The TEA (Themed Entertainment Association) has revealed that more than 120 projects are currently under consideration for the 14th Annual Thea Awards, which will be presented March 2008 at a lavish ceremony in California. The potential recipients will be announced as usual this coming November at the IAAPA Attractions Expo in Orlando.
“Motion pictures have the Academy Awards, the music industry has the Grammys, and the experience industry has the Theas,” says TEA president Craig Hanna of Thinkwell Design.
“The Thea Awards dinner is a grand networking opportunity,” notes John Wright of John Wright Enterprises, chair of the Thea Awards committee. “That’s not to mention the first-rate food, music and stage presentation. After all, we are the experts in providing a superior guest experience.”
Since its founding in 1991, the TEA has striven to win credit for its members and their unique business niche – the experience industry. The Thea Awards have been material in meeting that goal. Since the inaugural Theas in 2004, where a single award, the very first Thea Lifetime Achievement Award, was given to Harrison ‘Buzz’ Price, the awards have grown in scope and importance.
Classic Awards, for example, have since been given to attractions including Madame Tussauds, Disneyland, Efteling, Silver Dollar city and Tivoli. Yet according to Hanna, future award recipients could be much more diverse: “Today an ‘experience’ could be a museum, library, theme park, casino, corporate visitor centre, aquarium or zoo. Tomorrow’s list could well include hospitals, college campuses and airports …or something that hasn’t even be dreamed of yet. By definition, these awards are a mirror of our industry.”
Tickets for the 14th Thea Awards gala/presentation ceremony, which takes place March 8 at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, are available through www.teaconnect.org, see the link below.
Pictured here are lifetime achievers (back row, left to right) Don Iwerks, Barry Upson, Monty Lunde and Tony Baxter, and (front row) Marty Sklar, Bob Rogers, Harrison ‘Buzz’ Price