1. Funding
  2. Prizes
  3. John Hirsch Prizes

NOTE: New for 2021, directors apply directly for the prize.

John Hirsch Prizes

Image of winners

Alix Dufresne (left) and Jenna Rodgers (right)

Photographer(s): Maxime Côté (left) and Brianne Jang (right)

Current Winners

Alix Dufresne

Alix Dufresne’s artistic works reflect contemporary concerns. Her hybrid forms blend dance, theatre and other performance styles. Since graduating in stage direction from the National Theatre School of Canada, she has presented various works: Daniel Keene’s Les paroles at the Théâtre Prospero (2014); Nuits frauduleuses at the Centre du Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui (2016); Hidden Paradise (co-created with Marc Béland) at the Festival TransAmériques (FTA), the Festival d’Avignon and on tour in both Quebec and Europe (2016–22); Geneviève Pettersen’s La déesse des mouches à feu at the Théatre de Quat’Sous (2018); Noémie de Lattre’s Féministe pour Homme at Usine C (2021); and Malaise dans la civilisation (co-created with Étienne Lepage) at the FTA (2022). She recently became an associate artist at Usine C, where her works are included in its programming for the next three seasons (2022-25). 

Jenna Rodgers

Jenna Rogers is a mixed-race dramaturg and theatre director who gratefully resides on land called Moh’kins’tsis (Calgary), on Treaty 7 Territory in Alberta. She is the founding Artistic Director of Chromatic Theatre, the dramaturg for the Playwrights Lab at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, the co-Board Chair of Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (LMDA), and the director of Theatre Alberta. She is a graduate of the National Theatre School’s Artistic Leadership Residency (2020), of the Banff Centre’s Cultural Leadership Program (2019) and a member of the artEquity National Facilitator Training cohort (2018). She holds an MA in International Performance Research from the University of Amsterdam, in the Netherlands, and Tampere University, in Finland.

What is this prize?

The John Hirsch Prizes recognize the artistic merit and potential of emerging theatre directors.

Who created this prize?

On his death in 1989, distinguished theatre director John Hirsch left a bequest to the Canada Council for the Arts to encourage Canadian directors. Mr. Hirsch made an extraordinary contribution to theatre in Canada, most notably as founder of the Manitoba Theatre Centre, head of CBC television drama and artistic director of the Stratford Festival.

Additional information


1-800-263-5588 (toll-free) or 613-566-4414 ext. 4068


October 5, 2023


Prize amount

$6,000 each

2 prizes of $6,000 each

  • 1 prize for the English-language community
  • 1 prize for the French-language community


Updated guidelines and an updated form will be posted two months prior to the deadline.

You can submit an application to johnhirsch-prizes@canadacouncil.ca

Cumulative list of winners


If you are Deaf, hard of hearing, or a TTY user, please use your preferred MRS (Message Relay Service) or IP service to contact the Canada Council.

The Canada Council for the Arts can also receive calls from a video relay service (VRS). For more information, visit the VRS Canada website.