Left – Kate Mulvany and Carrillo Gantner. Photo – Richard Walker
The winners of the prestigious 2017 Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards were announced by Carrillo Gantner AO, Chair of the Sidney Myer Fund at the Brisbane Powerhouse as part of the Australian Performing Arts Market on Wednesday 21 February 2018.
Three of Australia’s leading arts practitioners have been announced as the winners – Kate Mulvany playwright and actor has been won the Individual Award ($60,000), Nicole Beyer, executive director, Theatre Network Australia has won the Facilitator’s Prize ($25,000) and Dancenorth has won the Group Award ($90,000).
Now in its 34th year, the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards are one of the richest and most coveted Awards in the performing arts in Australia. For each recipient this Award is an acknowledgement of their rich artistic achievements.
‘My work as an Australian artist has been nurtured and driven by the support of so many companies and individuals over the past 20 years. Without their trust, heart and spirit, I would not have the body of work that I do today. To receive the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award in recognition of my work inspires me to give back to the industry that has given me so much, and has so much to give. Those artists that strive to make our vast Australian canon resonate bolster my love of Australian stories and my pride in our storytellers. I am honoured to be one of them and I am truly humbled to be the recipient of such a beautiful gift’, says Kate Mulvany
‘We are truly ecstatic to be named recipients of the 2017 Sidney Myer Performing Arts Group Award. Dancenorth is the coming together of incredible minds generously collaborating to create contemporary dance that challenges convention and inspires a reimagining of the world. The extraordinary generosity of the Sidney Myer Fund and the Trustees enables us to continue pushing the boundaries, creating bold new work in Townsville, North Queensland before touring around Australia and across the globe’, says Artistic Director Kyle Page.
‘I’m so thrilled to win the 2017 Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award Facilitator’s Prize, but really, it’s a win for the whole arts sector and the Free The Arts campaign. The Award recognises the power of the collective voice, demonstrated by the enormous groundswell of opposition to the government’s changes to the 2015 arts budget. I’m buoyed by the recognition of my role in that, and it will inspire me to keep fighting on behalf of the small to medium / independent performing arts sector in particular – a sector that is incredibly vibrant, prolific and creatively acclaimed, but a sector that is financially fragile. I’m really grateful that the work of behind-the-scenes advocates is valued by the Sidney Myer Fund’, says Nicole Beyer, Theatre Network Australia.
The Trustees of the Sidney Myer Foundation believe that real achievement should be recognised and rewarded. To date they have awarded well over $3.5 million.
Announced annually, the national awards are determined by a Judging Committee chaired by Carrillo Gantner AO (Chair of the Sidney Myer Fund) and this year they included: Brian Ritchie (Curator, MOFO, TAS); Christie Anthoney (Director, Festivals South Australia, SA); David Berthold (Artistic Director, Brisbane Festival QLD); and Terri-anne White (CEO, UWA Publishing, WA).
The Judging Committee recognises past achievements but also gives consideration to the potential of an individual or group to continue their contribution to Australian society through the performing arts.
The Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards were established in 1984 by the Trustees of the Sidney Myer Fund, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of Sidney Myer, a passionate advocate and great friend to the arts.