Honens President and Artistic Director Stephen McHolm Wins Rozsa Award

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Honens President and Artistic Director Stephen McHolm Wins Rozsa Award

Stephen McHolm, President & Artistic Director of Canada's Honens International Piano Competition, was honored this week with the Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management. The Award – the only one of its kind in Canada – is presented for development and implementation of outstanding administrative practices in all areas of company business while encouraging artistic innovation. The award, valued at more than $60,000 CAD, includes a cash prize, scholarships and mentorship opportunities at the University of Calgary's Haskayne School of Business and at The Banff Centre, and additional benefits.

"I certainly didn't become an arts manager for the accolades," said McHolm. "Most of my time is dedicated to helping develop the careers of emerging concert artists. When they succeed, I'm tremendously proud. Nevertheless, the Rozsa Award affirms that the work arts administrators do in the background is essential to putting great work in galleries, theatres and concert halls. I'm excited about the mentorship opportunities that I can share with my colleagues thanks to the generosity of the Rozsa Foundation and am extraordinarily honored."

Stephen McHolm has been the chief artistic and administrative officer of The Esther Honens International Piano Competition Foundation (Honens) since 2004. His vision of discovering 21st century artists for 21st century audiences, and his commitment to the development of emerging artists, have positioned the Foundation as a distinct world leader. Today, Honens awards the largest cash prize and most comprehensive artistic and career development program of any international music competition of its kind.

McHolm's innovative business model, which includes donor chapters across Canada, and national and international strategic partnerships with businesses and diverse arts organizations, has increased earned and contributed revenues by more than 65 percent since 2004, allowing Honens to become one of Canada's farthest-reaching arts organizations. Its profile continues to grow under McHolm's guidance through commissions, premieres and Laureate debuts on the world's most prestigious stages, including those of the Berlin Philharmonie, New York's Carnegie Hall and Wigmore Hall in London.

Music and the arts have been central to McHolm's life since an early age. He studied piano through the Western Ontario Conservatory of Music from age five, was a producer and host for campus radio, and researched models of arts funding and the emergence of corporate sponsorship in Canada for his degree in Communications from the University of Ottawa. He also received a certificate in arts administration from Edmonton's Grant MacEwan College.

McHolm's career in arts administration began at the Canadian Arts Presenting Association (CAPACOA), a national service organization for the performing arts' presenting and touring sector. Through CAPACOA, he met his mentor, Andrew Raeburn, who was then President of the Honens Foundation. Raeburn recruited him as Honens' Artistic Administrator in 1998.

McHolm was named one of Calgary's "Top 40 under 40" by Calgary Inc. Magazine in 2003 and Board Vice President of CAPACOA for 2008 and 2009. He is in his second term as a Vice President of the Geneva-based World Federation of International Music Competitions, a member of the International Music Council of UNESCO.

Honens International Piano Competition is a leader in discovering and launching the careers of young concert pianists. It searches for Complete Artists – 21st century musicians for 21st century audiences – and awards its Laureates the competition world's largest cash prize and most comprehensive artistic and career development program. Honens also presents world-leading pianists, innovative performance projects and exclusive Canadian premieres through a critically-acclaimed concert series in Calgary. The Semifinals and Finals of the Seventh Honens International Piano Competition take place in Calgary from October 17 to 26, 2012. For more information, visit honens.com.

Created in 2002 by the Rozsa Foundation to honor the philanthropic efforts of Drs. Ted and Lola Rozsa, the Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management is the only one of its kind in Canada. The annual award is open to arts administrators throughout Alberta, Canada. It celebrates the outstanding achievement of an individual working in the complex profession of arts management, and, at the same time, provides professional development opportunities and organizational benefits to further refine business practices. The partners in the awards program believe that the arts are an integral and necessary component of a healthy community. All arts organizations must be effectively managed to achieve and maintain financial sustainability so they can serve their community well. When outstanding arts managers of today are recognized, the field becomes more attractive to future leaders, and a standard of excellence is established. For more, got o rozsafoundation.org.

Photo credit: Monique de St. Croix

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