AWARD | PHILIP AKIN- BLACK SHOULDERS LEGACY AWARD

The first award of its kind, solely dedicated to the success of Black Canadian theatre artists, ensuring creators are equipped with the skills to be at the top of their professional game.

On the heels of the formal retirement of founding artistic director Philip Akin from Canada’s leading Black theatre company,  Obsidian Theatre Company, alongside former company Producer Luke Reece have announced a legacy fund titled The Philip Akin -Black Shoulders Legacy Award. $150,000 has been raised in support of this groundbreaking award, with an additional call for support announced today to ensure the continued legacy of one of the founders of Canadian theatre. This is the first award of its kind, solely dedicated to the success of Black Canadian theatre artists, ensuring creators are equipped with the skills to be at the top of their professional game.

The Black Shoulders Legacy Award aims to support and nurture emerging Black Canadian theatre artists through financial support, artistic guidance, and national promotion. Five artists will be selected each year via submission and awarded a $5,000 honorarium towards training and other opportunities  to enhance and grow their artistic craft.  This national award will be given to both performing and non-performing artists who show promise and are working towards a future in theatre, further amplifying Black voices in the Canadian theatre landscape. This fund is managed by the Ontario Arts Foundation and will be awarded by Philip Akin, Luke Reece, Taylor Akin and the Artistic Director of Obsidian Theatre at the time of that round of applications. If the fundraising target is reached in time, first awards will be announced in Spring 2021 with a call for submissions being announced in Winter 2020.

Each year, five awards of $5,000 each will be presented to Black Canadian theatre artists looking to grow their craft. There will be two deadlines annually to apply for this award. The first pair of dates for will be announced at the beginning of 2021. Until then, we continue to work towards our fundraising target to ensure the long-lasting impact of this award.

The five awards will be given out based on the categories below, to individuals who identify primarily with these theatrical practices:

  • One award for a Director
  • One award for a Playwright
  • One award for an Actor
  • Two awards for Production/Design/Stage Management

If there isn’t a qualified applicant in one of the specified categories listed above then the money can be moved to another category.

Eligibility

  • Must be a Canadian resident
  • Must identify as Black
  • Must be practicing in Theatre
  • Must be applying with a proposed training/educational opportunity to enhance skillset and/or artistic craft 

Process

A committee comprised of Philip Akin, Taylor Akin, Luke Reece,  and the Artistic Director of Obsidian Theatre, at the time of that round of applications, will review and award submissions twice yearly. 

More details will continue to come as we get closer to the initial application process. 

Questions? Email blackshoulderslegacyaward@gmail.com

More information here.