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Monday, 22 October 2012 10:08

Rosebud founder wins prestigious Western Legacy Award

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LaVerne Erickson has been selected among 100 Outstanding Albertans by the Calgary Stampede’s Western Legacy Awards, who in celebration of the Stampede Centennial, has recognized Erickson for his  impact in promoting the values of western hospitality, commitment to community, pride of place and integrity.


LaVerne Erickson has always been a big idea person and a passionate ambassador for Alberta arts and culture and tourism sectors.  It was Erickson who founded of the Rosebud School of the Arts, Rosebud Theatre and the Canadian Badlands Passion Play. In 2010, he was also the recipient of the Alto Ambassador award for his outstanding contributions to Alberta’s tourism industry.
“When I think of the fact that 40,000 people come to see plays in a village of 100 people in a coulee on the prairie in the middle of nowhere, I marvel at the tenacity of the person who started the whole enterprise - the one and only Laverne Erickson,” explains Morris Ertman, Rosebud Theatre’s Artistic Director. “What's really wonderful is the fact that he's still here in Rosebud, planting trees, giving us the thumbs up on the opening of a new show, still advocating for Rosebud as a community, and an arts centre. He's still tilling the collective soil here in Rosebud, tirelessly taking care of the things we ask him to do. He is at once audacious, inspiring, humble and still itching to be of service to everyone. Bravo Laverne Erickson! Your communal invention and commitment is an inspiration to us all!”
Adds Paul Muir, RCA’s Education Director “The legacy of what the hamlet of Rosebud, Rosebud Theatre and Rosebud School of the Arts (RSA) has become owes its beginnings to LaVerne Erickson. Today Rosebud School of the Arts has many graduates working in theatre and theatre-related industries across Canada. I am grateful for LaVerne’s willingness to follow his dreams and help pave the way for other to achieve theirs.”
“LaVerne Erickson is one of those individuals who truly makes a difference. He is a ‘game-breaker’,” explains Adam Furfaro, Executive Director of Rosebud Centre. “A visionary who can see the miles beyond when you can only see the field right in front of you.  In a way he sees the tree at the end of the forest first and then figures out the path to the tree no matter how thick or difficult the trail is.  He’ll then cut the tree and turn it into a house while everyone else debates about the path to the tree.  He is a true visionary.”
“He has always taken risks.  Calculated and measured risks and this innate sense of pioneering led to the Rosebud School of the Arts, Rosebud Theatre, Rosebud Mercantile, Akokiniskway Art Gallery, The Badlands Passion Play, the Badlands Performing Arts Summer School and now the Rosebud Centre of the Arts. Today LaVerne Erickson remains a passionate, daring and energetic leader who continues to influence the lives of so many. The true extent of his contribution is immeasurable.”The Western Legacy Awards honour individuals and organizations for their outstanding contributions in promoting western values and preserving western heritage within the community. In celebration of the Calgary Stampede’s Centennial, the 2012 Western Legacy Awards are expanding their scope and recognition by honouring 100 individuals who have made or are making outstanding community contributions within the province of Alberta.

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