DECEMBER 6, 1951

CREE PLAYWRIGHT TOMSON HIGHWAY BORN

Born in Brochet, Manitoba, Thomson studied music and English literature at the Universities of Manitoba and Western Ontario.  His plays, The Rez Sisters (1986) and Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing (1989), won Dora Mavor Moore & Floyd S. Chalmers Canadian Play Awards and were nominated for Governor General’s Awards.  Other plays include Rose (2000); Ernestine Shuswap Gets Her Trout (2004); and The (Post) Mistress (2013).  From 1986-92, he was artistic director of Native Earth Performing Arts.  Highway wrote, Kiss of the Fur Queen (1998), dealing with his boarding school experiences and 3 children’s books: Caribou Song (2001), Dragonfly Kites (2002) and Fox on the Ice (2003)In 2005, he wrote a libretto for the opera, Pimooteewin, and, in 2017, premiered Songs in the Key of Cree.  Awards:  Toronto Arts Award (1990); Member, Order of Canada (1994) (its first Indigenous writer); Silver Ticket Award (1999); and National Aboriginal Achievement Award (2001).

Source:  Colin Boyd, “Tomson Highway,” The Canadian Encyclopedia, 1/15/2008, updated by Jules Lewis, 6/29/2017.  Retrieved 7/22/2019, https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/highway-tomson
Photo:  Gabriel Kirkley, 10/23/2011.  Permissive use under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en

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