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Kim Collier is a co-founder of Vancouver's Electric Theatre Company. She won the Siminovitch Prize on Monday. ((Electric Theatre Company))

Kim Collier, a Vancouver-based director who co-founded the Electric Company Theatre, has won the Elinore & Lou Siminovitch Prize in Theatre, Canada's largest theatre award.

Collier was presented with $75,000 at a ceremony Monday in Toronto. She named fellow Vancouver director Anita Rochon as her protege and Rochon received $25,000.

Collier has been at the forefront of the independent theatre scene in Vancouver as director of productions such as The Score, The One That Got Away, The Fall and Studies in Motion.

She also directed a film version of The Score, an examination of the human side of genetic research and her live-cinematic interpretation of Jean-Paul Sartre's No Exit is headed to San Francisco next year.

"In choosing Kim Collier as the winner of the 2010 Siminovitch Prize, the jury wanted to recognize Kim's leadership and spirit of innovation in the theatre world," said Maureen Labonté, chair of the Siminovitch jury.

"As a director, she encourages artistic risk and excellence, is a believer in the power of community and is an impressive mentor for emerging artists."

The Siminovitch Prize asks winners to name a protege to put an emphasis on the role of mentorship in Canadian theatre.

anita-rochon

Anita Rochon was chosen by Kim Collier to receive the $25,000 award for a protege of the Siminovitch winner. ((BMO Financial Group))

Rochon, a graduate of the directing program at the National Theatre School in Montreal, directed for Vancouver Opera, Théâtre la Seizième and Theatre Centre and directed The Winter's Tale for Studio 58.

With Emelia Symington Fedy she is artistic director of The Chop Theatre, which created works such as KISMET one to one hundred, 2 Truths + 1 Lie = Proof and Townsville, which was performed at the Magnetic North Festival in 2008.

She has toured nationally and internationally with Theatre Replacement's BIOBOXES and will co-direct their next work, Dress me up in your love.

Collier said her win would "strengthen my heart, my vision, my knowledge, and my understanding" and pledged to draw inspiration from the recognition.

Outside Electric Company, Collier has directed for Studio 58, Western Canada Theatre, Chemainus Theatre Festival, Runaway Moon, Vancouver Moving Theatre, Vancouver Opera and Bard on the Beach.

In 2004 she directed and led the creation of Storyeum, a $22-million theatrical exploration of B.C.'s history for Historical Xperiences.