Great Art Begins with Great Arts Management

Alberta’s annual Rozsa Award brings arts managers from backstage to centre stage.

When we think of “Art” we often picture the various disciplines it encompasses: visual art, literature, theatre, music, dance, multimedia, and the many blended disciplines in between. Appreciating art is easy. A beautiful painting; a wonderful novel; a stunning play; an emotionally transformative piece of music. Great art can change you.

Often “business administration” is not the first thought that comes to mind when we consider great art. Very rarely do appreciators of art realize that behind all the curious colour, dazzling sound, expert lighting and affecting words, there are small armies of arts administrators laboring tirelessly to keep the arts sector afloat. They work long hours for considerably less pay than their contemporaries in other sectors. They are at the frontlines of fundraising and advocacy, coordinating teams of staff, interns, artists, and volunteers, all while juggling partnerships, sponsorships, strategic plans, budgets, and often volunteering any remaining spare time to work annual casino nights, festivals, premiers, or exhibition openings. The work of an Arts Manager is very difficult, yet it’s the love and passion for building better, more beautiful, and more inclusive communities that drives them. For all those reasons, Arts Managers are truly the heroes of the Arts Sector. They are the reason we experience great art.

Since 2002, the Rozsa Foundation has supported Arts Managers through the Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management. Created to honour the core philanthropic values of founders Drs Ted and Lola Rozsa, this annual award is unique in Canada, celebrating outstanding arts administrators and providing additional professional development benefits to the recipient and their organization. To date, the foundation has disbursed over one million dollars in cash and benefits to recipients of the award.

Each year, arts organizations from across the province nominate executive managers who have shown exceptional leadership, steering their companies with foresight and innovation. This year, the shortlisted Rozsa Award nominees include David Chantler, Founder and Producing Director of Trickster Theatre, Carol Holmes, Executive Director of the Writers’ Guild of Alberta, and JP Thibodeau, Managing Artistic Director of StoryBook Theatre.

Selected by the Rozsa Award Jury from a province-wide pool of exemplary nominees, each of these shortlisted candidates represent an outstanding community of arts administrators and an adaptable, resilient arts community. At the helm for Trickster’s 37 years in operation, David Chantler’s astute and creative approach has constantly kept Trickster programming current and relevant. Carol Holmes has transformed the Writers’ Guild of Alberta into a provincial organization that serves and connects its members through creative and productive online programs and in-person events. And JP Thibodeau has transitioned StoryBook Theatre into a semi-professional theatre company that values its artists and patrons equally. These are just the beginnings of each nominees’ long list of accomplishments.

The 2017 Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management recipient will be announced October 16th. All the best to the nominees, thank you for all you do!

Rozsa Foundation
cSpace King Edward, suite 490
1721 29 Ave SW,
Calgary, AB T2T 6T7
Phone: (403) 245-6063
Mon-Fri, 9am – 5pm
Organizations mentioned in stories:
Trickster Theatre
Writers’ Guild of Alberta
StoryBook Theatre