On August 8, 2011, at the 14th annual Betty Mitchell Awards in Calgary, Daniel Hall was presented with The Duval Lang Theatre for Young Audiences Award, recognising his 18 years as Administrative Director of the Artstrek summer theatre program for teens. This award, sponsored in part by Quest Theatre and supported by the Calgary Foundation, honours a group or an individual who have made an outstanding contribution or significant achievement in the field of Theatre for Young Audiences.
Dan Hall was an Artstrek student over 30 years ago. He then went on to become a supervisor, an instructor, and for 18 years, served as the Administrative Director; empowering, supporting and celebrating each of the 300 students who attend Artstrek every summer. And he did it during his ‘summers off’ from being, a drama teacher
Two former students and supervisors wrote: “Artstrek isn’t just theatre education. It is a safe place to explore who you are, to use your imagination, make art, and meet people who share in your joy. Dan’s commitment to the program, and unwavering belief in the students who value it, is unmatched. His goal has always been to foster an environment where the students can get as much as possible from their experience. What a rarity it is to find someone so devoted to continuing excellence in Arts programming. Dan is an extraordinary leader in many ways, but it is his selflessness that makes the greatest impression. His passion was continuing a legacy for new students year after year. It is their experience, their well-being, and their joy that is his priority.
As a member of the Theatre Alberta board, an Artstrek instructor (and parent), a member of the Betty Mitchell Awards steering committee and the first recipient of the Duval Lang Award, I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this recognition. Dan isn’t just creating Theatre for Youth; he is creating Theatre OF Youth and BY Youth.