When you hear or see the word champion we often envision someone, or some team, that has triumphed over their rival, like the Stanley Cup champions.
A champion, however, can also refer, as a verb, to someone who has taken up a cause and championed that cause for the betterment of others.
Such is the case for the first in our new series featuring those who have pursued championing the arts, and in particular in support of Theatre Network and its current capital campaign to build the New Roxy.
Nancy Power (1925 – 2019) was on our Board of Directors when one of her business companies purchased three of Edmonton’s movie theatres. In short time, the decision was made to sell two of the theatres, except for the Roxy. This Nancy donated to Theatre Network. Nancy served in many roles including board president and donor for many years and helped to ensure the growth and evolution of Theatre Network. We look forward to honouring her dedication to theatre Network by naming our largest performance venue The Nancy Power Theatre.
Nancy was a tireless advocate within politics and the arts. She worked for decades with the Liberal Party both locally and nationally and served her local community through the Highlands Community League and founded the Highlands Historical Society. She was active with the Board of Family Service Association and served on Canada’s National Capital Commission. She was a founder, board president and supporter of Theatre Network and served on Canada’s National Theatre School’s Board of Governors, efforts that led to the Sterling Award for “Outstanding Contribution to Theatre in Edmonton” in 2009 and, more importantly, an outsize impact on a field she loved and the practitioners she loved even more.
Debra has long been a champion of the arts and a long time supporter, both financially and through her volunteer efforts, of professional theatre. Edmonton born, Debra grew up with the concept instilled by her parents of giving back to the community, to play a part in making her City a better place. In Debra’s words, “I have been very fortunate throughout life and feel very strongly about supporting the arts. As to why she supports Theatre Network – “I enjoy how their plays can take me away for two hours, can transform my appreciation of life by presenting theatre that is edgy, that takes chances, and informs me about the society I live in, even if some of the messages are uncomfortable to deal with”.
Debra sees the capital campaign as an opportunity to rebuild an important City institution, to help improve the Westmount neighbourhood where the New Roxy will return in the months ahead.
We salute Debra and her continued support of Theatre Network; it is because of people like her that we will achieve our goal of rebuilding the New Roxy.