School of Creative Arts instructor named to list of 25 Influential Alberta Artists
When the Alberta Foundation for the Arts (AFA) released its list of 25 Influential Alberta Artists earlier this month, RDC Theatre Performance & Creation Instructor, Lynda Adams, was delighted to learn that she was among the artists named.
“I didn’t realize that I’d been nominated, so when I first received the email, I thought it was spam,” she recalls. “But then I realized it was legitimate, and I felt terrifically honoured to be included in this list.”
The AFA compiled the list as part of the organization’s 25th anniversary, and it received over 250 nominations from April until June. From there, AFA identified 25 artists from the past 25 years who have significantly impacted their communities, influenced the development of art and artistic practice in the province, and inspired others to do the same.
Adams has over 30 years of international experience as an instructor, professional theatre director, choreographer, performer and creator of new works, with an extensive background in dance. Adams was the curriculum director for the Artstrek theatre program and the artist in resident at Victoria School of the Arts, both for over 14 years. After receiving her Master’s Degree in Movement for the Actor from the Laban Centre of Dance and Movement in London, Adams returned to Canada and resumed her work teaching at educational institutions, including universities and colleges throughout Alberta and British Columbia.
“I moved to Red Deer and began teaching at RDC 14 years ago,” she says, adding that she loved the opportunity to be part of the evolution of the theatre program at the College. “The students are fantastic, and it’s always so rewarding to go through the process with them, from when they audition to when we take them on a journey of learning.”
Adams has directed 13 plays during her time at RDC, with two plays in particular – Meiko Ouchi’s The Dada Play and Vern Thiessen’s adaptation of Wuthering Heights – standing out for her. “I’m very pro-Canadian playwrights and Canadian theatre,” she says. "These were wonderful opportunities for our students to be part of an extensive new play development process with two exceptional, award-winning Canadian playwrights."
When she’s not involved with her work in the School of Creative Arts, Adams is passionate about developing new plays and connecting with colleagues and the community-at-large through her work. From 2007 to 2013, she collaborated with industry professionals and community members to develop The Canola Project, an interdisciplinary, site-specific project that brought themes of central Alberta to life.
She has also worked with RDC theatre colleagues and alumni in a professional setting, creating numerous productions for Thomas Usher’s Prime Stock Theatre Company. Earlier this year, she also spent two months in Whitehorse, directing and choreographing a new musical for Nakai Theatre and the Magnetic North Theatre Festival.
Adams will be retiring from her position at RDC at the end of December, and though she will miss the vibrant RDC School of Creative Arts culture, she looks forward to continuing her professional work.
As she wraps up the fall term, she will continue to reinforce the importance of collaboration and striving for excellence to her students. “You never know what will unfold, so you have to be willing to try different things and challenge yourself to grow and develop,” she says. “We have tremendous examples of students succeeding, and it’s important they know that you really can come from anywhere and become anything you want.”
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About AFA’s 25 Influential Alberta Artists: In September 2016, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts (AFA) selected 25 artists who have built artistic practices that influence and inspire. Each of these artists will receive an extended profile in the news feed of the AFA’s website, published weekly starting in November. Moreover, each artist will select a protégé or emerging artist who will receive an AFA Young Artist Prize, worth $2,500 each. These young artists will receive their awards in 2017 and be revealed weekly in each Influential Artist’s extended profile. Through the AFA Young Artist Prizes, the hope is that the Influential Alberta Artists will help to guide the AFA to build relationships with the next generation of artists who will lead us and the arts community through the next 25 years and beyond.
For more information on AFA’s 25 Influential Alberta Artists, please visit: affta.ab.ca
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