Future and Legacy
What Lies Ahead
As the Foundation’s 25th anniversary year winds down, we now start to look ahead to 2016, the “Year of Music”, according to Mayor Nenshi and Tourism Calgary. We are excited to start the year by supporting two music organizations: the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and the Mount Royal Conservatory. The school children’s concerts, sponsored by the Foundation, start at the end of January at the Bella concert hall. The Bella is an acoustically wonderful intimate space, where the experience of sound will be rich and memorable.
As 2016 is shaping up to be financially challenging, we hope to work closely with the corporate and community investment officers, as well as the provincial and federal governments who have both recently announced funding increase for the arts, to optimize support for the sector. We will be dispersing grants in February, April and September, and hope to fund as many arts companies as possible.
We also look forward to the return of the Rozsa Award in 2016! After a one year hiatus, we are eager to recognize the many outstanding arts managers who ensure strong art companies that produce public artistry. With a refreshed Jury, and the increased involvement of past recipients, the October celebration should be powerful.
In terms of our other work with the arts management profession, we will be sharing research papers and case studies in the New Year. Our hope is to introduce webinars and mentoring to our sector offerings. Early in the year, we will hold a Next Step governance seminar for some twenty graduating business students at the University of Alberta. This will bode well for board placements in that city, and complement the RAMP program that is being offered there for the first time.
The outcomes of our educational engagement research undertaken in partnership with the University of Calgary should be published, and will be publicized extensively, particularly in light of the upcoming 50th anniversary of the university. For the anniversary, the Foundation also hopes to partner with the “Walrus Talks” to bring a special evening to an academic seminar at the university in October.
Of course, our musical year would not be complete unless we share the joy of the Dr. Lola Rozsa concert with a hall full of young people in February, and toast the musicians of the orchestra and departing Maestro, Roberto Minczuk, at our annual reception in June.
Next year will also bring new explorations and possibilities since the arts sector is endlessly dynamic. We hope you continue to follow our initiatives, and contact us with suggestions, questions and updates on your endeavors in the arts and in the philanthropic community.
It has been a delight to share our anniversary with you.
As our anniversary year winds down, we look back with smiles on our faces remembering the fun times we had with so many of our colleagues.
Pictured here are Brenda-Ann Marks, Rozsa Foundation; Tony Luppino, Rozsa Award recipient; Colleen Smith, new CEO Theatre Calgary; Janet Price, new CEO Banff Centre; Bob McPhee, Rozsa Award recipient.
Recognizing the number of arts managers new to Calgary or new to their position, we held two intimate wine and cheese receptions to introduce them to two of our Rozsa Award recipients, as well as a Foundation Board member. These gatherings always resulted in lively conversations as pre-existing connections were discovered, and pertinent topics in Calgary were discussed.
We strived to spend time with our Rozsa Award Partners at the Mayors Luncheon, special arts events, our Edmonton RAMP Launch and of course our October anniversary party. More mention of those two special events below.
In keeping with our focus on individuals, some joined us at the Honens Honors where Mary was recognized, the Unveiling of the Art Wall at the MRU Conservatory and the CPO end of season reception for the musicians.
Honens photo of Rozsa Award Partners: Dr. Debi Andrus; Lynn DuFort, first Rozsa Award Jury; Dr. Donna Finley; and Patti Pon; CEO CADA.
A photo from the CPO reception where outgoing CEO Ann Lewis-Luppino was honoured.
On the website, we have produced a bi-weekly Foundation look ahead to the future, complemented by a legacy look back. In response, many colleagues sent in their photos and memories which have been featured in our virtual Memory Book.
|Mary Rozsa de Coquet speaking at the Edmonton RAMP announcement|
The biggest celebrations were the RAMP Launch in Edmonton where many Rozsa Award recipients and partners attended along with arts administrators registered in the program new to Edmonton. City and provincial government representatives topped off the evening with their glowing comments.
|Rozsa Foundation partners at the 25th Anniversary celebration.|
The Calgary anniversary party at the Rozsa Centre was undoubtedly our grand celebration for the year. Our visual arts intern led tours at the Nickle Gallery, Simon Mallett directed a wonderful program, jazz music and great food filled the hall, as some 400 guests raised a glass of rosé in honor of the foundation.
The majority of the Members of the Foundation must be part of the Rozsa clan. They are appointed for an indefinite term and are responsible to honor Ted and Lola’s legacy and to ensure the financial viability of the Foundation. They also appoint the Directors of the Board on an annual basis. Directors may be family members, but that is not required. Typically, a non-family member will serve up to five consecutive years on the Board.
Currently, there are three family members who sit on the Board of Directors: namely; Ruth Ann Rayner, Mary Rozsa de Coquet and MC Rozsa de Coquet. Karen Rice and Scott Rozsa are members but not directors. One special non-family participant, Brenda-Ann Marks, is both a Foundation member and director since 2004. Brenda-Ann brings a wealth of knowledge of non-profit arts organizations in Calgary- particularly, the CPO, Calgary Opera, Alberta Ballet and Nickle Gallery. She recently completed a Masters in Integrated Studies (focusing on Cultural and Literary Studies) and is currently engaged in creative writing studies and volunteers in the social service sector. Brenda-Ann has chaired the Rozsa Award jury since 2005.
Attending art openings became a way of life for Drew Anderson when he was the arts and lifestyle editor at Fast Forward Weekly. His journalism degree has currently led him the team at CBC where he is the on-line reporter and editor. Drew has been active in ArtsVote and other community advocacy roles which is helpful when issues of public policy are discussed at the Foundation. Drew joined the Board of Directors in 2012.
Alec Milne started with the Foundation in 2013 and before long agreed to serve as the Board Treasurer. He is a Principal, Senior Financial Analyst and Market Research Professional with Framework Partners Inc. with broad experience in domestic and international consulting. Of all the Foundation activities, Alec is a champion of arts management: his business acumen and entrepreneurial experience help inform the work of the Foundation.
