A professor at the University of Guelph is among the five top researchers in Canada to receive the Killam Prize.
Ajay Heble is a professor in the university’s English and theatre studies department, as well as the founding director of the International Institute of Critical Studies and Improvisation.
He is being recognized for his role in establishing the academic field of critical studies in improvisation through music.
The award is given to active Canadian scholars who have made a significant contribution over a period of time in their field.
“It’s certainly a tremendous honour to be chosen for such a prestigious award,” Abele told CJOY News. “It’s a tremendous honour to be recognized. I think it’s one of the top prizes in humanities so it certainly ranks among the highest of my awards and accolades, for sure.”
Heble said he was amazed to be in such illustrious company as the four other recipients, who’ve also accomplished so much.
The winners were announced on Wednesday by the National Research Council of Canada and selected by a group of their peers.
Each recipient will be awarded $100,000 for their innovative accomplishments.
Heble said he is not sure where the money will be spent.
“We have several projects planned that would certainly benefit from ongoing funding,” he said. “One of them is the launch of a brand-new building, the improv lab facility, which we’re getting ready to open officially in the coming months.”
Among the other recipients were Charles M. Morin, a psychology professor at Laval University, and Praveen Jain, a professor and electrical and computer engineering at Queen’s University.
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