The charismatic flame-haired director of The Street Theatre Caroline Stacey has been awarded the highest honour in this year's ACT Arts Awards, being named 2012 artist of the year.
The award was presented by composer Larry Sitsky at a ceremony held at the Canberra Museum and Gallery on Tuesday evening.
Stacey is one of Australia's leading innovative stage directors who has built a formidable reputation for her work in opera production.
The awards ceremony was hosted by the Canberra Critics' Circle and included accolades for many performers in the ACT community. Stacey was singled out at the ceremony for her outstanding contribution to theatre in Canberra, both as a working director and as the artistic director of The Street Theatre.
She was appointed to her position at the theatre about five years ago and has initiated, and managed, programs including The Hive, Made in Canberra, First Seen and Solo at the Street which encourage developing local writers, composers and actors.
Stacey was also lauded for her ability to bring exciting out-of-town concerts and shows to Canberra including Paul Capsis's Helpmann Award-winning Angela's Kitchen.
The awards ceremony included the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance's (MEAA) Green Room Awards.
Canberra Critics' Circle awards went to filmmakers Dallas Bland, Kris Kerehona, and Christian Doran and John Frohlich.
The circle also awarded writers Geoff Page, Bill Gammage, Robert Macklin, Nigel Featherstone, Kaaron Warren and Alan Gould.
Dance artists Adelina Larsson and Jordan Kelly were also awarded prizes by the group.
Awards also went to musical theatre artists Krystle Innes, Stephen Pike, Rose Shorney and Dick Goldberg, the Capital Jazz Project, Canberra-Versailles Association, The Australian Rugby Choir, musicians John Shortis and Moya Simpson, Christopher Latham, Michael Sollis and Timothy Kain.
The circle also awarded visual artists Trish Roan, Masahiro Asaka, Dianne Firth, Bernie Slater, Alex Asch, Rachel Bowak and Robert Guth.
Theatre artists were also singled out for their contributions, with awards going to Everyman Theatre, Canberra Repertory Society, artist of the year Stacey, Chrissie Shaw, Barb Barnett, Gillian Schwab, Hannah McCann, Jarrad West, Ronnie Flor and Naone Carrel.
The MEAA Green Room Award was presented to actor Raoul Craemer for his strong theatrical work this year, with a special mention for his role in the play Kabir. The 2012 MEAA Peer Recognition Award went to Stella Wilkie for her dedication to theatre in Canberra.