Roman Cooney is currently Vice-President, Communications at TransAlta. He has held senior communications roles at National Public Relations, AB Health Services and the University of Calgary. His advice in communications, branding and government relations is invaluable to the Foundation. Roman loves folk music and jazz dance. His term with the Foundation began in 2014.
Maurice Yacowar grew up in Calgary and was a student in the early days of University of Alberta In Calgary (UAC). He takes pride in being both the founding editor of The Gauntlet and the first editor fired. After completing his PhD in English Literature at The Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham (UK), he helped start Canada’s first degree program in Film Studies at Brock University. He served as Dean of Humanities at Brock, Dean of Academic Affairs at Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Vancouver, then returned to the University of Calgary as Dean of Fine Arts. Maurice and his wife are regular attendees of arts events. Since joining the Foundation this year, his broad university experience is very helpful for the Foundation’s academic partner relations.
Together, the eight individuals listed guide the Foundation’s strategic activities and adjudicate all grant requests. Much as they have enjoyed this year of anniversary celebration, they are looking forward to getting back to work next year.
There would be no 25th celebration if it were not for the founders of the Rozsa Foundation, Ted and Lola. Here is a bit of their history……
Ted was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on June 12, 1915. He was the son of a Hungarian immigrant who instilled in him his lifelong commitment to the value of hard work.
In 1933, he completed his high school diploma with honors and in 1936, two and a half years after he entered what is now Michigan Technological University, his Bachelor of Science degree in geology, with honors.
Ted was a pioneer in the post-war oil industry. His first and only employment after graduation was with the Shell Oil Company, where he spent thirteen years managing seismic exploration from the Gulf of Mexico to the tundra of northern Alberta. In 1950, one year after relocating to Calgary to assume the position of chief geophysicist for Canada, he left Shell to start his own company, Frontier Geophysical. Over the next forty years, Ted utilized his considerable skills as a geophysicist and geological engineer to build three petroleum exploration companies in southern Alberta. For these accomplishments, in 1987, he was awarded the first Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicists (CSEG) gold medal for his integrity, outstanding professionalism, and significant contribution to the application and business development of Exploration Geophysics.
Ted actively supported his community by sharing his financial success. His capital contributions launched the construction of the Rozsa Centre at the University of Calgary, and the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts at Michigan Technological University, where he also established a student scholarship fund. Capital support was also given to the Banff Centre and Centre for the Performing Arts. Ted made a large endowment to the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra for the Maestro's Chair, as well as giving significant annual operational funding to the CPO, Calgary Opera, Honens, in addition to supporting the Glenbow Museum, Theatre Calgary, Foothills Hospital and many other charitable causes. Mr. Rozsa received numerous honors for his professional contributions, philanthropy and civic leadership.
In 1990, he received an Honorary Doctor of Engineering from Michigan Technological University and an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Calgary. In 1991, he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada, of which he was most proud. Other honors he received include the Michigan Technological University Silver Medal (1988), the Canadian Music Council Award (1989), the Government of Canada Lescarbot Award (1991), Rotary Integrity Award (1994), Edmund C. Bovey Award for Business and the Arts (2002), Lieutenant Governor Award (2004), Alberta Centennial Medal (2005).
Ted's lifelong recreation was the game of golf. He was one of the early CSEG members who founded the Doodlebug Golf Tournament in 1953, in which he played for thirty-eight consecutive years and is remembered through the annual Ted Rozsa Doodlebug Award. He was an active member of the Calgary Golf and Country Club for over fifty years.
Lola was born in Hobart, Oklahoma on February 26, 1920. As the youngest daughter of a Charles Estes, a Presbyterian minister, and his wife Nannie, the strength of family and importance of church community formed the foundation of her life. Lola easily established new friendships and developed her natural gift of truly listening to everyone she met. She rarely forgot a name despite the fact that she lived in many homes in Oklahoma, Missouri, and Texas, during her childhood years.
Lola married her husband Ted in 1939 and continued the pattern of moving frequently. Life with Ted meant following seismic crews across the United States, relocating at least forty times before arriving in Calgary in 1949. Since Lola always sang in a church choir with her family, she immediately joined the Chancel Choir in her new church home, Grace Presbyterian Church, becoming a faithful member for thirty-two years. She was active in Mac 14 Theatre (now known as Theatre Calgary) and also performed with the American Women's Club.
In 1955, Lola became one of the founding members, and later president, of the Calgary Philharmonic Society Women's League, where she helped create the school children's concerts and the Benny the Bookworm fund raiser, both initiatives which still exist today.
After twenty-five years as an active volunteer, she and Ted turned their focus to philanthropic contributions to the CPO as well as many other arts organizations. They ensured that a fine acoustic hall was built on the campus of the University of Calgary. Although the venue bears their surname, The Rozsa Centre is informally known as "Lola's Place".
Lola was affectionately called the "Grandmother of Golf". She and Ted were charter members of the Canyon Meadows Golf Club, where she helped organize the women's section. After joining the Calgary Golf & Country Club, Lola continued helping with women's golf, eventually becoming the president of the ladies section there. Later she assumed the role of president of the Calgary Ladies Golf Association and then went on to hold a number of positions, including that of president, on the Alberta Ladies Golf Association Board. In 1986, Lola was elected to the Ladies National Golf Board in capacity of Teams Director. She gave many golf rules seminars, was the Honorary (and playing) Chair of the Juvenile Diabetes Golf Tournament for many years, and eventually established a golf scholarship for the Alberta Golf Association to assist aspiring young golfers.
Lola was listed in the The World's Who's Who of Women in 1998. She was named a Woman of Distinction in 2001, and received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Calgary in 2002. In 2008, The Golf Association of Alberta presented Lola with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
In January of 2014, Lola's memoir My Name is Lola topped Calgary's list of non-fiction best-sellers.
The Rozsa Foundation turns 25 this year and there’s much to celebrate. In the past 25 years, we’ve become one of the most effective supporters of the arts in our city and province and the evidence of our work is all around us. We marked the momentous occasion on Saturday, October 24 at — none other — the Rozsa Centre at the University of Calgary.
