Article written by Nina Levy for Seesaw Magazine.
The winners of the 2022 Pinnacle Performing Arts Awards were announced at Subiaco Arts Centre on Monday 25 July, as part of CircuitWest’s Showcase industry conference.
Presented by CircuitWest, the Pinnacle Performing Arts Awards are open to West Australian arts producers and presenters, and independent groups and artists. There are three awards: Presenter of the Year, Producer of the Year and the People’s Pinnacle.
The Pinnacle Performing Arts Awards are presented as part of WA Showcase. Nominations for Presenter of the Year and Producer of the Year come from the WA arts industry. The top three nominations are shortlisted, and a panel of Showcase delegates then votes to select the winner in each category.
The People’s Pinnacle is awarded to an individual who has made a signficant contribution the performing arts over time, and is chosen by a panel made up predominantly of previous Pinnacles winners.
The nominees for the Pinnacle Performing Arts Award for Western Australian Presenter of the Year were:
Esperance Civic Centre
Matt Dann Theatre (Port Hedland)
And the winner is… Arts Narrogin
Arts Narrogin was recognised by the Pinnacles selection panel for its “amazing efforts to maintain a high level of community engagement and the delivery of quality performances during a challenging COVID period.” The program was described as “a genuinely eclectic mix of popular, challenging and inspirational productions”.
The nominees for the Pinnacle Performing Arts Award for Western Australian Producer of the Year were:
Whiskey & Boots
And the winner is… Whiskey & Boots.
Theatre company Whiskey & Boots was recognised for “building and delivering a unique verbatim residency-style performance that has changed so many communities.” Currently touring the state with their project, Mama Stitch, Whiskey & Boots “always put meaningful engagement with presenters and communities at the heart of their producing practice,” noted the selection panel.
The winner of the People’s Pinnacle is Ainsley Foulds, of Ravensthorpe Regional Arts Centre, AKA, Rave About Arts.
The selection panel described Foulds as having “dedicated decades to the performing arts. She is known as a tireless dynamo, with 30-years of leadership and volunteering,”
“Whilst the community around her endured drought and mine closures, she has proven time and time again the value of performing arts in improving the well-being of a community.
“With a group of committed volunteers, she has strived to bring the entire community on a performing arts journey.
“She has sought to seek and share funding to ensure a growing remote performing arts footprint on the southern coast. She is a fine winner with a huge commitment to the sector.”
CircuitWest Executive Director Sam Lynch noted the competitive standard for the 2022 awards. “Western Australia clearly has made the selection harder with so many fine performing arts people, organisations and places.
“The award is about excellence in all its forms, and this year we have really seen the diversity in what excellence looks like.”
Pictured top is the Arts Narrogin team, Casey Thornton, Brad Flett, Barbara Fletcher and Libby Heffernan, with CircuitWest’s Sam Lynch (far left). Photo: Fiona de Garis