In light of recent scandals and turmoil happening behind the scenes in the city’s art world — i.e. the case of Valerie Cooper and the Art Gallery of Calgary, and the recent kerfuffle over the Pumphouse’s rate increases — the upcoming arts administration honours to be doled out by Rozsa Foundation are proving to be something of a welcome antidote.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management marks all that is good in the administrative offices of this province’s non-profit cultural institutions.
This year the nominees for the prestigious prize are evenly split between Calgary and Edmonton, with three contenders from each city — Rose Brow, managing director of Quest Theatre (Calgary); David Cheoros, producer of Litfest (Edmonton); Dale D. Erickson, CEO and superintendent of the Calgary Arts Academy; Stephen McHolm, president and artistic director of Honens Calgary; Murray Utas, artistic producer of Azimuth Theatre (Edmonton); and Terry Wickham, producer of the Edmonton Folk Music Festival.
The recipient of the award will receive over $60,000 from funds allocated by the Rozsa Foundation and its partners. These monies will be distributed through a number of streams, including educational funding for the individual as well as infrastructure support for their organization.
In addition to the main prize, two additional awards will be handed out — the Rozsa Innovation Award and the Rozsa Human Resources Award. As such, the total tally for the honours will be well over $100,000.
The 10th anniversary celebration will likely be bittersweet for those closest to the Rozsa Foundation — the awards were established in 2002 to honour the legacy of Dr. Ted Rozsa and Dr. Lola Rozsa, two of this city’s principal arts philanthropists. Mary Rozsa de Coquet, chairman and president of the foundation, says she was hoping her mother Lola could have been part of the event, but she died this past April (predeceased by her husband in 2006).
“But, in a way she’ll be there,” says Rozsa de Coquet, explaining that her mother pre-taped a video appearance for the event.