016-17: Jahlen Barnes & Arinea Hermans

2015-16: Brittany Banks and Colin Simmons

2014-15: Alessia Lupiano and Graham Scott Fleming

2013-14: Dana Jean Phoenix and Jordan Till

2012-13: Alexis Gordon and Ana Ceréna Sierra