OTTAWA - Theatre directors from Toronto and Montreal have been awarded John Hirsch prizes from the Canada Council for the Arts.

Toronto's Christopher Morris is artistic director the company Human Cargo, which he founded five years ago.

Montreal's Gaétan Paré, meanwhile, founded the Théâtre de la Pacotille, and is a champion of comtemporary writing.

Two $6,000 prizes are awarded every second year to up-and-coming directors — one working in English and one in French.

Nominations are made by Canada's theatre community and candidates can have no more than 10 years of experience as a professional director. The prize was created in 1995.

John Hirsch founded the Manitoba Theatre Centre, was head of drama for CBC television and served as artistic director of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival.

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