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JNF Winnipeg Announces the 2019 Negev Gala Honouree, Mr. Steven Schipper, Artistic Director of the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre.

November 15, 2018

The Jewish National Fund of Canada – Manitoba/Saskatchewan Regional Branch is thrilled to announce our 2019 Negev Gala Honouree: Mr. Steven Schipper, Artistic Director of the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre.

Artistic Director of the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre since 1989, Steven is an acclaimed director and artistic leader. Under his leadership and direction the Royal MTC has enhanced its reputation as one of Canada’s foremost regional theatres. In 2010, Queen Elizabeth II honoured Manitoba Theatre Centre with a Royal designation; Royal MTC is the only theatre company in North America to have been so recognized.

Steven was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of Winnipeg in 2007 and from the University of Manitoba in 2015, and was appointed to the Order of Canada and received the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 for his contributions to Canadian Theatre.

The Negev Gala will be held on Monday, May 27, 2019 at the Centennial Concert Hall.

The Project that Steven Schipper has chosen to support is Beit Halochem.

Beit Halochem provides Israel’s wounded veterans and victims of terror with the opportunity to regain the dignity and quality of life they deserve. Beit Halochem centers serve as a place of comfort where members feel supported and are not alone in their daily struggle to rehabilitate and reintegrated into society. The centers boast an array of exceptional rehabilitative services including physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, chiropractic treatments conducted along-side a vast array of social, specialized sport options, educational programs and cultural activities.

Beit Halochem Ashdod is the 5th and newest center being built in Israel and JNF will help to build. It will serve almost 7,000 injured and disabled veterans, as well as victims of terrorist activity, who are living in that region of the country. Together with their families, more than 15,000 people will benefit from access to this State of the Art facility in Ashdod.

About 2019 Negev Gala Honouree

Steven Schipper’s artistic philosophy is an inspired one: “Plays are the most effective way we know to create a more loving, peaceful world. Plays happen when artists and audiences come together to share in the act of imagining. The stories we tell are usually about conflict and what makes each of us different because playwrights know those stories are most engaging. However, when artists and audiences share in the act of imagining, we’re building bridges between people based on what we all have in common. Schools and places of worship can offer the same enlightenment, but I believe theatre is more effective because it’s purposefully entertaining. In a theatre, we laugh together and sometimes cry together. One play at a time, theatre transforms individuals into better team players, our communities into more empathetic societies, and the world into a more beautiful place in which to live.

Steven was born in Montreal and trained at McGill University, Bishop's University, and the National Theatre School of Canada. He is married to actress Terri Cherniack. They’ve made Winnipeg their home since 1987, when Steven came to Royal MTC to serve as Associate Artistic Director. They are the proud parents of two children and very recently became grandparents.

Steven has directed many productions for Royal MTC, including the world premieres of Maureen Hunter’s Atlantis and Sarah Ballenden, Niki Landau’s adaptation of Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind, Bruce McManus’ adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Olaf Pyttlik’s musical adaptation of Ron Jones’ short story The Wave, Mark Stein’s Mating Dance of the Werewolf and its American premiere at the Rubicon Theatre in Ventura, California, and the Canadian premiere of Steve Martin’s Picasso at the Lapin Agile.

He conceived and directed Ross McMillan’s The History of Manitoba from the Beginning of Time to the Present in 45 Minutes, the Manitoba Prix D’Arts Award-winning play that toured Manitoba high schools, and directed the Winnipeg Fringe Festival production of Evgeny Schwartz’s Little Red Riding Hood with members of the Aboriginal Arts Training and Mentorship Program.

Founded in 1901, the Jewish National Fund has evolved into a global environment leader, planting over 240 million trees, constructing more than 250 reservoirs & dams and developing over 250,000 acres of land while creating more than 1000 parks and providing stable infrastructure for over 1000 communities.

The Negev Gala has honoured outstanding leaders from within the Winnipeg community since 1953. This gala is the Jewish National Fund’s most important fundraising event of the year. All proceeds generated are directed to environmental research and development projects in the State of Israel.


Ariel Karabelnicoff
Executive Director Manitoba & Saskatchewan
Phone: 204-479-8685 E-Mail: [email protected]


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