It was an evening for good memories, good friends and good libations. Our guests were treated to a terrific variety show (directed by Simon Mallett of Downstage Theatre) that only paid tribute to our founders, Drs. Ted and Lola Rozsa, but also showcased our work over the years and hinted at what our aims are for the future.
If you missed this incredible evening, don’t despair. Our memory book showcases the sentiments of our friends and community and we’re so proud to have had the privilege to touch so many lives. Videos and pictures of the program and entire evening will also be posted soon.
Thank you for being a part of our first 25 years and we look forward to the next 25.
- Named after Ted & Lola Rozsa (“Rose-eh”) who provided funding in the 1980’s and waited patiently for 10 years for the Centre to be built.
- The privately funded $7.6 million Rozsa Centre was officially opened on November 2, 1997. It was dedicated to the promotion of international understanding and provides exceptional facilities in support of cultural exchange and community interaction.
- “The entire complex is meant to be a sophisticated reinterpretation of the rural building characteristic of our geographic region (the foothills, the prairie) and be meaningful to those who live in or visit this locale.” — Fred Valentine, Rozsa Centre architect
- In 2008 the Rozsa Centre was recognized with awards for Architectural Excellence and Excellence in Presentation by the Alberta Association of Architects.
- The Alberta Association of Architects and the Alberta Government have identified the Rozsa Centre in the Chronicle of Significant Alberta Architecture as a major architecturally significant project in Alberta.
- On average, the facility is used close to 300 days per year for performances, rehearsals and classes.
- Annually, 80,000 guests attend events and performances at the Centre.
- The Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall seats 392 patrons. Its stage measures 38’ wide and 33’ deep.
- Neils Jordan acoustically tuned the hall, which has subsequently been proclaimed by some to be one of the finest chamber music halls in Canada, if not North America.
- The walls are angled in all directions to help with the acoustic qualities of the hall. Certain portions of the walls have been further tuned by the removal of certain horizontal pieces.
- Acoustic “baffles” that are located in the house on the upper two levels can be individually lowered from the booth to change the tonal qualities of the facility.
- Acoustic “clouds” can be seen over the stage which direct the sound back down into the house.
- The entire hall has been acoustically isolated from the exterior to minimize noise. An envelope of two walls, floors and ceiling helps to reduce any noise intrusion into the hall. Pressurizing the floor under the house with air and using convection to move the air though the vents, located in the floor under the seating, have isolated fan noise from the heating and cooling system.
- A digital recording studio can be seen stage left. The three windows overlook the stage that enable the recording engineer to monitor and view the stage from an acoustically isolated room.
- The stage manager resides in the office with two windows on stage right.
- The piano storage room at the back of the stage stores three concert grand pianos (Yamaha, Steinway and Bechstein) along with a harpsichord.
- Activities that occur in the Rozsa Centre include: Division of Music performance (ensembles, student recitals, professional series), music performances, school band performances and festivals, conferences, meetings, classes, graduations, recordings, film and television productions and weddings, to name a few.
- The Great Hall is used for the conferences and large gatherings, while two large break-out rooms and a classroom meet educational needs. There is also plenty of space back of house with a green room and rehearsal spaces.
- The first honorary degree to be awarded at the Centre was given out on July 9th, 2009. Robert Thirsk received an honourary Doctorate of Laws degree during a ceremony in the Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall.
- The Ronald B. Bond Bach Organ, named in honour of past Provost and Vice President (Academic) Dr. Ron Bond, was officially unveiled on September 22, 2006. The world-renowned German organ builder Jürgen Ahrend Orgelbau built the organ. The tonal design and specifications of this organ are consistent with the seventeenth-century North German organs that Jürgen Ahrend was commissioned to restore following WWII. Music played on this organ recreates how it was heard during the time of Bach and Buxtehude and it is the only instrument of its kind in Canada.
- The forestage was designed to be able to be lowered to increase the capacity of the hall by an additional 75 seats.
- There are 7 full time and 40 part time staff members who work at the Rozsa Centre.
- The Rozsa Centre is also known as “Lola’s Place”.
- The Rozsa Award sculpture resides in the Centre.
- This year’s 25th anniversary celebration was held at the Rozsa Centre.
As stated in our congratulatory comments in the grand opening brochure (below), those of us at the Rozsa Foundation are thrilled that after twenty years, there is another “great” hall in Calgary. The Bella accommodates twice the number of patrons and musicians as the Rozsa Centre, and about half that of the Jack Singer concert hall. However, all three are appropriately called “great” halls, as this is a term referring to their excellent acoustics and gift of natural sound to those present.
In November, the Foundation will be recognized for its contribution to an art wall in the Taylor Centre at the Mount Royal Conservatory that was created using images of sound waves carved in wood. Dedicated to Dr. Lola Rozsa in this 25th anniversary year of the Foundation, the unveiling of this large piece of art will be another occasion for celebrating the Arts in Calgary.
While Mary Rozsa received recognition from Honens this fall, Foundation founders Ted and Lola led the way, receiving many honours for their community leadership and Foundation work. Although Ted was bestowed with the Order of Canada and both received honorary doctorates, two accolades directly impacted the Foundation.
|Ted and Lola at the Bovey Award presentation, 2002.|
In 2002, Ted was honoured with the prestigious Edmund C. Bovey Award for Business and the Arts, a pan-Canadian prize recognizing outstanding support of the Arts by a business person. Along with the well-deserved recognition, the Bovey contributes $20,000 to an arts organization or initiative of the recipients’ choosing. In consultation with the family, Ted asked Mary to investigate how the Foundation could impact the entire arts community in Calgary with these seed monies rather than benefit only one organization. The rest, as they say, is history. The Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management was created with the Bovey prize monies and the Foundation embarked on its many endeavors in the field of arts administration.
