Since 1984, the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards have celebrated excellence in the performing arts and provided direct financial support to artists and companies across Australia. This year, the eight winners each receive $25,000. 

The 2021 winners have been praised for their creative leadership, generosity and contribution to the community. “The last couple of years have placed enormous pressure on everyone working in the performing arts," says Andrew Myer AM, Chairman of Sidney Myer Fund. "While venues are now open, the pressure and risks for artists and companies are still very real. It is my great hope that these Awards go some way to support those producing works of excellence, who have been able to innovate and experiment in their art form and who connect very strongly with communities around the country.’

The 2021 Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award recipients are:

Facilitator Prizes

  • Australian Digital Concert Hall (Vic)
  • Erin Milne (Vic)

Group Awards

  • All the Queens Men (Vic)
  • Blakdance (Qld)
  • Speak Percussion (Vic)

Individual Awards

  • Clare Watson (WA)
  • James Berlyn (WA)
  • Jenny M Thomas (Vic)

The Trustees of the Sidney Myer Fund believe that artistic and cultural achievement should be recognised and rewarded.

These national Awards are determined by a Judging Committee that in 2021 was constituted by: Alison Beare (SA), Wendy Martin (WA), Kyle Page (Qld), Brian Ritchie (Tas) and Emily Sexton (Vic). The Judging Committee recognises past achievements but also gives consideration to the potential of an individual or group to continue their contribution to Australian society through the performing arts. The Committee is chaired by Andrew Myer AM (Chairman, Sidney Myer Fund) who does not vote.

The Awards were established in 1984 by the Trustees of the Sidney Myer Fund to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of Sidney Myer, a passionate advocate and great friend to the arts. Over $4 million has been awarded through the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards over the last 39 years.

Clockwise from top left: All the Queens Men (Vic), Australian Digital Concert Hall (Vic), Blakdance (Qld), Clare Watson (WA), Speak Percussion (Vic), Jenny M Thomas (Vic), James Berlyn (WA), Erin Milne (Vic).