The Alan Sawyer Memorial Award

Last June Alan Sawyer lost his battle with cancer.  Alan was a bit of a renaissance man.  He was proud to call himself a policy wonk.  He was a transmedia producer when it was still cool to call yourself that.  He was a thinker, an analyst, a connector.  He loved road hockey and improv (that last one was a surprise).  There was still a lot that he wanted to do and thought he would be able to do when his time ran out.

So when Mary Henricksen suggested that we should set up an award somewhere in his name it just made sense.  He wasn’t finished but maybe an award could help others to continue his discovery and exploration of what Canadian media was and could be.  I started working with Mary on this last July.  We talked to Ryerson about an award for their Masters of Media Arts Program.  We fed back to a larger group of wonks, who had all agreed to help get this off the ground.  And tonight, at a pub night gathering of some of Alan’s friends, we will officially launch fundraising to establish the award.

Here are the details.  We need to raise $50,000 by April 30, 2014 in order to establish a permanent award.  Proceeds from the award will go each year to a deserving student in the Masters in Media Arts program at Ryerson who is working on a research paper in cross-media content production.   The target student will be someone who has already been working in media and has gone back to school to reinvent themselves.

We will be sending out direct email requests over the coming months and I’ll probably blog about this once or twice more.  You can avoid the emails by donating directly here.  Like the Facebook Page to be kept up to date on our progress.  If you have questions you can ask anyone in the organizing ‘committee’:  Mary and myself, Joanne Deer, Cameron McMaster, Suzanne Keppler, Sasha Boersma, Bram Abramson, Reynolds Mastin, Marcia Douglas, Lisa Fitzgibbons, Cynthia Lynch, and Mario Mota.

If you would like to do more to help out the cause, please forward the link to anyone who you think might be interested.  Post info in your member newsletter, in your blog posts, on your Facebook pages – we all know it takes a multi-platform strategy to spread the word!

I know that we can do this.

Alan Sawyer

Alan and his International Emmy for Endgame Interactive


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