Just a year earlier, Lola had been awarded the lifetime YWCA Woman of Distinction honour. Her nomination stated, “Lola May Rozsa has set the standard for volunteer and donor support for the arts in Calgary. Lola is ever-present at theatre, orchestra, opera, dance and the visual arts where she praises and promotes professional and amateur artists alike. Her involvement as a volunteer dates back to 1955 when she became a founding member of the Calgary Philharmonic Society Women’s League and has continued through her vision for and gift of the Rozsa Centre to the community”. Succinctly, Lola lived out the values that are at the core of the Foundation’s work. Based on our passion for the arts, we build long term partnerships and cultivate personal relationships. The impact of this grass roots approach is deep and significant change which truly is the work of organized philanthropy.
Thanks to the vision and endowment of Esther Honens, an international piano competition based in Calgary, was established in 1991. One year later, Ted and Lola Rozsa, together with other community leaders, were the first individuals to make a sizable contribution to the fledging organization in order to ensure a successful launch. Every subsequent competition year, they made another large donation through the auspices of the Foundation. In true Rozsa fashion, the friendship with Andrew Raeburn, the inaugural CEO of Honens, as well as many of the board members, were the real substance of the Rozsas’ involvement with the organization.
Honens discovers, nurtures and presents Complete Pianists — 21st century artists for 21st century audiences. The competition’s mission is to identify talent that is unusual, imaginative and informed — an artist not limited to displays of virtuosity but one who is capable of thoughtful, expressive music-making, and is ready for a professional career. The Complete Pianist inspires the heart and engages the intellect.
In 2006 Honens created an award that recognized exceptional volunteer contribution to the organization and to Calgary’s musical life, to complement the artistic laureate prize. Past Honens Board Chair, Jenny Belzberg, was the recipient. Presented in competition years only, the Honens Honors has also been awarded to Irene Besse and Dick Matthews. It is fitting in this 25th anniversary year of the Rozsa Foundation, that Mary Rozsa de Coquet has been named one of two recipients of the award: James Stanford OC, being the other distinguished honoree.
Calgary is extremely fortunate to have a world-renowned piano competition and festival amongst its many outstanding cultural offerings. Not only do the best young artists in the world come to Calgary to play before home-town audiences, but Honens also ensures that the Calgary brand is known throughout the world.
The Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management is a case study in partnerships.
The Foundation brought together a number of individuals and organizations to create the Rozsa Award in the first place. From the start, The Centre for Non-Profit Management, offered consulting benefits to the Rozsa Award recipient, a contribution they made from 2003 – 2006, as well as appointing a Rozsa Award Jury member for two of those years. Similarly, the Haskayne School of Business was the first to offer educational benefits. These two organizations established the role of Rozsa Award Partners and the nature of their contribution.
Over the years, individual professional development or educational opportunity has been provided to each Rozsa Award recipient along with a cash prize, and the recipient’s organization has received consulting benefits and monies to implement ensuing recommendations. Each Partner has the right to appoint a Rozsa Award Jury member, with the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta choosing alumni as representatives. Sponsors, whose contribution is smaller than that of a Partner, supplement the Rozsa Award prize package.
Our media partner, CKUA Radio Network, has had a slightly different role. The station has generously donated air time to all Rozsa Award nominees to promote their organizations and to discuss the profession of arts management, as well as profiling the Rozsa Award itself. Rather than appointing a jury member, for many years, CKUA has ensured that the Rozsa Award celebration has had a delightful Emcee.
It is through these partnerships that the Foundation has leveraged the value of the Rozsa Award fivefold, ensured the integrity of the jury, and also received valuable input on current business trends. The partnership with the Haskayne School of Business, in particular, has resulted in additional arts management programs beyond the Rozsa Award: namely, the Next step governance initiative and the Executive Education Rozsa arts management program (RAMP) which is now offered at both the University of Calgary and University of Alberta in Edmonton. Although other Rozsa Award partners have departed and new companies have become involved, it is their contribution that makes the Rozsa Award unique.
Having enjoyed success with this partnership model for the last twelve years with the Rozsa Award, the Foundation now approaches new initiatives on the same basis.
Since the creation of the Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management, the Rozsa Foundation has consistently developed partnerships in order to increase and diversify support for the arts sector. Currently, the Foundation has a number of applied research partnerships in place. Formalized agreements outline the parameters of these relationships, but the Foundation likes to think of them as “links”. At this time, three projects are underway which link arts and business, arts and education, and arts and wellness. The broad goal of these partnerships or links is to have a positive impact on the individual participants and the arts organizations involved, as well as initiate first steps toward systemic or institutional change.
The arts business link is unique in that no one arts organization is involved with the research, but rather all are. Drs. Roy Suddaby and Peter Sherer are conducting a Canada-wide inquiry into best business practices in the non-profits art sector: specifically, they are looking at the correlation between funding models and ten measures of business success. In addition, there is a secondary investigation involving board membership and interlock which is examining recruitment and participation in the non-profit sector versus the for-profit sector. In order to conduct these studies, the Foundation entered into a partnership first with the Canada Council, and secondly with the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and the Edmonton Arts Council. It is hoped that the inclusion of two Alberta-based partners will enable a more detailed focus on the activities in this province. Initial findings should be released by December 2015, and will become a useful reference for arts managers and boards as they work to strengthen their respective companies.
Foundation work in arts and education has been underway for some three years, involving the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary, the Calgary School Board, and Trickster Theatre. The Foundation first approached Werklund as they were constituting their Research Partners initiative which invited public schools to work with the University to provide opportunities for small scale pedagogical research and curriculum pilots. The Foundation wanted to fund research on student engagement, a significant issue in Canadian schools. Being able to conduct this research in the Partner schools seemed to be a fit, while the Trickster Theatre’s Kids Go Global program could provide the trial curriculum. The fact that the province had recently decided to investigate new curriculum processes was the system carrot. The outcomes? Currently, the research is in being presented at academic conferences, Trickster Theatre is entering a third pilot year in the public schools, and the new arts curriculum concept has been endorsed by the Department of Education. Most importantly, young students have embraced their own learning and even made changes in their community behavior. The Foundation is pleased to continue involvement with this multi-faceted partnership.
