About the Rozsa Award

Eva Cairns of Catalyst Theatre recieves 2016 Rozsa Award

Eva Cairns holding the 2016 Rozsa Award. Photo by Monique de St Croix (Uppimage)

Eva Cairns, Managing Producer of Catalyst Theatre (Edmonton) has been awarded the 2016 Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management.

The choice of Eva Cairns as the 2016 Rozsa Award recipient reflects an outstanding nominee who displays excellence in all the Award criteria and whose organization’s scope and mission represent the wide mandate including engagement in the creation, production and presentation of art to the public. The jury’s decision was unanimous. Catherine Broomfield (iHuman Youth Society) and Steve Schroeder (CIFF), the other two nominees in the “top three”, each excelled in many of the eight award criteria, and their selection reflects the jury’s appreciation for the Rozsa Foundation’s interest in widening the scope of nominee arts managers, and the organizations they represent, for the Award.


Eva was originally trained in classical ballet and made a transition to arts administration as tour coordinator for Judith Marcuse Dance Company in Vancouver. Since then she has worked with O Vertigo Danse (Montreal), Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, Shadow Theatre in Edmonton and The 2004 Magnetic North Theatre Festival. Since April 2006 she has been the Managing Producer for Edmonton’s Catalyst Theatre where she has overseen a significant decade of market and touring development with productions such as Frankenstein, Nevermore, Hunchback, The Soul Collector, and Vigilante. Outside of Catalyst Eva has provided project development and tour market development assistance to independent theatre artists in Edmonton and served on the Executive of the Edmonton Arts Council. In addition to the 2016 Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management, Eva has also received the City of Edmonton 2015 Salute to Excellence Award, the Canada Council’s 2011 John Hobday Award for Arts Management, the 2011 Rozsa Award for Innovation and the 2011 Margaret Mooney Award for Outstanding Achievement in Arts Administration (Edmonton).

Congratulations again to Eva, and our deepest thanks to Catherine Broomfield of iHuman Youth Society and Stephen Schroeder of Calgary International Film Festival, and all the 2016 nominees for their astounding work in arts management.

Full media kit HERE.



Why Was It Created?

The Rozsa Foundation wished to honor the philanthropy of Drs. Ted and Lola Rozsa who had combined their love of the arts with an insistence upon good business practice.  The idea of creating an award was attractive because it would impact more than one arts organization and effectively leverage the $20,000 Edmund C. Bovey prize monies which Dr. Ted Rozsa received in 2002. Research showed that there was little support for administrative effort in the arts sector, that many middle management positions had been eliminated due to funding cuts in the 1990’s and that many seasoned arts managers were rapidly approaching retirement. Thus the goal of the Rozsa Award was to recognize, promote and celebrate excellence in arts management in order to make the field more attractive for future leaders.

How Was It Created?

The Rozsa Foundation collaborated with the Alberta Performing Arts Stabilization Fund, the Centre for Non-Profit Management (now known as CentrePoint Non-Profit Management) and the Calgary Professional Arts Alliance to develop the Award eligibility, criteria and nomination process. Seed monies were donated by Dr. Ted Rozsa and matched by the Rozsa Foundation, Ms. Sharon Watkins and Mr. Jim Stanford.

What is the Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management?

The annual Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management is unique in Canada because of the value and variety of benefits it provides. Through provision of public profile, a monetary prize, educational and professional development opportunities, the award has always combined recognition of individual excellence and support for the recipient’s arts organization. Started as a regional prize, the Award is now provincial in scope.

Additional Arts Management Awards

In the past, the Rozsa Foundation has offered various Special Achievement Awards to complement the Award for Excellence in Arts Management, and in 2007 described this recognition as the extraordinary innovation in meeting or exceeding one of the seven criteria for the main award. The second annual award was aptly named The Rozsa Innovation Award.

