Kudos to BC Arts Champions

In honour of Arts and Culture week, ArtStarts in Schools and the Assembly of

BC Arts Councils presented awards to three outstanding champions for the

arts in BC schools and communities in 2004. The inaugural Arts and Culture

Week Awards, presented on April 1, 2004 at the ArtScan Showcase and

Exhibition, went to:

? Green Thumb Theatre for Young People

? John White, Director of Instruction for the Burnaby School District

? The Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation

Arts and Culture Week is a celebration of British Columbia’s vibrant arts

and culture sector. With hundreds of events taking place between April 25

and May 1, schools and communities all over the province are hosting a

spectacular array of performances, exhibitions and celebrations. To learn

how you can participate, or for a list of events, please visit

www.bcartsweek.ca . All British Columbians are invited to join the

celebration by participating in local Arts and Culture events.

Green Thumb Theatre

Green Thumb was founded in 1975 to develop original Canadian plays for young

audiences. Since then, Green Thumb has emerged as one of Canada’s leading

theatre companies for young people, producing outstanding material for

audiences and artists to explore social issues of importance to young people

and contributing to the growing body of work evolving in this field. During

their extensive tours in Canada, the US, Mexico, Europe and the Pacific Rim,

Green Thumb inspires its audiences to re-examine their feelings, prejudices,

beliefs and aspirations. Green Thumb?s work enlightens and empowers young

people by providing accessible, relevant, emotionally grounded insights into

young people’s issues. And by continuously challenging the social roles and

responsibilities of the arts in contemporary youth culture, Green Thumb?s

commitment extends beyond the practice of art and into the promise of it.

John White

John White?s outstanding and enduring personal commitment to BC?s arts and

education community made him a natural for an Arts and Culture Week Award.

John has worked as an educator and arts education advocate for over 20

years. As Director of Instruction for the Burnaby School District, he is

responsible for that district?s visual and performing arts programming for

K-12. He has served on numerous boards across BC. A past president and

founding member of the ArtStarts in Schools board, John has gone on to

participate in the Education Committee for the Vancouver Foundation, the

Arts and Education board for the Vancouver Opera, and he is chair of B.C

Administrators of Arts Education. His commitment to the development of

innovative music programs is evidenced by his involvements in the BC Music

Educators Association, The Pacific Coast Music Festival Association, the BC

Choral Federation and MusicFest Canada.

The Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation

Since 1955, The Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation has contributed over $8

million to 147 communities throughout BC in the areas of social services,

higher education, and cultural and creative arts. The Koerners believed in

the benefits of higher education for young people, the importance of the

arts to the community as nourishment for the human spirit and the value of

practical social welfare programs. From the Presentation House Gallery to

the Headlines social activist Theatre, to lectures series at the colleges,

university-colleges and universities around BC, The Leon and Thea Koerner

Foundation has demonstrated their commitment to stimulate and invigorate our

cultural and educational communities. The foundation?s upcoming 50 year

anniversary solidifies their enduring tenure as champions of the arts.

Arts and Culture Week is presented by the Assembly of BC Arts Councils and

ArtStarts in Schools with the support of the British Columbia Arts Council.