The King William I Award is the first official acknowledgment Stage Entertainment has received as a company. Henk Kivits (CEO): ‘It is a great honour for our theatre company to receive such a prestigious award. For us, it's recognition of the unique way Joop van den Ende has combined his passion for theatre with a commercial approach to the business. The Dutch musical industry employs a significant number of people in our country, a fact recognized by this award.’
Since its inception eleven years ago, Stage Entertainment has received an impressive number of awards for its musical productions: sixty-six John Kraaijkamp Musical Awards in the Netherlands, twelve Broadway Tony Awards, five West End Laurence Olivier Awards, four French Molière Awards, six Russian Musical Heart of Theatre Awards, and fourteen German Live Entertainment Awards. Joop van den Ende has personally been honored with the IJ Prijs (the Amsterdam Business Award), and in Hamburg, Germany he was named the 2009 ‘Hamburger of the Year' for his cultural and commercial contribution to the city.
The King William I Award is presented every two years to two top companies (one with more than 250 employees, the other with less than 250 employees) by the King William I Foundation, with the active support of the Ministry of Economic Affairs. The foundation wishes to inspire creative and innovative entrepreneurship and to promote the positive development of the Dutch economy. The award helps to highlight the great importance of a sound business climate on the prosperity of the Netherlands.