Next Step

Who should apply: Arts Boards
What: Recruit a new Gen Y to be on a board committee or on the board
Where: Calgary and Edmonton
Dates: Apply by Dec 15, 2016. Gen Y alumni introduced to boards in February/March 2017.
Cost: $0 for the program, but please note: board will need to pay for any costs (food, space) related to the board retreat / strategic planning session

Description: The Rozsa Foundation has collaborated with The University of Calgary, The University of Alberta, and the provincial Board Development Program (BDP) to create an initiative that prepares and places alumni from the two universities on local arts Boards and Board committees. 

Reason: This program captures talented and motivated graduates who are keen to make a meaningful contribution to the local arts community. Moreover, according to the Canadian Board Diversity Council, diversity in Board composition provides a wealth of talent, connections and perspectives as Boards benefit from well-credentialed individuals who bring a wider range of skills, experiences and perspectives to corporate governance. This translates to better discussion, greater diligence in decision-making and, ultimately, improved financial performance.

Process: The process of the program is as follows: based on your requirements, the Foundation will endeavour to find an alumnus best suited to your needs. The alumnus will have a strong interest in your artistic genre and/or your company, will have taken an arts marketing or arts marketing audit course, and will have completed a one day non-profit governance course development by BDP for individuals who have never sat on a Board.

Once the alumnus has been identified, the Foundation will arrange a meeting with him/her and one or two members of your Board to discuss a possible appointment. It is recognized that larger arts companies typically require Board committee involvement prior to Board nomination. Even if your Board does not have committees, we encourage alumnus participation on Board projects prior to their appointment. Once an alumnus has been accepted, your Board must commit to a day and a half governance or strategic planning session within six months of the appointment.

Apply: We receive applications from arts organizations at any time of the year. However, we encourage you to apply by Dec 15, 2016 in order that you may be matched with a Gen Y alumni by Feb/March 2017. Arts organizations need to fill out the online form here:

As with our grant applications, you will need to login to complete this form.  If you require a login, you will need a registration code to create one.  This is available by contacting the Foundation.

Contact: Geraldine Ysselstein, Arts Leadership Director, Rozsa Foundation, 403-245-6063 or 

When I returned to school to do my MBA, I found I missed being part of the arts community that I had been previously been involved in as a theatre artist. Although I had chosen to move career paths into small business consulting, I wanted to stay connected to the arts in some capacity. The Next Step program provided the perfect opportunity to utilize the skills I’d learned through the MBA program to have a positive impact on the Calgary arts community.

I was extremely lucky to join the Board of Handsome Alice at such an interesting and exciting time, as they launched their new brand and a new season. Being thrown into the mix right away was extremely challenging but has allowed me to learn a ton about board work, relationship management and the inner workings of a board. I’ve loved learning from and getting to know the other board members, each with a diverse background and skillset while simultaneously being immersed in the theatre community I so passionately support. 

I plan to continue working with and learning from the Handsome Alice board and staff members after I graduate. There is so much value and reward in skills based volunteering – it allows me to bring a fresh and innovative attitude to my daily work as a business consultant as well as my personal life.

-Audra Stevenson, Next Step alumni, Handsome Alice