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Ex-RDSO director nominated for arts award

The Red Deer Symphony Orchestra’s former executive director Melody McKnight is among six Albertans nominated for a distinguished arts management award.

McKnight is a nominee for the 2014 Rozsa Award of excellence in arts management. “(It’s) a rather prestigious award that I’ve coveted for some time! Although I’m no longer with the RDSO, I apparently still qualify,” she said.

The winner — to be announced on June 12 in Calgary — will receive a $10,000 cash prize, as well as mentorship and coaching opportunities for the next year.

The organization the winner works or worked for (if McKnight wins, it would be the RDSO), would also receive $10,000 towards a special project, as well as advisory and consulting services from Deloitte Canada to assist with planning. The total value of the prizes is more than $100,000.

McKnight is now the marketing director at Parkland Mall. After spending four years as executive director of the RDSO and a total of 15 years in administrative roles with the orchestra, she said she felt it was time to move on to new challenges.

“I had a really, really great time with the RDSO,” added McKnight, who will continue to play as principal oboist with the orchestra.

In 2013, McKnight completed the one-year Rozsa Arts Management Program at the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary. She said she can attest to the Rozsa Foundation’s commitment to promoting best business practices in the arts.

She’s thrilled to be nominated for a Rozsa Award with other contenders: Rose Brow, managing director, Quest Theatre, Calgary; Catherine Glaser-Climie, founder and director of the Cantare Children’s Choir, Calgary; Elizabeth Ludwig, general manager, Northern Light Theatre, Edmonton; Jo Steffens, executive director, WordFest, Calgary; and Shelley Switzer, artistic producer, Edmonton International Street Performers Festival.

In addition to the Rozsa Award for Excellence, nominees will also be eligible for the Rozsa Award for Innovation and the Rozsa Award for Human Resources.

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