Rozsa Award Shortlist celebrates outstanding arts administrators from Storybook Theatre, Theatre Alberta and Wordfest

The Rozsa Foundation today announced the Shortlist for their 15th Annual Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management. This year’s finalists for the award include JP Thibodeau, artistic director of Storybook Theatre, Keri Mitchell, executive director of Theatre Alberta, and Shelley Youngblut, CEO and “creative ringleader” of Wordfest.

Honouring the philanthropic legacy of Ted and Lola Rozsa, the Rozsa Award was “created to encourage, support and celebrate transformational leadership in the arts,” according to jury chair, Brenda-Ann Marks. She added that, “these finalists have successfully implemented strategic initiatives to reinvent the ways that their organizations nurture their artists, expand their engagement with audiences and community, and put in place systems and practices that show tangible financial improvements to secure their longterm organizational stability.”

The award celebrates outstanding arts administrators and provides additional professional development benefits to each year’s recipient. According to Simon Mallett, executive director of the Rozsa Foundation, “previous recipients have come from the world of theatre, visual arts and crafts, dance, opera, the literary arts and music, and they represent the finest arts managers this province has to offer.”

Winners receive $100,000 in cash and educational and consultation opportunities, which includes:

  • $10,000 cash prize to the recipient from the Rozsa Foundation

  • $10,000 cash prize to their organization from the Rozsa Foundation

  • Unique glass sculpture created by artist Julia Reimer from the Rozsa Foundation

  • University of Alberta School of Business (one seat in Management Essentials ($7195) or Executive Program ($10,995) depending on eligibility, two tickets to their Canadian Business Leaders Award Dinner, one ticket to an Eric Geddes business breakfast lecture, and one ticket to their golf tournament) (TOTAL Value: $7880 – $11,680))

  • Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity – Lougheed Leadership provides free tuition for one open enrolment leadership development program ($3250-$5500)

  • CKUA – 2-3 minute interview with award winner and 20 congratulatory ads ($1670)

  • Good Company – $3000 in web and print design and consultation services.

  • Haskayne School of Business (consultative and research services – marketing audit worth $10,000)

  • Deloitte (consulting worth $24,000)

  • Transcend Management (consulting on board succession plan – worth $3500)

  • Ross W Marsh Consulting Group Inc provides consultation for a Fund Development Assessment and Plan ($14,000)

  • Vital Business Systems provides funding for technology ($2000)

The nominees are selected by a jury comprised of previous Rozsa recipients, award partners, and other members of the arts and business communities.

The Rozsa Award Ceremony will be held Oct. 15, with further details to be announced at a later date.

Kari Watson is a writer and former Listings Editor of FFWD Weekly, and has continued to bring event listings to Calgary through theYYSCENE and her event listings page, The Culture Cycle. Contact her at