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The inaugural Red Hat Award was presented to Shane Caddaye at the Crowne Plaza, Surfers Paradise on the 19th January 2020. Photograph: Joel Beskin and Shane Caddaye

Every year we see outstanding creative talent in our Community Theatre arena. It is often that we admire great work that consistently shows outstanding volunteer spirit and wonderful service to the Arts Community. Often the-inspiring creative works behind the scenes but their efforts enhance our live performance industry at every level. In honour of a man who has given extraordinary service to our Community we are creating a special award – the Red Hat Award. You all will recognize immediately the origin of this award. After all – Mr. Theatre – Joel Beskin always wears his distinctive red hat to opening nights and the red hat has become an iconic symbol in our community. It not only symbolizes the “live force” that is Joel - it has come to represent the spirit of the volunteer whose unstinting efforts have become legendary. Therefore, in honour of years of voluntary service by Joel Beskin we are introducing the RED HAT AWARD. Each year a special creative will be given the RED HAT by the Gold Coast Theatre Alliance for an outstanding achievement.

THE RED HAT AWARD is to be given by the Gold Coast Theatre Alliance Executive to a CREATIVE - who is part of any production or administrative team that has enhanced our Live Performance World by creating something tangible of high value. The contribution has also been one of recognized COMMUNITY SERVICE as a volunteer.

He or she or they may stand out for the following reasons:


They are usually an ARTIST with UNIQUE- innate GIFTS and TALENTS. The definition of an artist is based purely on creativity in action – the artist may be a writer, an actor, a carpenter, a set designer, a photographer, a committee member, an administrator, a director, a costumier.

They create ART – They colour outside the lines to give us a new picture, a picture that we may not have seen previously. They can IMAGINE and they can open our eyes to a new perspective or a new world.

They have VISION – they see and connect details that others may not.

They are INTELLIGENT and create through INSIGHT something wonderful.

They understand the value of a clear and focused mind -- because their work depends on FOCUS.

Being an artist in any form needs the skill, it needs the drive towards reality. SKILL development creates the EXPERIENCE to build success in our creative.

However, demonstrable INDUSTRY, DEDICATION, RELIABILITY and COMMITMENT highlights their creation – the idea has become a reality. Everyone can have great ideas but the things that set our creative apart is having the drive to make it happen in a positive, honest and transparent manner.

Speech by Annie Lotocki

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