LSM Newswire

Tuesday, December 8, 2009 announces recipient of the 2009/10 National Opera Directors Recognition Award

8 December, 2009



Toronto, ON, the national association for opera in Canada, is proud to announce the recipient of the National Opera Directors Recognition Program, Ms Alberta Cefis, Chair of the Board of Directors, for Opera Atelier. In its second year, this distinction, sponsored by BMO Financial Group, honours one opera board director annually for exemplary leadership and support on behalf of their opera company and the community they serve.

In acknowledging the dedication of board members across the country, the National Opera Directors Recognition Award highlights the tenets of good governance, celebrates models of volunteer excellence and raises the bar for board director commitment.

BMO is pleased honour Ms Cefis as this years honouree of the National Opera Directors Recognition Award. said Nada Ristich, Senior Manager, Corporate Donations, at BMO Financial Group. As a supporter of many opera companies in Canada, BMO understands the critical role volunteer directors play in developing their local opera companies as cultural pillars in their community.

We are very proud that Alberta Cefis has been recognized with this award. Her dedication is matched by a genuine and passionate interest in opera and ballet, stated Marshall Pynkoski, Co-Artistic Director for Opera Atelier. She has led the company through very difficult times to a period of artistic creativity and financial and administrative stability that other companies only dream of.

Pynkoski added that under Ms. Cefis leadership, the company has moved to a two-production subscription season in Torontos historic Elgin Theatre, selling up to 18,000 tickets a year, while continuing to tour every other year. The companys budget is now approaching $2.5M and under Ms Cefis aegis, Opera Atelier has realized a 30% increase in subscriptions and a 27% increase in fundraising revenues in the last fiscal year. is delighted to be joining with BMO Financial Group in extending this honour to Ms Cefis who has played a vital role for Opera Atelier stated Christina Loewen, Executive Director for places a high priority on the development of leadership capacity within the opera sector and Ms Cefis represents the impact that this leadership can have within the governance of an opera company.

An Adjudication Committee oversees the selection process, choosing one recipient annually. This years Adjudication Committee was chaired by Board member, Monica Sloan, also past Chair of Calgary Opera. She was joined by Nada Ristich, Senior Manager, Corporate Donations, BMO Financial Group, Monette Malewski, an active business and community leader and president of cole Superieure de Ballet Contemporain de Montral, Kevin Patterson, General Director, Austin Lyric Opera and Rob Collins, inaugural recipient and past board member of the Canadian Opera Company. member companies are eligible to nominate one director each year for the honour.

Opera.cas commitment to recognizing excellence in governance stems from a belief shared with sister association OPERA America, that the strength of an opera company is directly linked to the quality of governance demonstrated by its board members. OPERA America demonstrates this belief through their Annual National Opera Trustee Recognition Award, in which a single honouree is chosen from each of the four OPERA America budget levels.

Joining Ms Cefis in receiving this honour in February 2010 in New York City are OPERA Americas National Opera Trustee Recognition honourees for 2009/10.

About is the national association for opera companies and professionals in Canada. It seeks to create and sustain an environment that makes opera central to Canadian life. It works with members across the country to advance the interests of Canadas opera community and create greater opportunity for opera audiences and professionals alike.

About Opera Atelier

Opera Atelier is Canadas premier baroque theatre company, dedicated to producing opera, ballet and drama from the 17th and 18th centuries. While drawing upon the aesthetics and ideals of the period, Opera Atelier goes beyond reconstruction and infuses each production with an inventive theatricality that resonates with modern audiences. For more than two decades, under the direction of founders Marshall Pynkoski and Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg, Opera Atelier has garnered acclaim for its performances at home as well as in the United States, Europe and Asia.

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