The third Foundation project focuses on the contribution the arts can make to community well-being. Two years ago, the Foundation was the first funder of a pilot project designed by University of Calgary Faculty of Kinesiology and Decidedly Jazz Danceworks. Dancing with Parkinsons involved a totally different therapeutic approach for those suffering from Parkinsons disease: Professor Anne Flynn and Artistic Director Emeriti Vicki Willis developed a dedicated dance class while Dr. Afra Faroud studied the impact of this activity on the disease progression. While the research analysis is still incomplete, the participants thoroughly enjoyed dancing and found it made their health journey easier. When asked, the Foundation stepped up againin order to sustain the service program for a second year while the founders worked to build sustainability. Last year, a highlight was the inclusion of Dancing with Parkinsons in the High Performance Rodeo. Toward the end of the year, the Foundation helped build the connection between the founders and the University School of Medicine. The result is a new partnership that includes the Hotchkiss Brain Institute and the Parkinson’s Research and Movement Disorder Clinic, who together have created the Calgary Parkinson Research Initiative (CaPRI). Once again, the Foundation will provide additional funding to position Dancing with Parkinsons for world-class research commencing in April 2016, coinciding with the opening of the new Decidedly Jazz Danceworks building and the start of the 50th anniversary celebrations at the University of Calgary. This kind of community partnership is a valuable experiment in and of itself, apart from the benefits experienced by the dancers (participants and new teachers) and the eventual findings of the new research. For the Foundation, it has become a preferred way to explore new frontiers.
United States Council on Foundations
The Rozsa Foundation has benefited tremendously from its affiliation with both national agencies noted above. Constituted to support and facilitate effective private foundations, these collegial bodies offer conferences, seminars, informal mentoring and publications, all of which help their members better understand the nature of organized philanthropy. The 2002 Council on Foundations conference served as an introduction to this well-established field and was an eye-opener for the small, isolated Rozsa Foundation. The Foundation quickly became a member of Grantmakers in the Arts, an affinity group associated with the Council, and over the years has taken full advantage of the GIA Reader which provides a synopsis of current research and granting practice in the arts. In 2005, Foundation President, Mary Rozsa de Coquet, was asked to join the board of Philanthropic Foundations Canada, and had the privilege of serving as a director for six years. This experience built a strong network of others dedicated to philanthropic practice, and expanded the Foundation’s understanding of its field of endeavor.
As a result of this exposure, three key principles have emerged for the Rozsa Foundation: use whatever resources you have and leverage them as much as possible; personally know the population you are serving; and strive for systemic change. This philanthropic approach enables the Rozsa Foundation to pursue its mission of building capacity in arts organizations and artists, and to explore new frontiers in the arts sector.
In 1991, Dr. Ted Rozsa was inducted into the Order of Canada. As an immigrant to Canada, this was the ultimate confirmation of citizenship in his new home. Ted was a brilliant geophysicist who continually pushed the technological limits of his profession. Of course, he was also a noted philanthropist, starting the Rozsa Foundation. He received the Order of Canada for his contributions in both of these areas.
This year, his daughter and Foundation President, Dr. Mary Rozsa de Coquet, was also awarded this high honor for the work she has done in building upon Ted (and Lola’s) legacy in the Arts, and for her many other community volunteer involvements. Under her leadership, capacity building in the arts sector was initiated and has been expended over the past twelve years. A fulsome grants program has been established as well as funding of ground-breaking research pertaining to the arts and business, education and wellness.
It is a rare and wonderful family legacy to have two Order of Canada recipients: who knows what the future may bring.
The Foundation’s arts management programs are a key legacy of the past twenty-five years, and it all started with the Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management…..
Given the increasingly difficult funding environment of the late 1990’s, Alberta arts companies started eliminating middle management. Executive Directors did more with less, and Founders revised retirement timetables or simply disposed of them. Although some companies faced significant funding issues which were always well-publicized, the majority ensured that the “show went on” with the same high quality artistic product. In order to counter the prevailing attitude that arts companies simply did not know how to manage money, the Foundation created the Rozsa Award to highlight the outstanding job arts administrators were doing. The goal of the Rozsa Award was to recognize, celebrate and promote excellence in arts management.
In 2003, the first Rozsa Award recipient was named: Mr. Bob McPhee, the President of Calgary Opera. Not only had he eliminated the companies’ operating deficit, but he grew the audience base and challenged his board to be more effective. With the Rozsa Award, Bob received $10,000 and the opportunity to study at Stanford University with a cohort of top arts administrators from across the United Sates. Calgary Opera also received $10,000 to further its strategic plan, and a staff member was able to study at the Haskayne School of Business.
The first Rozsa Award established the rigorous and impartial Jury process which included successful business leaders, the seven key Award criteria, and the accompanying bundle of personal and organizational benefits. The sum of these elements is an award that is unique in Canada. All of the recipients of the Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management have also played their part as outstanding business leaders, and have raised the profile of the profession as one that is capable and essential to the vitality of arts companies.
The Rozsa Award program also resulted in the creation of grantee seminars, the RAMP professional development course, the Next Step board governance opportunity, some additional management awards that have been offered from time to time, and the Foundation’s emphasis on administrative grants.
We tip our hats to all of the past Award recipients: Bob McPhee, Anne Green, Kathi Sundstrom, Stephen Schroeder, Tony Luppino, Les Siemieniuk, Suzanne Mott, Tom McFall, Marilyn Smith, Stephen McHolm, Erin O’Connor and Rose Brow.
After three years of offering our professional development program for provincial arts administrators at our Calgary location, as of October 2015, we will be on the ground in Edmonton as well. In a fine Campus Alberta example, the School of Business at the University of Alberta will be customizing the Haskayne School of Business format to provide an outstanding six month opportunity for arts managers in northern Alberta to examine best business practices in this demanding sector. Under the helpful guidance of business professors, all participants will work on a project relevant to their own company and circumstance.
