Dr. Theodore Rozsa, Edmund C. Bovey Award, 2002

Dr. Theodore Rozsa, O.C. is the winner of The Edmund C. Bovey Award for leadership support of the arts.

The Edmund C. Bovey Award is unique in Canada: it honours individuals from the business community for outstanding support of the arts by presenting them with a cheque for $20,000 to be distributed to the arts organizations of their choice. The annual prize is drawn from interest on a fund to which donations were made by 20 Award Founders in 1990. Created in tribute to CBAC’s founding Chairman , who was a patron and board member of 18 arts organizations while serving as CEO of Norcen Energy Resources, The Edmund C. Bovey Award recognizes leadership.

“Ted Rozsa has played a pivotal role in the history of the arts in Calgary”, commented CBAC President Sarah Iley. “According to his nominators, this talented geophysicist has invested in music as well as oil, stepping in to provide leadership at crucial times. The jury was very impressed with the impact this one man has made on the arts institutions in his home town.”

The Chairman of the National Arts Centre, David Leighton, chaired the jury which comprised 2001 Edmund C. Bovey Award winner Israel Asper of Winnipeg, who is Executive Chairman of CanWest Global Communications Inc. as well as: Doris Bradstreet Daughney, who is Chair of BC PavCo as well as Chair of the Vancouver Opera; Tom McCabe, President of Theatre Calgary; and Vincent Varga, Director of the McMichael Canadian Collection in Kleinburg, Ontario.

While the jury was amazed by the depth and variety of arts support undertaken by nominees from across Canada, and moved by the eloquence and enthusiasm of their nominators, the jurors were unanimous in their choice of Ted Rozsa as this year’s winner.

Rozsa first came to Calgary with Shell Oil in 1949. He stayed in Canada to create, manage and eventually sell an oil-drilling business and then an oil exploration business before founding the company he has just sold, Rozsa Petroleum, in 1979. Ever the entrepreneur, he understands the ambition for excellence. That’s why he agreed to fund the conductor’s chair for the Calgary Philharmonic for many years. That’s why he chose to support the creation of the Calgary Centre for the Performing Arts. And that’s why he embraced the University of Calgary’s vision for a state-of-the-art concert hall, providing $3.5 million for the project.

Nominated by the Calgary Opera and seconded by Petro-Canada, Ted Rozsa received many letters of support. Wrote Calgary lawyer James Palmer, “I think what makes him unique is that he extols the virtue of giving money and, as a result, has caused many businessmen to discover what Ted refers to as ‘the joy of giving’.”

The Edmund C. Bovey Award was presented to Dr. Rozsa by the CBAC at a special celebration held at the University of Calgary’s Rozsa Centre. Soprano Tracey Dahl and a quartet led by Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra concertmaster Cenek Vrba paid musical tribute to a man who has proven his love of music with his long-time support of organizations such as the Calgary Opera, Calgary Philharmonic, Esther Honens Piano Competition, Banff Centre and the Glenbow Museum.

Ted Rozsa believes firmly in “giving back to the community”. As his friend and colleague, Jack Stobart, stated in tribute, that is “the measure of the man”. With his $20,000 Bovey prize money Rozsa wanted to create a lasting link between business and the arts.

“I have decided to create a new award to support best business practices in performing arts companies”, he told the assembled guests. The Rozsa Award for Excellence in Performing Arts Management will recognize top arts managers and provide their organizations with mentoring and monetary support for their business development.

It’s yet another creative extension of CBAC’s prestigious Edmund C. Bovey Award. To date, the winners have been very imaginative – using the prize as a fund raising challenge to others, using it to lever matching gifts, contributing it to lasting endowments, and using it to commission new work. Since 1990, when the prize was created in tribute to CBAC’s founding Chairman, Edmund C. Bovey, over $260,000 has been distributed to arts organizations across Canada through this annual award.

Both the Rozsa Foundation and McLean and Partners matched the prize money, which Rozsa hopes will top $100,000 with additional contributions. Adopting a collaborative approach in the creation of the prize, he sought and received the support of The City of Calgary, the Calgary Centre for Non-Profit Management, the Alberta Performing Arts Stabilization Fund and the Calgary Professional Arts Alliance. The Rozsa Award for Excellence in Performing Arts Management will be presented in Calgary at the 10th Annual Mayor’s Lunch for Business and the Arts on May 1st, 2003.

This year’s Bovey Award Tribute Dinner and Awards Celebration was generously sponsored by Petro-Canada, The Kahanoff Foundation, BMO Financial Group and The Calgary Herald with support from the Calgary Opera and the University of Calgary Department of Fine Arts.

Please also see: Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management.