In 2008, The Rozsa Award for Education was introduced to acknowledge provision of outstanding opportunities for audience and/or professional artist development through education in the context of annual performance or exhibition. In 2009, the criteria for was modified and the third arts management award was renamed The Rozsa Human Resources Award for outstanding provision of opportunities by the company for staff, volunteer or professional artist development. In 2016 the Rozsa Foundation chose to present only one award, the Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management.

In response to the recommendation from past recipients, in 2015, the Board agreed that on a go-forward basis, there would only be one annual award presented.

The 2017 Award for Excellence includes:

  • $10,000 cash prize from the Rozsa Foundation
  • $10,000 cash prize for 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 – 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)
  • Haskayne School of Business (consultative and research services - marketing audit worth $10,000)
  • Deloitte (consulting worth $24,000)
  • Structured Abstraction (strategic planning for online communications $5250)
  • 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)
  • Business Vital Systems provides funding for technology ($2000)


Award Eligibility

  • person, not an organization must be nominated.
  • The Rozsa Award (aka The Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management) is open to any full-time or part-time Managing Director, General Manager, salaried CEO (or equivalent) of an Alberta not-for-profit arts organization with a budget of ≥ 500k.
  • The nominee will have been employed full-time or part-time in this executive leadership position by the organization for at least three years.
  • Individuals employed by Arts Councils or other such organizations that are directly affiliated with and receive a majority of their funding from any order of government may not be nominated.
  • Individuals employed by post-secondary educational institutions may not be nominated for their work with students and/or faculties that offer Arts performances or exhibitions.
  • Nominees must be available for an interview by the Rozsa Award Jury.
  • The Rozsa Award recipient must be available to become a member of the Jury and attend the presentation in the year following their selection. In addition, the recipient must be willing to address public sessions on key management practices during that year, and announce their selection in their season’s brochure and/or on their website.
  • Recipients of the Rozsa Award cannot be nominated again for three years. 
  • The affiliated arts organization must:
    - be a non-profit with a charitable registration number
    - have been in business for at least three years
    - have a well-defined cycle of activities, the content of which must have a distinct arts focus (as opposed to a cultural celebration)
    - be an individual company, offering presentations of work by artists or creators of art to the public, either to participate or to experience: that is, have exhibitions, staged performances or publications of works
    - be deemed to make a contribution to the total artistic life of their community in Alberta
    - employ business processes and practices that reflect ethical principles and values



  • The first nominator for each Rozsa Award nomination must be the Board Chair of the nominees's organization. Associated organizations and businesses can prompt the nomination, but the Board Chair must sign and submit it. The second nominator can be from any associated arts organization or board.
  • Family members and employees of nominees are not permitted to nominate candidates for the Award.
  • Nominators cannot be associated with the Rozsa Foundation or any of the Rozsa Award partners.


Businesses who submit nominations will be recognized and publicly acknowledged at the Rozsa Awards Celebration.

Eight Award Criteria

The Nominee for the Rozsa Award will have achieved exceptional results in all seven criteria:

1.   Encouragement of artistic innovation in the context of achieving positive operating results.  

2.   Positive impact upon the financial well-being of the affiliated organization through the development and adoption of a sustainable business model.   

3.   Effective contribution to stakeholder engagement; implementation of good governance principles and practices with an appropriate organizational structure (Board, volunteers).

4.   Enhancement of the organization’s internal administrative systems and sustainable infrastructure: people, practices, policies, business processes.

5.   Implementation of significant strategic alliances or partnerships that have demonstrably strengthened business results.

6.   Demonstration of powerful community engagement that has advanced the organization and its interests.

7.   Provision of effective opportunities for staff, volunteer and/or professional artist development.

8.  Transformational impact on the organization.

The Rozsa Foundation releases a call for nominations each spring with details and instructions on how to nominate.

More information:

The Rozsa Award Jury

History of the Rozsa Award

Partners and Impact of the Rozsa Award

Rozsa Award Artists