The annual Mayor’s Lunch for Arts Champions in Calgary, presented virtually once again on YouTube on June 9, 2021. It was a rather emotional event as we considered over a full year without in-person arts interactions, recognized an array of artists and arts professionals and their incredible work despite the pandemic, and acknowledged Mayor Nenshi’s incredible support for, and love of, the arts during his tenure. We want to add our warmest congratulations to all the award recipients, several of whom have special connections to us at the Rozsa Foundation and feel like extended family.
The annual Rozsa Foundation Emerging Arts Administrator Award was presented this year to Bianca Miranda, Artistic Associate with Handsome Alice Theatre. The award recognizes the noteworthy work of an early-career arts administrator, both in their organization and in the broader arts community. Bianca has worked with several arts companies in Calgary, in roles of marketing, producing, mentorship, and box office before her current role at Handsome Alice, and her nomination package was filled with incredible support from so many different people and organizations. All of her supporters spoke to the way that Bianca brings together her social activism and social justice work in everything she does.
In presenting Bianca the award, Executive Director Simon Mallett enthused, “It is really exciting to see the tools of the trade being used in new and exciting ways to amplify messages that are important in ensuring that equity and anti-racism work is being done in a multitude of arts organizations. Bianca is truly an administrator for our time.”
As a part of her award benefits, Bianca will be joining the 2021-2022 cohort of the Rozsa Arts Management Program (RAMP) and we are thrilled to have her in the group. In fact, several other award recipients have ties to our Arts Leadership programs, and we are so proud of their accomplishments too.
Perpetual Atife was awarded the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society’s New Canadian Artist Award as a talented saxophonist who immigrated to Calgary in 2019. Perpetual is a recent graduate of our RAMP program in April 2021 and is also a talented arts administrator. She was the Manager for membership, events, and festivals at the Musical Society of Nigeria, MUSON Centre in Nigeria for 6 years, where she worked closely with artists, directors, and producers to create seasons of concerts and other art events. She is currently the Administrative Assistant at the Steinway Piano Gallery.
Cheryl Foggo received the Doug and Lois Mitchell Outstanding Calgary Artist Award for work on illuminating the history and stories of Alberta’s Black communities, exemplified by her film John Ware Reclaimed, which won the Audience Award at the 2020 Calgary International Film Festival. Cheryl has been a faculty member of our Rozsa Executive Arts Leadership (REAL) program for the past two years, and this year joined the REAL Faculty Advisory Team to help create a curriculum that addresses equity and anti-racism in the arts.
Among the awards, the Mayor’s Lunch highlighted exceptional work done during the pandemic, including the festival presented by Woezo Africa during Culture Days. Woezo Africa was founded by and is run by current REAL participant Wunmi Idowu, who performed and choreographed the clip featured at the lunch.
Congratulations Bianca, Perpetual, Cheryl, and Wunmi! We are truly proud to be a small part of your story, and wish you much more success!