Alan Burgess, a retired college instructor who has had a profound impact on hundreds of Comox Valley artists, was awarded the annual Nonny Milne Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts at the Comox Valley Art Gallery on Saturday.
Burgess, who arrived in the Comox Valley in 1982, was one of the key players in establishing an art gallery in downtown Courtenay. He has served as president of the Vancouver Island Arts Alliance, which later became the Comox Valley Art Gallery, and he has also served as president of the Comox Valley Community Arts Council.
He is also a former board member of the Comox Valley Youth Music Centre.
Burgess was presented the award following the Annual General Meeting of the Comox Valley Art Gallery. The award presentation included a video prepared by his nominator, Comox Valley Arts Poet Laureate Natalie Nickerson, who spoke with rhyme and humour to describe Burgess’ achievements.
“You’re a legendary leader as an arts-committed creature,” Nickerson says of Burgess in the video.
People can view the video on the CVAG Facebook page.
The award is named in honour of the late Nonny Milne, a former CVAG president who dedicated much of her life to promoting the arts in the Comox Valley. It is presented each year to an individual, couple or collective that has made a profound, long-term contribution to the arts in our community.