Amy Shostak: Artistic Director, Rapid Fire Theatre and Co-Chair, Make Something Edmonton

Amy Shostak is a leader across many disciplines and organizations. Whether it is co-organizing Canada’s Improvaganza festival with Rapid Fire Theatre, ensuring that Make Something Edmonton’s launch party and Brand Camp unfold as planned or putting together a Slow Flash Mob, Amy seems to do everything across Edmonton. What is impressive is that she executes on each project: Improvaganza was a major success, and the Slow Flash Mob raised significant attention about intergenerational awareness across Edmonton. The reason that I nominate Amy, however, is that she is incredibly kind and giving to young up-and-comers. She has been a very positive role model in my life, because she shows that her success is due in large part to the people around her.

Whenever one goes to a Rapid Fire Theatre show, it’s easy to see that the performers have a “say yes to everything attitude.” The performers on stage build on each others’ ideas, rather than discounting what any single person says. This philosophy is central to Amy’s success with the Make Something Edmonton movement. A quick glance at the website shows that there are so many outstanding initiatives taking place across Edmonton. Amy is one of the first people to provide support to those looking to begin their own ventures. She is behind much of the success of the MSE movement and has made Edmonton a hot-bed of improv talent. She is really the embodiment of the forward-thinking and high-energy culture that is increasingly prevalent in Edmonton.

Amy’s community involvements are too many to mention. Much of her work with Make Something Edmonton involves MC-ing events, attending fundraisers, lending a hand with events (like the Stand Up for Edmonton conference on higher education, for which Amy provided valuable advice from behind the scenes) and in some cases, organizing them on her own (the Slow Flash Mob, as just one example). Amy is one of those rare people who makes volunteerism a way of life.

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