Ross Leslie Memorial Award
Ross Leslie was a true lover of the arts and of Newfoundland. He first came here as the Production Manager for Republic of Doyle in 2010 and fell in love with everything we have to offer. Nature inside the city, excellent restaurants, and the vibrant arts community made for an excellent quality of life for him when he was here for work.
He had a company called, ‘Trinculo Productions’. Trinculo is a character from Shakespeare’s, ‘The Tempest’ and as the Artistic Director of Perchance Theatre, I recognized it immediately. Ross, it turns out, had started his career as an actor and had travelled all over eastern Canada (including Labrador!) as a Tour Manager/Actor with Geordie Productions. Along came family and with its obligations, so he moved into film and quickly moved up the ranks to Production Manager/Line Producer. But he never lost his love of theatre or of performance.
In his time here he was an avid theatre goer and supporter. If you check the programs of many shows over the years, you will see Trinculo Productions and/or Ross Leslie thanked.
But his love of the arts didn’t stop there. He was an avid art collector who attended openings regularly and filled his home with painting after painting.
His love of the arts, and of this community, didn’t even stop there! He also supported short films, album launches, comedy nights, and bought and read countless books by local artists. He did all this all with joy, generosity, and ease. Ross was an inspiration! His love of this community made us all appreciate it more too. He was a foundation of this arts community, and we still feel the impact he left after his 8 years here.
To honour him and his contributions to so many, we have created a $500 cash award through the Community Foundation of Newfoundland and, Labrador and it will be managed by ArtsNL. The award will span visual art, theatre, and film/tv and will be decided by ArtsNL peer assessment committees when assessing professional project grant applications.
The award will move in a cycle, yearly between film, theatre, and visual art. Each year the peer assessment committee will select an artist who demonstrates excellence and passion in their own practice, and who also have a view of the arts and community that is broad, inclusive, generous, and supportive. The recipient will be someone who clearly supports the journey and practice of other artists; who finds joy in other’s work, and in other disciplines; and who demonstrates a view that is community minded.
In 2021 the award will go to an artist in the film industry, in 2022 in theatre, in 2023 it will go to a visual artist, and then the cycle will repeat. The award will be given out in the fall, hopefully to coincide with Ross Leslie’s birthday in October.