The Rozsa Awards

2019 Rozsa Award photos by Diane + Mike Photography














The annual Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management, first awarded in 2003, 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 thanks to our valued partnerships, 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. 

In 2019, the Rozsa Award for Excellence in Board Leadership was created. This award celebrates a Board Chair who has shown excellence in leading the Board of Directors of an arts organization through the effective relationships they have with the rest of the board, executive director, artistic director, members, funders, and patrons, and through the effective practices they put in place. 

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

The Rozsa Award 2017

The Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management

The Rozsa Award for Excellence in Board Leadership

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.


The Rozsa Foundation releases a Call for Nominations each spring, inviting eligible arts organizations to nominate their executive directors or managers or their board chair based on the Stage One Nomination Criteria for the select award. Once the nomination deadline passes in late Spring, the Rozsa Award Juries for each award review the pool of nominees, weighing their achievements against the Stage Two Award Criteria. Nominators' effective articulation of how their nominees fit these criteria is essential to the juries' process.

Following the juries' deliberation at the end of the summer, a shortlist of three nominees is selected for each award. Shortlisted nominees are notified in early Fall and the announcement is made public. The award recipients are announced during the Rozsa Award Celebration, usually in October. The full list of criteria for the Excellence in Arts Management Award can be found here. The full list of criteria for the Excellence in Board Leadership Award can be found here.


The 2020 Award for Excellence in Arts Management recipient receives:

  • $10,000 cash prize to the recipient from the Rozsa Foundation

  • $10,000 cash prize to their organization from the Rozsa Foundation

  • Unique glass sculpture created by artist Julia Reimer from the Rozsa Foundation

  • Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity – Lougheed Leadership provides free tuition for one open enrolment leadership development program (Value: $3250-$5500)

  • CKUA – 2-3 minute interview with award winner and 20 congratulatory ads (Value: $1670)

  • Good Company – Web and print design and consultation services (Value: $3000)

  • Haskayne School of Business – Consultative and research services including a marketing audit (Value: $10,000)

  • Roadwest Productions – Suite of video services, including pre-production, production, and post-production, in any combination (Value: $3500)

  • Vital Business Systems – Funding for technology purchase (Value: $2000)

The 2020 Award for Excellence in Board Leadership recipient receives:

  • $10,000 cash prize to their recipient's organization from the Rozsa Foundation

  • Unique glass sculpture created by artist Julia Reimer to the recipient from the Rozsa Foundation

  • Alexandra Hatcher Consulting – Consultation services in the areas of strategic planning or governance (Value: $5,000)

  • Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity – Lougheed Leadership provides free tuition for one open enrolment leadership development program (Value: $3250-$5500)

  • Transcend Management – Consulting on board succession plan (Value: $3500)

A more in-depth listing of Rozsa Award benefits can be found here.


"Being honoured with the 2018 Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management came at a crucial implementation phase of Wordfest's ongoing Business Model Revitalization project, funded in part by a Rozsa Foundation grant. We can now work with the various Rozsa Award partners on opportunities that would have been unimaginable without the audience and branding research and operational upgrades that we began in 2018.  We're so grateful at how well every aspect of the Rozsa Foundation's support continues to align ​with our new strategic plan; it's given us essential tools to continue to innovate within the cultural sector.

Shelley Youngblut, 2018 Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management recipient

"Receiving the Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Administration is quite unlike any other such recognition. For the past year I have been immersed in the Rozsa Award. Not only does one receive the accolades this honor implies but one lives the award for the entire year. The benefits of the award have touched every corner of my organization providing immediate and long-term payback and have also enhanced my capacity as an effective member of the cultural sector."

Marilyn Smith, 2011 Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management recipient

"The Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management has had an immediate and lasting positive effect on the Art Gallery of Alberta and on my own approach to leadership within that organization."

 — Tony Luppino, 2007 Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management recipient

"Decidedly Jazz used the Rozsa Award funds towards our Customer Relations Management program. We were successful in refining our strategic marketing plan; making considerable and valuable investment in developing and building the capacity and core competency of our Marketing/Development staff and gained immense insight through the research we conducted. On the consulting side, the expert legal opinion rendered has enabled us to deal with the changes to the Canada Revenue act which directly effected our HR practises. I thank you personally and on behalf of Decidedly Jazz for what the Award has helped us to achieve."

Kathi Sundstrom, 2005 Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management recipient