CATR is pleased to recognize Denis Salter’s contributions to theatrical research by granting him the Lifetime Achievement Award. This award is presented “to honour a member of the Association who has made a significant and sustained contribution to the field of theatre research in Canada.” Having studied at UBC and the University of Toronto in the 1970s, Dr. Salter witnessed the blossoming of Canadian drama, and he contributed to this “huge cultural epistemological shift” through production reviews, an edited collection of Canadian plays, and extensive scholarship celebrating the history and character of theatre in Canada. In addition to his work on Canadian theatre, Dr. Salter’s scholarship reflects his interest in Shakespeare and Canadian adaptations thereof, as well as concerns of social justice and politics. His articles explore multiculturalism and diversity, indigeneity, and gender in both historical and theoretical contexts.
Dr. Salter has worked with alt.theatre: cultural diversity and the stage since 2006, serving as Editor-in-Chief for several years, where he continues to champion Canadian theatre and scholarship. He is a two-time winner of the Richard Plant Best Essay Prize, and an active contributor to CATR. He served on the CATR board in various capacities, including as President, from 1983 to 1989, and he has subsequently participated in a number of CATR committees. He sat on the editorial board for Theatre Research in Canada/Recherches théâtrales au Canada for 22 years, from 1993 to 2015.
Nominator Ted Little describes Dr. Salter as “a lover of language, debate, discourse, and effective communication; a caring, collegial, and generous human being; and a diligent scholar, excited by new research, and supportive and curious about the ideas of others.” Dr. Salter has been a teacher, mentor, valued colleague, and friend to hundreds. Over the course of his career, he has explored the cracks and sought the light across a wide range of research interests—teasing out interconnections, and using the security of his position as a tenured academic to advocate for others, to shed light on artists, authors, students, and thinkers whose work might not otherwise be seen or heard.