Rick Salutin - Shaw Festival Theatre

Rick Salutin Photo
Rick Salutin

RICK SALUTIN (b. 1942) grew up in Toronto. He returned home, following ten years of university study in the United States as well as a year at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in October 1970. He attended eight universities during that time, including two seminaries, and he has been a freelance writer ever since. (He says he has never had a real job!) Besides 1837: The Farmers’ Revolt, his many plays include Les Canadiens, about the famed Montreal hockey team and its relation to the spirit of Quebec nationalism, which received the Chalmers Award for best Canadian play in 1977; The False Messiah, about a Jewish messianic movement in the 1600s; and Nathan Cohen: A Review, about the iconic Canadian theatre critic. Some of these shows, in­clud­ing 1837, were “collective creations” developed between him and the members of the company. In the case of 1837, that meant director Paul Thompson, designer Paul Williams and the cast members of the two first productions of the play at Theatre Passe Muraille. The collective process is described in a rehearsal journal in the published version.

His TV dramas include Maria, about union organizing among textile workers; and Grierson and Gouzenko, on the strange connection between the National Film Board of Canada and the origins of the Cold War. He has also written biography and history, as well as three novels, one of which, A Man of Little Faith, won the Books in Canada prize for best first novel. He received the Toronto Arts Award in writing and publishing in 1991; the National Newspaper Award for best columnist, for his Globe and Mail column on media, in 1993; and a National Magazine Award for personal writing in 2008. He held the Maclean Hunter chair in ethics in communication at Ryerson University and since 1978 has taught a course on media and culture in the Canadian Studies program of University College in the University of Toronto. He has written columns for Canadian Business, Toronto Life, TV Times, the Globe and Mail Broadcast Week and This Magazine, of which he is a founding editor. He was Globe and Mail media columnist from 1991 to 1999 and op-ed columnist till 2010. He has written a weekly op-ed column for the Toronto Star since 2011, and done weekly videos for the Star website during that time. He has collaborated often with the Canadian labour movement and worked as an organizer for a textile union in the 1970s. He has received honorary doctorates from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, BC, and from Mt Saint Vincent University in Halifax. He lives in an area of Toronto known as Little Italy but spends his summers on an island north of Huntsville, Ontario.

At The Shaw
1837: The Farmers’ Revolt thumbnail
1837: The Farmers’ Revolt

A modern Canadian classic about the uprising that paved the way for nationhood.

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