Award-winning Calgary playwright Sharon Pollock dead at 85: ‘A titan of talent, personality and spirit’

Sharon Pollock will be remembered as a titan of Canadian theatre and a genius, eccentric artist who spoke her mind.

The 85-year-old died Thursday night in Calgary after a long battle with cancer.

“Sharon’s impact on me was profound, from her brutal honesty to her wide knowledge on so many subjects. Spending time with Sharon was a masterclass in writing, being an artist and a productive member of society. Sharon was such a great example and inspiration,” friend and colleague Dale Lee Kwong said.

“She helped so many artists, especially in the beginning of their careers when they weren’t sure of themselves. She treated them one on one and equally. It was a marvellous gift.”

Read more: List of latest additions to the Order of Canada announced Friday

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Pollock was a renowned playwright, actress and former artistic director at Theatre Calgary.

Stafford Arima, the current artistic director at Theatre Calgary, met Pollock in 2017 during a run of her final play, Blow Wind High Water.

“She was so unique as a human being. Her passion as an artist was steeped in her DNA. She was a titan of talent, personality and spirit,” Arima said.

Theatre Calgary expressed its condolences online, saying Pollock was “a fierce, bold and groundbreaking artist whose work helped shape the Canadian landscape.”

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi tweeted his condolences, calling Pollock “one of the most important voices in Canadian theatre.”

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Pollock founded Garry Theatre in Calgary and won two Governor General’s Awards for her plays Blood Relations and Doc.

She was also named to the Order of Canada.

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