City employee accepts theatre honour
Troy Funk takes home Margaret Mooney Award for Outstanding Achievement in Arts Administration
Saturday, Jul 05, 2014 06:00 am
2014 Outstanding Sterling Award Winners
• Costume Design – Leona Brausen, Whiplash Weekend
• Lighting Design – Brette Gerecke, Salome
• Individual Achievement in Production – Michelle Chan
• Ross Hill Award for Career Achievement in Production – Barbara Becker
• Artistic Achievement, Theatre for Young Audiences – Jonathan Purvis, acting/fight direction
• Production for Young Audiences – I Am For You, Concrete Theatre
• Multi-media Design – Owen Brierley and Jordan Dowler-Coltman, Make Mine Love
• Margaret Mooney Award – Troy Funk
• Score of a Play or Musical – Jonathan Kawchuk, The Genius Code
• Musical Director – Van Wilmott, Hairspray
• Choreography or Fight Direction – Tracy Flye, Hairspray
• Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role – Mat Busby, Whiplash Weekend
• Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role – Valerie Ann Pearson, The Invention of Romance
• Outstanding New Play – Cause and Effect, Stewart Lemoine
• Contribution to Theatre in Edmonton – Jean-Pierre Fournier
• Outstanding Innovation for Theatre – Theatre Yes, National Elevator Project
• Independent Production – East of Berlin, Punctuate Theatre
• Fringe Director – John Hudson, A Picasso
• Fringe Performance by an Actor – Julien Arnold, A Picasso
• Fringe Performance by an Actress – Shannon Blanchet, A Picasso
• Fringe New Work – Marvellous Pilgrims, Stewart Lemoine
• Fringe Production – A Picasso, Chorus Production
• Director – Simon Bloom, East of Berlin
• Performance by an Actor in a Lead Role – Andrew MacDonald Smith, Mary Poppins
• Performance by an Actress in a Lead Role – Amber Borotsik, Little One
• Timothy Ryan Award for Outstanding Musical – Hairspray
• Production of a Play – Little One, Theatre Network
Last Monday night was the glamorous gala of the 27th annual Elizabeth Haynes Sterling Awards. And anybody who was anybody in the capital region’s professional theatre community congregated at Mayfield Dinner Theatre to celebrate.
Edmonton’s equivalent of Broadway’s Tony Awards, it was the place to see and be seen, and salute fellow practitioners for delivering a high-calibre craft.
Co-hosts Beth Graham and Andrew MacDonald-Smith presided over the evening with a breezy, relaxed demeanour, creating an all-embracing vibe.
Erik Mortimer and the Sterling band provided musical support for several scenes from opera and musicals while two mega screens perched on each side of the stage projected scores of talent.
One recipient who enjoyed a night to remember was St. Albert’s own Troy Funk. As senior marketing co-ordinator for the City of St. Albert’s cultural services department, Funk was nominated for the Margaret Mooney Award for Outstanding Achievement in Arts Administration.
For close to 20 years, the Grant MacEwan alumnus has worked as an advocate of the arts, 13 of those years at cultural services.
“I have loved my 13 years at the Arden and working with the International Children’s Festival. I love the opportunity to provide children with their first theatre experience,” said Funk in his acceptance speech, his voice emotional and quavering.
In closing he said, “Thank you all for this incredible honour. I’ll see you at the theatre.”
Later that night after he had a chance to catch his breath, Funk said, “It was wonderful and overwhelming to think of 20 years of work I’ve done. But it was also fun to think back on all the people I’ve met and places I’ve worked.”
Three other artists with local connections were nominated, but did not receive the statuette. First-time playwright Joëlle Préfontaine of Legal was nominated in the outstanding new play category for her bilingual script Récolte. She lost out to Stewart Lemoine’s Cause and Effect.
St. Albert-raised Jenny McKillop earned a nomination for outstanding Fringe performance by an actress for her role in Teatro La Quindicina’s Marvellous Pilgrims. However, the statuette went to Shannon Blanchet for A Picasso.
And St. Albert Children’s Theatre alumna Kate Ryan was in the running for outstanding Fringe director for Plain Jane Theatre’s production of Little Fish. But A Picasso had the momentum and John Hudson nabbed the trophy.
For those lugging home a trophy, it was a moment of triumph. For those leaving empty-handed there were still plenty of smiles and the hope that next year the theatre gods would smile upon them.