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Roberta Thomas Legacy Award

Neighbourhood Dance Works is honored to administer the Roberta Thomas Legacy Award. The Award was established by Roberta (Robbie) Thomas' family in 2012 as a way to continue her infectious human spirit by supporting development and presentation in the field of dance and dance collaboration.

Harriett Roberta Thomas was an English émigré to Newfoundland who became a beloved and essential figure to the cultural life of her adopted country. A true believer in the creative arts, she was a friend and second mother to the swarms of young people drawn to her and her sons' musical home in St. John's. As an administrator she worked tirelessly to shore up many arts organizations, giving guidance to eager spirits that matched her own. She had a compelling desire to further all forms of art and loved collaboration. A champion of youth, she was an inspirational mentor to many emerging artists while fostering an environment of independent thinking and community activism. She was someone who got things done, embracing life and all it offered. She had a special passion for dance and was Executive Director of Neighbourhood Dance Works until 2009. She was emerging herself as a talented painter and her passing in December of 2011 left unfinished what was already a rich body of visual art work. A mother, a grandmother, a cook, a traveller, a painter, an archivist, an activist for human rights, an indispensable friend: in all those roles she had a profound effect on those whose lives she touched.

The Roberta Thomas Legacy Award (RTLA) is awarded annually to a dance practitioner or an artist in any discipline collaborating with a dance practitioner. Projects are funded with $1000.00 and can be for ideation, professional development, aspects of creation or final production.

“I am extremely grateful to be selected as the 2019 recipient of the Roberta Thomas Legacy Award. I fondly remember the support that Robbie provided when I first started dancing in St. John’s, Nfld. This award will support my efforts to marry visual art and will celebrate Robbie’s legacy as a painter and strong proponent of Newfoundland dance, and acknowledge an artist’s need to explore multiple media as a means of self-expression.” Mark Bath


2019, 8th Annual RTLA - Mark Bath

2018, 7th Annual RTLA - Josh Murphy

2017, 6th Annual RTLA - Lori Clarke

2016, 5th Annual RTLA - Anne Troake

2015, 4th Annual RTLA - Sarah Joy Stoker, Pink Noise

2014, 3rd Annual RTLA - Candice Pike, coeurPulse

2013, 2nd Annual RTLA - Colleen Quigley, Dancing Documents

2012, 1st Annual RTLA - Dave Gardiner, Gros Morne National Park Residency


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