A Perfect Day to be Eddie -Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards Announced

Last night, the 2011 Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards were held at the State Theatre Centre of Western Australia, Perth, paying tribute to outstanding achievement in the performing arts* across Australia.

Created in 1984 by the Trustees of the Sidney Myer Fund to commemorate the life and work of Sidney Myer – and to enhance the status of the performing arts in Australia – the awards are national, with all nominations considered by the Judging Committee.

“Sidney Myer is best known for founding the Myer department stores but one of his greatest legacies was his support for the arts in Australia,” said Carrillo Gantner, Chairman of the Trustees for the Sidney Myer Fund, which offers a prize pool of $150 000 for the three awards.

“[He] believed that the arts could not be separated from life and that it was the duty of every society to support its artists. The Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards reflect this belief, paying tribute to outstanding excellence in drama, comedy, dance, music, opera, circus and puppetry.”

The Awards not only celebrate past achievements for either a single outstanding performance or a sustained contribution, consideration is also given to the potential of an individual or group to continue in their contribution to Australian society through the performing arts.

The three Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards are:

Individual Award $50,000
Group Award $80,000
Facilitator’s Prize $20,000

Eddie Perfect
Eddie Perfect - winner of the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Individual Award

Actor, comedian, composer Eddie Perfect (Offspring, writer and star of Shane Warne The Musical, ) has taken out the Individual Award, worth $50, 000 just hours before a 2011 Green Room Nomination for his cabaret Misanthropology was announced. It seems today is a perfect day to be Eddie!

Perfect told the Sydney Morning Herald today that he has more projects on the go, as well as a second child.

”I’m working on two separate musicals – one is a very black and dark musical comedy about a chapter of Australian history that is yet to be pinpointed. I’m reading a whole load of books, such as the establishment of the colony to the Eureka Stockade – events that have been treated previously in an earnest way,” he said.

This year, the winner of the Group Award was Adelaide based Windmill Theatre, described by the Trustees of the Sidney Myer Fund as ‘a national treasure and ground breaking children’s theatre company’.

Artistic Director of Windmill Theatre, Rosemary Myers said, “The funds associated will allow us to develop some new projects we’ve had in the wings. In particular, one important aspect of our company vision is to keep exploring ways of inhabiting new media spaces to reach a broader audience base with the work we create.”

Darwin based record company Skinnyfish Music has won the Facilitator’s Prize ($20, 000) for its dedication to promoting the music of Indigenous Australians.

*(Performing Arts are defined to include all aspects of creation and performance of all forms.)

Erin James

Erin James is AussieTheatre.com's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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