The winners of the 2017 Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards have been announced today. For 33 years, the the awards have recognised and celebrated Australia’s best artists, organisations and facilitators. The newly announced 2017 recipients represent three of the country’s leading arts practitioners – actor Kate Mulvany, executive director of Theatre Network Australia Nicole Beyer, and contemporary dance company Dancenorth.

Sidney Myer Performing Arts AwardsKate Mulvany and Carillo Gantner. Photo: supplied 

“My work as an Australian artist has been nurtured and driven by the support of so many companies and individuals over the past 20 years,” said Mulvany, winner of the Individual Award ($60,000). “Without their trust, heart and spirit, I would not have the body of work that I do today. To receive the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award in recognition of my work inspires me to give back to the industry that has given me so much, and has so much to give. Those artists that strive to make our vast Australian canon resonate bolster my love of Australian stories and my pride in our storytellers. I am honoured to be one of them and I am truly humbled to be the recipient of such a beautiful gift.”

Beyer, recipient of the Facilitator’s Prize ($25,000) said, “I’m so thrilled to win the 2017 Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award Facilitator’s Prize, but really, it’s a win for the whole arts sector and the Free The Arts campaign. The Award recognises the power of the collective voice, demonstrated by the enormous groundswell of opposition to the government’s changes to the 2015 arts budget. I’m buoyed by the recognition of my role in that, and it will inspire me to keep fighting on behalf of the small to medium / independent performing arts sector in particular – a sector that is incredibly vibrant, prolific and creatively acclaimed, but a sector that is financially fragile. I’m really grateful that the work of behind-the-scenes advocates is valued by the Sidney Myer Fund.”

“We are truly ecstatic to be named recipients of the 2017 Sidney Myer Performing Arts Group Award,” said Artistic Director of Dancenorth Kyle Page. “Dancenorth is the coming together of incredible minds generously collaborating to create contemporary dance that challenges convention and inspires a reimagining of the world. The extraordinary generosity of the Sidney Myer Fund and the Trustees enables us to continue pushing the boundaries, creating bold new work in Townsville, North Queensland before touring around Australia and across the globe.”

The Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards are decided by a Judging Committee chaired by Carrillo Gantner AO, and include Brian Ritchie (Curator, MOFO, TAS); Christie Anthoney (Director, Festivals South Australia, SA); David Berthold (Artistic Director, Brisbane Festival QLD); and Terri-anne White (CEO, UWA Publishing, WA).