The Rozsa Awards are an annual event recognizing and supporting the individual and collective excellence of Arts Managers, Board Chairs and their organizations. Since 2003, the Rozsa Foundation has presented the Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management for Arts Managers and in 2019, it introduced a new award called the Rozsa Award for Excellence in Board Leadership for Board Chairs.


The Rozsa Awards are unique in Canada because of the value and variety of benefits it provides. Through the provision of a monetary prize, public profile, and educational and professional development opportunities thanks to our valued partnerships; the Rozsa Awards combine recognition of individual excellence and support for the recipient’s arts organizations.


We thank our 2018 and 2019 partners including the University of Alberta – Alberta School of Business, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, CKUA Radio Network, Deloitte, GOOD Company, University of Calgary - Haskayne School of Business, Ross W Marsh Consulting Group Inc., Transcend Management Advisors Inc., and Vital Business Systems.


History of the Rozsa Awards

The Rozsa Awards were created to honour the philanthropy of Drs. Ted and Lola Rozsa who combined their love of the arts with an insistence upon good business practice.

In 2002, Dr. Theodore Rozsa was named the recipient of the annual Edmund C. Bovey Award, an award that recognized extraordinary achievements in arts philanthropy. Building on the $20, 000 Bovey prize money, the Rozsa Foundation embarked on a collaborative venture to encourage best business practices in arts companies. Specifically, the Rozsa Foundation collaborated with the Alberta Performing Arts Stabilization Fund, the Centre for Non-Profit Management (later known as Centre Point 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. Concurrently to developing the Rozsa Award, the Rozsa Foundation was just concluding an environmental scan of arts support in the community. It was apparent that the outstanding work of many Arts Managers typically went unnoticed and that the administrative weakness of countless arts organizations resulted in a poor public perception of the contribution of the arts to society. In addition, budget cuts in the early 1990s had led to the elimination of most middle management positions in arts companies. Senior managers were reaching retirement age, and no immediate successors were apparent. Those who found themselves "behind the scenes" typically had no arts management training, as only one provincial institution offered education in this area, and the prevailing norm was simply to get "on with the show".


The Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management was created to address these realities, as well as to recognize, promote and celebrate excellence in arts management in order to make the field more attractive for future leaders. Building upon the Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management, the Rozsa Award for Excellence in Board Leadership was created in 2019 to recognize the contributions of arts boards with an emphasis on the role of the board chair. Having started as a regional prize, the Rozsa Awards are now provincial in scope.

What is the Rozsa Award process?


The Rozsa Foundation releases a Call for Nominations each spring, inviting eligible arts organizations to nominate their executive directors/managers for the Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management OR their board chair for the Rozsa Award for Excellence in Board Leadership.


There are two stages in the nomination process. In Stage One, nominations are reviewed by Rozsa Foundation staff to approve eligibility and in Stage Two, nominations are reviewed by the juries of the Rozsa Awards to evaluate outstanding achievement in each of the Award Criteria.


Nominators’ effective articulation of how their nominee fits the Stage One and Stage Two criteria is essential to the juries of the Rozsa Awards. Following the jury deliberations, a shortlist of three nominees is selected for the Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management and the Rozsa Award for Excellence in Board Leadership. Shortlisted nominees are notified and the announcement is made public in the fall. The award recipient is announced during the Rozsa Award Celebration, usually in October.


For more information about Award Eligibility, please see the Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management and the Rozsa Award for Excellence in Board Leadership.


Rozsa Award Partners