“Although a few brave souls have ventured down the QEII in winter,” says Mary Rozsa de Coquet,“ holding the course in Edmonton will ensure a cohort of arts administrators who have more opportunity to meet with each other outside of the classroom. This networking aspect of RAMP is equally valuable as the course content, so it only makes sense to bring participants together where they work.”
The various arts management programs the Foundation offers are a key component of our 25 year legacy. While one Rozsa Award benefit, the Management Essentials Executive Education course, has been available for Award recipients at either the Calgary or Edmonton universities, this is the first time the larger arts community will be serviced in both cities. The Foundation applauds all of the arts managers in the 2015/16 cohort, wherever they reside.
In celebration of this expansion, the Foundation will be hosting an evening reception at CKUA Radio Network on September 28, to which members of the Edmonton arts community, Rozsa Award partners and jury and philanthropic colleagues are invited.
In addition to funding capacity in the arts, family members involved with the Foundation also make discretionary grants to non-arts organizations. Often these are contributions to operating budgets, but there have been a few educationally focused initiatives. Like our Kids Go Global project, these grants have had and are having significant impact.
In 1987 Ted and Lola established a scholarship fund at Ted’s alma mater, Michigan Technological University. Thanks to the Rozsa funds, some three thousand students have been able to attend the university. Each year their letters are received by the Foundation and typically include comments such as, “Thank-you so much for helping me realize my dream of a Michigan Tech education. I am maintaining my GPA while being involved in extracurricular opportunities, without financial stress. There is no doubt that my classes are preparing me to go out into the workforce.”
A continent away and focused on younger students, granddaughter Karen Rice and her children have been supporting a Red Deer Lake School/Nairoshi Foundation “Building Hope” project in Kenya. Over the past five years, Rozsa funds have helped in the building of an elementary school classroom and plumbing facilities for the entire school. Given that this is a remote location where no educational infrastructure existed, Building Hope continues to be a life-changing project.
Finally, Mary designed and endowed a leadership program whereby a small group of students ages 18 – 20 are mentored for one year before moving onto a leadership role in the summer at a Pioneer Camp in Alberta. After the summer practicum, they then spend the following year leading a high school group. This program has seen modifications but has been offered since 2008.
The Foundation provided significant funding for Trickster Theatre to develop their web-based Kids Go Global (KGG) initiative. After an initial school pilot project that was designed around student engagement research, school boards volunteered to prototype the KGG pedagogical approach as an integral part of the curriculum for the 2014 – 2015 school year. The province is facilitating a number of such experiments as part of its new K – 12 curriculum re-design. For teachers, the prototyping process supported new ways of designing instruction, interpreting curriculum, and working with experts in the field. Rather than taking part in professional development programs separate from their day-to-day work, teachers learned theatre and movement techniques alongside students in their classroom. This allowed them to move seamlessly from concept to application. Typically theatre studies would have come as a pre-packaged or an independent program but in the prototyping pilot, the arts were understood as one of the means through which academic discovery occurred and was shared. Assessment of these new curricular approaches is yet to come, but teacher and student excitement is palatable. In the words of two teachers:
“What would education look like if its core was a choice rather than having everything pre-chosen? KGG helped my eight year olds figure out where they fit in the world. They are engaged inside and out of the classroom. They want to learn and they truly care”.
“I see my students really using the KGG tools and applying the skills- for example, asking if they can write reflections in other subject areas and opening up dialogue around global issues at home. They have learned team building and collaborative skills. They feel empowered.”
One nine year-old described how a KGG lesson was applied in a different subject area:
“In our science class we studied simple machines. Two kids would lie on the floor and be the rollers with one kid lying on top being rolled along. It was helpful to have a first person view on how a machine works. It was exciting- rather than just talking, we got to explore. Hands-on is exciting.
The final outcomes of the KGG/Foundation partnership are still unknown. However, the combined impact of ground-breaking empirical research on effective student engagement coupled with in-school experimentation, bodes well for influencing new Alberta educational programs. At a minimum, some of the components of KGG will be attractive to teachers as part of a living curriculum and will give a glimpse of what could one day become a mainstream approach to learning across the province.
Seven Rozsa family members have served on the Board of Directors of the Foundation.
But did you know their connection with the Arts extends beyond audience participation?
- Dr. Ted Rozsa played the saxophone as a young man.
- Dr. Lola Rozsa acted in many Tennessee Williams plays at Mac 14 (pre-cursor of Theatre Calgary).
She also sang in musicals such as Showboat, and in church choirs wherever she lived.
- Ruth Ann Rayner was active as an interior designer.
- TS Rozsa played the accordion for years as a child.
- Mary Rozsa de Coquet is a published poet and acted in many school musicals.
- Karen Rice is an accomplished photographer.
- MC Rozsa de Coquet was asked to audition for the professional division at the Alberta School of Ballet. She also studied flute and music theory for nine years.
The late Dr. Lola Rozsa was a close friend and supporter of the CPO since 1955 when she was a member of the Orchestra's Women's League, a group of volunteers who raised funds and organized events for the organization. In the late 1960s, the League launched a hugely successful series of schoolchildren's concerts at the Jubilee Auditorium, working tirelessly with schools all over Calgary and arranging bus transportation for students to attend a live CPO performance.
"It worked out so wonderfully," recalled Mrs. Rozsa, whose late husband Ted was also a devoted supporter of the Orchestra. "We had children come, many of whom didn't even know what an orchestra was. Those children come to concerts now with their children and have said they got the start of their love of music from the school children's concerts."
These early CPO performances were the inspiration behind the annual Dr. Lola Rozsa Children's Concert, which began in 2004 as a way to celebrate her birthday. "My daughter Mary surprised me with this present, knowing how much I care for the Orchestra. There was a children's concert scheduled in February and the CPO had all these balloons and played Happy Birthday for me."
Rozsa was the proud grandmother of seven and great-grandmother of five, and she also had some additional honorary family members in the CPO musicians. "I've always just considered them all as family. Because we've known so many of them for so long, I call them all my kids. They are so wonderful. The Orchestra is their life and I admire and respect every one of them."
