Theatre Alberta is proud to announce the creation of a new scholarship: The Michelle Dias Community Service Award.
Michelle Dias was a well-loved member of the Alberta theatre community and was instrumental in the creation of Safe Stages, a vital resource for health and safety best practices in the theatre. Michelle passed away unexpectedly on September 6, 2011, in Edmonton.
In recognition of Michelle’s contributions to Theatre Alberta and the wider provincial theatre community, we have created a scholarship for our Dramaworks program in her name.
If you wish to donate to the scholarship fund, Theatre Alberta will provide a tax receipt for donations of $20 and over. Please ensure to mark your donation with Michelle Dias Community Service Award so that we can properly recognize it. Make your donation online here.
Below is the text of the scholarship announcement, written by Theatre Alberta Executive Director Keri Ekberg and her husband Adam Mitchell. The announcement was made by Bob Baker, Artistic Director of the Citadel Theatre, at A Tribute to the Life of Michelle Dias, in the Citadel Tucker Amphitheatre on October 10, 2011 in Edmonton.
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Adam and I both wish we could be with you today to celebrate Michelle’s life, to share in our collective, profound grief and our many warm memories. We are thinking about you all, and especially Michelle’s family.
We have many fabulous personal memories that we hold close, but I (Keri) am writing today on behalf of Theatre Alberta, our provincial arts service organization, where I have the privilege to serve as Executive Director.
Michelle was deeply involved in Theatre Alberta’s educational programming, having spearheaded Safe Stages, our health and safety resource for theatres, as well as working with us frequently as an instructor for our Dramaworks workshop series. We are so proud of her impact on theatre artists all over the province via our programs:
- boards, productions managers, and technical directors have improved health and safety in our venues;
- workers have resources to advocate for their own and their colleagues’ health and safety;
- and amateur artists and drama teachers have learned scenic art skills from a true master artist and teacher, beautifying their local productions.
It was truly an honour and a privilege to work with Michelle, and to facilitate her famous generosity in any way we could. She was community-spirited and looked out for all of us; she identified needs in the community, and pushed us to do and to be better.
From all Theatre Alberta members, the board and the staff, thank you Michelle.
In recognition of Michelle’s contributions to Theatre Alberta and her passion for professional development and education (also our passions at Theatre Alberta), we will be introducing a new scholarship for our Dramaworks program – the Michelle Dias Community Service Award.
Dramaworks takes place every second summer in Edmonton and features workshops for all members of the provincial theatre community: high school drama teachers, emerging artists, community theatre artists, and professional artists. It’s a chance for us all to get together to celebrate our love for theatre, aspire to be better artists, and spread that artistry to all corners of Alberta.
We will award the scholarship based on merit, an individual’s desire to improve their theatre skills and their demonstrated commitment to sharing that knowledge with their peers. To someone who exemplifies Michelle’s spirit of generosity and community betterment. It will be open to all Alberta theatre artists.
If you are interested in helping, please let Cheryl know and she can put you in touch with me.
Much love to all of you today,
~Keri Ekberg and Adam Mitchell