Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management
















The Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management (“Arts Management Award”) celebrates an Executive Director (also known as a Managing Director, General Manager or CEO) who has shown excellence in leading an arts organization.


The Executive Director leads through the effective operational practices they put in place to support the organization’s artistic mission AND through the effective relationship they have with their board, artistic director, artists, staff, audience, volunteers, funders, donors, partners, volunteers, and community.

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 Arts Management Award Jury to evaluate outstanding achievement in each of the Award Criteria. 

NOTICE: After a great deal of deliberation, the Rozsa Foundation has made the difficult decision not to hold the Rozsa Awards in 2020 or 2021. We are undertaking an evaluation of the awards with the goal of advancing equity within our own work and the arts community, and recognizing excellence in our community more broadly. We are looking forward to gathering once more to celebrate together.

- The Rozsa Team


*Please note that a potential nominee who does not meet one (1) of the Stage One Eligibility Criteria

(eg. 500k operating budget or have been working with the organization for three years) may still be eligible.
Please contact us prior to nominating.

The nominated Individual (“nominee”) must:

  • Be a person, not an organization.

  • Be an Executive Director, Managing Director, General Manager, or CEO (“Executive Director”) of an Alberta registered charity with a budget of at least 500k.

  • Have been employed full-time or part-time in this executive leadership position by the affiliated arts organization for a minimum of three years.

  • Be available to become a member of the Jury and attend the deliberation sessions of the Arts Management Award in the year following their selection.

  • Be willing to address public sessions on key arts management practices throughout the year following their receipt of the Arts Management Award, and announce their selection in their season’s brochure and/or on their website.


The affiliated Arts Organization (“organization”) must:

  • Be a not-for-profit with a charitable registration number.

  • Have been in business for a minimum of three years.

  • Have a well-defined cycle of activities, the content of which must have a distinct arts focus.

  • Be an individual company (or an arts service organization that supports other individual companies) to offer presentations that are publicly advertised of work by artists or creators of art to the public, either to participate in or to experience: that is, to have exhibitions, staged performances, workshops, publications of works, or other programming.  

  • Be deemed to make a meaningful contribution within the arts sector and to the artistic life of their community.

  • Employ business processes and practices that reflect ethical principles and values.


The nominators (“nominators”) must:

  • First nominator must be the Board Chair of the nominee’s organization.

  • Second nominator must be an individual who is external to the organization and has had a meaningful interaction with the organization (or first-hand experience/knowledge of the organization). For example, a sponsor, donor, volunteer, contractor, consultant, beneficiary, or other.

  • Both sign and submit the online nomination form together.


Not Eligible:

  • Organizations may not nominate both an Executive Director (for the Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management) AND a Board Chair (for the Rozsa Award for Excellence in Board Leadership) in the same year.

  • Organizations who are directly affiliated with and receive the majority of their funding from any single level 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.

  • Nominators must not be a family member of the nominee.

  • Past recipients of the Rozsa Awards (both the Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management and the Rozsa Award for Excellence in Board Leadership) cannot be nominated again for the same award for three years.

  • Nominees and nominators must not have a formal association with the Rozsa Foundation or any of the Rozsa Award partners.



The Executive Director nominee (“nominee”) will be chosen for outstanding achievement in the eight (8) Award Criteria as outlined below. All nominations for the Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management (“Arts Management Award”) must meet all eight Award Criteria.


Please ensure that the narrative throughout your nomination package is succinct, relevant, and directly addresses each of the Award Criteria by providing specific examples.


The nominators, including the Board Chair (first nominator) AND the individual (eg. sponsor, donor, volunteer, contractor, beneficiary, or other) who is external to the organization (second nominator), are to provide a written paragraph addressing each of the eight (8) Award Criteria. Additional supporting documentation will also be requested.


  • Executive Director encourages artistic innovation, specifically in the context of achieving positive operating results.

  • Executive Director develops and adopts a sustainable business model while ensuring the long-term financial health of the organization.

  • Executive Director implements good governance principles and practices supported by an appropriate organizational structure and has an effective working relationship with the board of directors.

  • Executive Director enhances the organization’s internal administrative systems and sustainable infrastructure including people, practices, policies, and business processes.

  • Executive Director implements significant strategic alliances or partnerships that have demonstrably strengthened business results (e.g. with corporations, universities, institutions, and businesses).

  • Executive Director demonstrates powerful community engagement and audience development that advances the organization’s relationship with the public (the public includes audiences, cultural associations, community groups, under-represented populations, and funders). Or Executive Director in an arts service organization demonstrates powerful engagement with those they serve.


  • Executive Director provides effective opportunities for staff, volunteer and/or artist professional development.

  • Executive Director initiates and develops transformational impact on the organization (e.g. what was the state of the organization before the nominee took over the leadership role, what changes the nominee has introduced, how have these changes affected the organization, and how will these changes impact further growth and change in the short and long term).




Stage 1

1.  Please send an email to Geraldine Ysselstein, Arts Leadership Director at BEFORE Thursday, April 30, 2020, to indicate that you will be submitting a nomination for the Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management

2.  Nominators must submit an application via our online nomination form by May 15, 2020. The Stage 1 submission determines the nominee and organization’s eligibility for the Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management. Please refer to the Stage 1 criteria above.

3.  All applicants will receive acknowledgment of receipt and will be told in the week of May 25th if they are eligible to move to Stage 2.


Stage 2

1.  If successful in the Stage 1 Submission, nominators of eligible candidates will be invited by the Rozsa Foundation to Stage 2 where they will submit detailed information regarding the eight (8) Award Criteria and to provide supporting documentation (letters from individuals external to the organization).

2.  Nominators of affiliated arts organizations will receive a direct link to the Stage 2 application. Stage 2 will be due June 12, 2020.


3.  In the Stage 2 Submission, nominators and those providing supporting documentation will highlight through qualitative and quantitative examples of specific projects, initiatives, or activities in which the nominee has been notably successful. They will explain how the nominee exceeds their organization’s expectations with respect to all criteria, and describe the overall transformational impact of the nominee’s work.


  • Late submissions will not be considered.


  • If you have any questions about the Rozsa Awards, please contact Ayla Stephen, Granting and Awards Manager at