— Excerpt from Prelude, official program of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra
When Drs. Ted and Lola Rozsa established the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra's Maestro’s Chair in 1985, one condition of their contribution was that there would be a seat on the Board of Directors of the Calgary Philharmonic Society for a family member or their designate in perpetuity. Upon completion of her board term in 2002, Mary Rozsa de Coquet, youngest daughter and Foundation president, moved that the Foundation start recommending candidates had the right mix of qualifications to fill a gap in the board matrix and were under forty years of age since a younger demographic had never regularly been represented on the CPO board. Starting in 2003 with the appointment of Mr. Chris Wein, this has been the Foundation practise. Not only has it provided an excellent opportunity for the representative, but it has ensured a diversity of voices at the board table.
Mr. Wein was only able to serve two years, and was succeeded by Mr. Dan Finley who completed a full six year term. A musician by training, and employed by Stampede Entertainment, Mr. Finley was able to bring a high level of competence to the programming committee. Following Mr. Finley, Mr. Kevin Libin was appointed in 2010 and provided exceptional service in the area of human resources, his field of expertise. Currently, Mr. Brendan McCracken, Vice-President and General Manager Central Operations Area at Encana Corporation, has undertaken to promote the Wolfgang Program which is aimed at attracting mid-career executives to both attend and support the CPO. Mr. McCracken also led the CPO board strategic planning.
The Rozsa Foundation is fortunate to be in a position to help the CPO in this way and to maintain the family legacy of involvement with the organization. As we look to the future, we will be appointing our next representative within a few years.
Some ten years after the Rozsa Foundation was established, it became apparent that influencing public policy would be an effective way to promote systemic change in the arts sector. With this in mind, the Foundation president accepted the 2003 invitation to join the steering committee charged with developing a comprehensive civic arts policy and implementation plan for the city.
By 2005, a new arms-length city agency — the Calgary Arts Development Authority (CADA), the first of its kind in Canada — was formed to replace the former Calgary Regional Arts Foundation (CRAF). Within a year, our Foundation president was elected the inaugural chair of the board, a position she held until her term expired in 2009.
During those first six years, CADA implemented an effective governance framework and streamlined the grants process with measured outcomes and documentation. Further, CADA created an arts capital expenditure city plan and facilitated the 2008 Juno Awards in Calgary which served to raise the profile of the sector, amongst many other initiatives.
The Foundation was undoubtedly well-positioned to create a better environment for the arts in Calgary and we learned much about the realities of public policy. Building on this experience, we have continued to be involved in public advocacy for the arts and to hold politicians accountable for their policy positions. We also count CADA as a valuable colleague. It was a privilege to be involved with CADA from the beginning. This experience has left a lasting legacy within the Foundation and, hopefully, in the Calgary arts community as well.
At the Rozsa Foundation, we believe responsible and informed governance is the foundation of organizational success. Since our early days, we have engaged in helping arts organizations hone their good governance practices. Our Next Step program is the result of a significant gap in the sector, which was identified in the course of the Rozsa Award program — the opportunity for Gen Y graduates to engage in non-profit volunteerism as early as they launch their professional careers. And, for smaller arts companies who may need board recruitment assistance, the Next Step addresses their need to diversify their boards and provide governance training. The program is an example of our unique approach to cultivating systemic change in the community by enabling incremental change: we bring the right people together to engage in opportune partnerships.
We reached out to our long-time partner, the Haskayne School of Business who was exposing its students to arts management via the Rozsa Awards and associated Foundation work, and to a new partner, the provincial Board Development Program (BDP) at Alberta Culture and Tourism, who brings extensive expertise in not-for-profit governance training. With this collaboration in place, the Next Step was underway. The BDP modified a course originally designed for a single board to create an annual seminar that would appropriately equip arts loving alumni. We, then, undertook to match these individuals to arts organizations, resulting in new board appointments.
The short-term success of the program speaks for itself, although actual impact will reverberate for years to come. Since 2012, 57 graduates have completed the pre-Board appointment training — and 27 have been matched with non-profit arts boards in Calgary and we have just started placing students on arts boards in Edmonton. Meanwhile, 22 arts organizations’ Boards have also completed the 2-day follow up governance workshop. In their own words:
“The Board retreat was an extremely helpful step for our Board and has been instrumental in helping us move forward and
understand our roles better.”
“Based on our excellent first experience with the program, we are very enthusiastic about the quality of the HSB alumni that
are interested in joining arts boards, and would be interested in further participation.”
Our initiative has further yielded a number of unexpected positive outcomes. Our government partner expanded the Next Step offering to include strategic planning which has been equally well-received by the arts sector. On a much larger scale, and based on the experience with Next Step, the Board Development Program has now developed a customized curriculum tailored for those with no prior Board experience. The new Emerging Leaders Program course was piloted in January of this year, and will be available for the entire non-profit sector in Alberta this spring.
A few brief years of collaborative work with our government and post-secondary partners have positioned the Rozsa Foundation well to build capacity in Alberta’s volunteers and to affect transformational change in the arts sector, all driven by responsible and informed governance.
Our favourite grants over the years, in no particular order:
- Trickster Theatre (Kids Go Global) (2012-15): Our grant yielded significant research into the issue of student engagement and resulted in participation in the development of the new provincial public school curriculum.
- Military Museum (2007): We funded the digital media centre to support the art mosaic project which raised funds for the new gallery. Thousands of school children and visitors still use the installation.
- Alberta College of Art and Design’s visual installation for the CPO’s 2014-15 Season presentation of Turangalîla – the collaborative equipment grant was an excellent experience for ACAD students and resulted in new tech capacity for the CPO and added future production value.
- A Really Interesting Internship in Visual Arts (ARIIVA) (2014): Our grant addresses a practical experience gap for fine arts graduates through provision of not-for-profit and commercial gallery work experience, while also boosting staff resources for galleries.
