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Rosebud Theatre energized by new leadership

By Monique Massiah, Strathmore Standard

Frank Nickel is the new executive director of the Rosebud Centre of the Arts.


“We are thrilled that Frank, with his deep experience in arts management and passion for rural Alberta, has accepted our offer to become part of the Rosebud community and we are preparing to welcome him and his wife, Karina,” said Colin Jackson, chairperson, Rosebud Centre of the Arts (RCA).

Nickel will start in Rosebud on May 1.

“I’m pretty excited,” said Nickel, who is eager to be laying down roots in the area with his family.

He explained that his appointment was formally announced to the public on Feb. 2 and with that a new opportunity begins to unfold. But the new position also brings with it heartbreak, as Nickel will be leaving behind colleagues in British Columbia who have become like family over the past 10 years.

“The thing about working at a small organization like Pacific Theatres is there are maybe nine staff...it’s a pretty tight knit family. Now it’s a little bit more real,” he said of leaving friends behind.

“I feel extremely honored to be taking on this role with Rosebud Centre for the Arts, and to have the opportunity to work in partnership with Morris Ertman, Artistic Director of Rosebud Theatre, and Paul Muir, Education Director at Rosebud School of the Arts - two of the most exciting theatre artists in Alberta today,” said Nickel.

“Rosebud’s chair and board have charged me up with their ambitious, inclusive vision for what Rosebud means to the performing arts in Alberta, and indeed, the country. I will miss my friends at Pacific Theatre, and owe a huge debt of gratitude to Ron Reed who gave me my start in professional theatre over a decade ago.”

Nickel’s move to Alberta will be throwing him into a very rural atmosphere.

He explained that when things started progressing in November 2016, he became electrified by the idea of making an escape from city life and working in the picturesque atmosphere of the Rosebud river valley.

“My wife and I are looking forward to hitting the reset button on our lives,” Nickel said. He hinted that he also hopes to fall back into his experience as a minor hockey referee and lace up his skates over winter and try to referee for local hockey teams.

“There’s something about having a presence in the community and having roots in Rosebud I think that is really important,” he said, but also emphasised that being near the Strathmore region will be a good opportunity for he and his wife to visit a city, and maybe catch a movie on a weekend.

In his first 100 days, Nickel hopes to learn as much as he can about Rosebud, the people, the theatre, the business side and the community. The first 30 days is getting to know the people, he explained.

“As much as I can I will be having lunches, breakfasts and coffees with people that live in Rosebud that may not be employed by the company directly,” he said. 

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