Banks Prize

Rosie Callaghan & Matthew Joseph (Banks Prize Winners 2021-22). Photo by Elana Emer
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The Syd & Shirley Banks Prize

Congratulations to the current recipients of The Syd & Shirley Banks Prize:

Taylor Garwood & Vinnie Alberto

This annual opportunity is open to musical theatre artists 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. This year we have removed the under-30 age requirement

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

Sponsors

Leading Lights
The Banks Family

The Syd & Shirley Banks Prize

Congratulations to the current recipients of The Syd & Shirley Banks Prize:

Taylor Garwood & Vinnie Alberto

This annual opportunity is open to musical theatre artists 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. This year we have removed the under-30 age requirement

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

The Prize

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

1. A $2,500 CASH PRIZE.

2. A CABARET STARRING BOTH WINNERS, CREATED IN COLLABORATION WITH OUR RBC APPRENTICE COHORT.

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 2022-23 SEASON.

For all Banks Prize related questions please contact Deputy Artistic Director Ray Hogg at rayhogg@musicalstagecompany.com.

Who is Eligible?

The Banks Prize is now closed for submission.


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

  • 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 and under-exposed in Toronto and its surrounding areas.  

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 Director Ray Hogg at rayhogg@musicalstagecompany.com.

Submissions

Submissions for The Banks Prize is CLOSED.


Please submit through this application form: https://forms.gle/UkrJCVisDuouxepS6

You will be asked to submit: 

  • Updated headshot
  • Updated resume
  • A cover letter (maximum one page) OR video statement (maximum 2 minutes) which outlines your views on the role of musical theatre in the performance arts landscape, how you would use this prize to support your career aspirations, and why you are the best candidate for this prize. We hope to learn about you and your unique artistry from your letter/video. Specifics about you and your art/practice are more helpful to us than generalized statements about a love of theatre.
  • An audition video of 2 contrasting songs (approx. 32 bar cut each). Please note that only the shortlisted cover letters/video statements will have their audition videos reviewed.

Videos must be submitted as a LINK (e.g. unlisted YouTube, Vimeo). Unfortunately, we cannot accept any video attachments or downloads.

Please ensure that your submission package is received through the application form no later than June 6, 2022 11:59pm ET. If you are unable to submit using the Google form, please email submissions@musicalstagecompany.com for assistance.

Successful candidates will be invited to an in-person callback and should be prepared to perform live. 

Submissions open: May 16, 2022

Deadline to Submit: June 6, 2022 11:59pm ET

Callback Invites: July 1, 2022

Callback Date: July 14, 2022

The Musical Stage Company prioritizes adaptability and a human-centric work environment.  If you require any accommodation to make your submission please contact submissions@musicalstagecompany.com to discuss your access needs.

The 2022-23 Banks Prize Winners

Vinnie Alberto (he/him)

Vinnie Alberto (he/him) is a multidisciplinary Métis storyteller, singer, actor, dancer, and creator raised on Treaty One Territory. He is incredibly grateful to have been chosen as one of the 2022-23 Syd & Shirley Banks Prize recipients. He would like to thank everyone at Musical Stage for this opportunity. Vinnie is a graduate of Sheridan College’s Honours Bachelor of Music Theatre Performance Program. Recent credits include Sky in Mamma Mia! (Drayton Entertainment), Ensemble/Wizard u.s. in The Wizard of Oz (Rainbow Stage), Sebastian in Twelfth Night: The Musical & Lead Dancer/The Artist in Working Title (Theatre Sheridan). Vinnie is grateful to have been taught and mentored by some of Canada’s leading fellow BIPOC artists. Vinnie is an advocate that BIPOC voices need to be heard and valued in theatre and beyond. #EveryChildMatters @vinniealberto

Taylor Garwood (she/they)

Taylor is a performer from Elmvale Ontario, currently residing in Toronto. Along with being a theatre artist, over the past two years she has become a baker, a nanny, and an aunt. Taylor received an Honors Bachelor of Music Theatre Performance degree form Sheridan college where she graduated in 2020. In their final year Taylor performed in the musical Cabaret, playing the role of Fraulein Schneider. Taylor is eager to use music theatre to tell nuanced and truthful stories about the queer existence. Theatre reminds them to be curious, considerate, to try new things, and to be an active player in her own life. They are continuously interested in the places where queerness and creativity intersect. Along with all of this, in her free time Taylor is learning how to skateboard! Taylor is so grateful to be this year’s recipient of The Syd and Shirley Banks Prize, to have the opportunity to learn more about this art form and to fine tune their place in it.

Past Recipients

2021-22: Rosie Callaghan & Matthew Joseph

2020-21: Dillan Chiblow & Germaine Konji

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