- Calgary Centre for the Performing Arts (2001): The Rozsa Foundation was initial funder of Solstice Beat. Calgary’s largest drum circle re-ignited the use of Olympic Plaza and brought together Calgarians of all ethnicities.
- The Bigs & Littles Theatre Society (2014): Our grant provided artist development and lighting/sound upgrades and position the Society for the future.
- The Calgary Animated Objects Society (CAOS)’s White Buffalo float (2007) with partners U of C, Calgary Stampede, and inmates at the Drumheller Institution which graced the Stampede Parade.
- Our support (2007-12) helped build the necessary administrative capacity that enabled the Calgary Arts Summer School Association (CASSA) to grow a comprehensive summer arts program representing numerous artistic disciplines.
- Triangle Gallery of Visual Arts (2011): In collaboration with the Board of Directors of Exposure — International Festival of Contemporary Photography (Calgary-Banff-Canmore), our grant helped increase and sustain audience attendance, generate subsequent curatorial bookings and garner unprecedented media coverage.
- Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF) (2013): A Rozsa Foundation grant supported the redevelopment of the Festival’s digital strategy. Making more of this than just a website, CIFF leveraged new relationships and sponsorships that continue to grow and evolve.
- Stampede Showband (2004): We funded the Band’s first commissioned work which helped it capture first place at an international competition and has, since, been played around the world. Over the years, the Foundation has funded an entire library of original works for the Stampede Showband.
- Calgary Opera — in the early years, Dr. T. Rozsa funded the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO) to play for the Calgary Opera, thereby benefiting two arts organizations with one gift.
- The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO) — our multi-year operational support of time and money initiated the children’s concerts, raised funds and friends, introduced sound accounting practises and also established the Maestro’s Chair endowment.
- Calgary Youth Orchestra (2012): our grant funded the commissioning of a local composer to write new piece for the Orchestra, offering a unique learning opportunity for the young musicians. The result was exceptionally well received not only by local audiences, but was also a hit on the Orchestra’s tour of France.
- Cerebral Palsy (2012): wonderful collaboration with dance students helping little ones with Cerebral Palsy dance. This heart-warming program allowed all to perform without isolating special needs kids.
- Decidedly Jazz Danceworks — Dancing with Parkinson’s (2013) — from our initial grant to start a specialized dance class, the program has grown and secured a SSHRC grant for research, built a strong connection with the U of C/Hotchkiss Brain Institute’s research chair and most recently performed at High Performance Rodeo.
- Fairy Tales Presentation Society (2011): We funded the youth media workshop, a very successful program that had life-changing impact on some participants, and which enhanced youth involvement in the Fairy Tales Festival.
- Glenbow Museum (2009): We provided funding for environmentally controlled showcases to house the spiritually significant Blackfoot archival material and to help facilitate an international collaboration.
- Instrumental Society of Calgary (2013): Our grant strengthened the financial acumen of the organization, supporting the implementation of good financial practices and helping build capacity for identifying and pursuing new fund sources.
- Land’s End Ensemble (2009): This collaboration with High Performance Rodeo, the Calgary Opera and the Calgary Drop-In Centre raised awareness of homelessness through a new work that eventually made it Off-Broadway in 2012 and has resulted in an ongoing music program at the DI.
- Luminous Voices (2014): The Rozsa grant enabled the production of Calgary's original professional Choir’s first digital recording, opening the door to new marketing and funding opportunities.
- Lunchbox Theatre (2011): Supporting the workshop process for In Flanders Fields, this grant helped Lunchbox reaffirm the value of the workshop process and artistic development.
- The New Gallery (2008): Our grant supported administrative capacity building that yielded significant organizational gains.
- The Shakespeare Company (2010-14): Participation in The Next Step coupled with support to grow administrative capacity grew the Company’s ability to expand its artistic offerings.
- Vertigo Theatre (2006-08): We helped establish the Y Stage program series for young audiences. As a sustaining sponsor, the Foundation provided the stability needed to get the program on solid footing.
We launched A Really Interesting Internship in Visual Arts (ARIIVA) – a unique artist development program – only a year ago with the intent to provide employment opportunities for recent visual arts graduates in their selected field and to help advance their critical acumen through a significant programming component of the internship. Further, the program assists art galleries or collectives in addressing staffing challenges, particularly in the area of programming, and helps build internal capacity and organizational resiliency.
ARIIVA proved to be a resounding success. The Foundation awarded grants to two successful graduates in the form of two 6-month, full time positions at Stride Gallery and Illingworth Kerr Gallery at the Alberta College for Art and Design (ACAD).
“I can honestly say that, in various ways, this experience could almost match my four-year education to get my degree,” says Keesha Palmer, an ACAD graduate who interned at Illingworth Kerr. “Working with established arts professionals and having the opportunities to meet so many artists, curators, supports, and many other practitioners pertaining to the arts has been a privilege. The direction this internship has given me, as well as the advice, inspiration and realistic goals, will influence my career and practice in the arts for a long time to come.”
Expanding reach in 2015
Building on the program’s effectiveness and critical acclaim gained in 2014, the Rozsa Foundation is pleased to announce an exciting new partnership with Barbara Edwards Contemporary art gallery in Calgary to offer additional internship opportunities to ARIIVA participants.
Barbara Edwards Contemporary’s widely coveted internships offer young artists the opportunity to gain insight into all aspects related to the commercial art industry. Interns receive experience in a wide variety of administrative and operational tasks including, but not limited to, exhibition programming, event organization, marketing, sales, archival documentation and installation.
“We are always looking to fill gaps in the arts sector, and in our own initiatives,” says the Rozsa Foundation’s Mary Rozsa de Coquet. “Young artists in our ARIIVA program already receive unparalleled practical experience in Calgary’s not-for-profit galleries, but their exposure to retail operations may be limited. The new collaboration with Barbara Edwards Contemporary is a boost to the next level, expanding ARIIVA to a year-long opportunity. We are excited to usher in the next generation of well-rounded, young professionals into the industry.”
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