Debbie Slade, director of Brock’s Centre for the Arts, has been recognized as the 2011-12 National Arts Presenter of the Year by CAPACOA (Canadian Arts Presenting Association).
She received the award at the association’s 25th Anniversary Awards Gala Dinner in Toronto on Jan. 26.
“I am much honoured to have been selected by my peers to win this very important award,” said Slade when receiving the award. “As one of several hundred multidisciplinary presenters across the country helping to facilitate engaging performing arts experiences, there is no greater award than to provide a valuable legacy of cultural enrichment and creativity in our community.”
The award recognizes excellence in the field of performance touring and presenting as chosen by CAPACOA members from across the country.
“The work of presenters … ensures access to the live performing arts for all Canadians and is a key component of societal well-being,” said Erin Benjamin, CAPACOA’s Executive Director. “It is with deep sense of honour that we celebrate this year’s CAPACOA award recipients and their impact on our communities.”
Slade has been director of the Centre for the Arts at the University since 1987.
During her time at Brock, she has earned a reputation as one of the most respected university/community presenters in North America. Her work at the Centre is also considered one of the most wide-ranging and successful presenting programs in Canada.
Slade has helped local, national and international artists get their touring legs through booking and commissioning unknown artists and giving them their first exposure to wider audiences. She also helped to expand the scope of programming at the venue from 12 shows in 1987 to more than 70 productions annually today.
Slade is a former national president of CAPACOA (1999-2001), and has also been awarded the YWCA Women of Distinction Award in Arts and Culture (2001), the Niagara Women in Business Award for Community Spirit (2010) and the Ontario Presenting Network Presenter of the Year award (2010).
To date, the Centre for the Arts at Brock University has presented more than 1,000 artists and entertained two million people throughout its 43-year history.