Reaching the Retirement Age in the Theatre Industry Roundtable hosted by Rick Boychuk

August 12, 2021, 12:00 - 1:30 PM

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Reaching the Retirement Age in the Theatre Industry Roundtable

The first en mass wave of designers and technicians in Canadian history have reached or are reaching retirement age. What are the implications? Retirement into poverty or into well-being? Stopping work? Or, continuing to work? This session should be relevant to ages 20 to 60. We will all reach retirement age.
Moderator: Al Cushing, CITT/ICTS Treasurer
Level: General (for all)
Discipline: Human Resources

Session's objectives:

Panel includes those at retirement age that have had different trajectories: university prof, municipal employee, freelancer, union stage hand (catcher), therefore providing a wide perpective on this topic.

Presenter and Panelists:

Rick Boychuk Host
Rick Boychuk has been working in the industry for a number of decades. As kind of an outlier working at various times in production, consulting, inventing and authoring. He has been responsible for his own well-being into retirement. Well, how has that worked out for him? What can you learn from his experience?

Susan Benson, Freelance designer
Susan Benson is a set and costume designer in Canada, the United States, Europe, and Australia. She has designed for many Canadian companies and designed for the Stratford Festival of Canada for twenty-one seasons. Ms. Benson received her training at the West of England College of Art in Bristol and was honoured to be awarded the Order of Canada for her design work. She now lives and paints on Salt Spring Island BC.

Patricia Flood, University Professor
Patricia Flood is a theatre, film and television designer and a past President of the Associated Designers of Canada. Her credits include Set Design for the films Ararat and Where the Truth Lies, directed by Atom Egoyan; Art Director for The Kids in the Hall television series; Resident Designer for Theatre Calgary; and many seasons at the Blyth Festival in Blyth, Ontario. Pat has taught Design for the Theatre at Concordia University in Montreal and has recently retired as an Associate Professor in the School of English and Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph.

Michael Whitfield, Freelance designer
Michael J. Whitfield, Lighting Designer With over four decades of designing nationally and internationally for theatre, opera and ballet, Michael Whitfield is one of Canada’s most versatile and experienced lighting designers. For over 25 years he was Resident Lighting Designer at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival where he created the lighting for over 100 productions on the Festival stages. During his years at Stratford he also participated as a consultant on major upgrades to the lighting rigs at both the Festival and Avon theatres. Concurrently with his work at the Festival, Michael also designed for the Shaw Festival and for many of Canada’s regional theatres, particularly the Grand Theatre, London and the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre.

Miles Muir, City of Vancouver, TD
In the early 1980’s, Miles attended Malaspina College’s tech theatre diploma program with the intention of carrying on to the University of Victoria for a degree in theatre - but, a year later he was hired by the college full time as the Technical Director of the theatre and was able to work on a large two fully professional summer theatre festivals called “Shakespeare +” in Nanaimo, then moved down to Victoria and was able to work at the McPherson Playhouse and Royal Theatres, went on to become the Production Manager at the Belfry Theatre in Victoria, moved to Vancouver to work on Expo 86 as the Technical Director of one of the theatres in the Canada Pavilion, toured with the Vancouver Chamber Choir, and, as a member of IATSE locals 118 / 168, worked as a stage hand in all the major Vancouver venues. He has toured internationally with various large Broadway musicals such as “Phantom of the Opera” and “Showboat”. Miles has been the Technical Director of the three Civic Theatres (Queen Elizabeth Theatre, The Orpheum, and the Vancouver Playhouse), employed by the City of Vancouver for the last 22 years.

Morgan Myler, IATSE 58, stagehand
Education Coordinator and Vice President of I.A.T.S.E. Local 58 A graduate of Sheridan College, Morgan has worked for about 30 years in live events as well as movies and television. He is an educator and continues to work incorporating his knowledge and skills into shows across North America. Morgan is a political and safety advocate for the entertainment industry and continues to help people make a long career in a difficult industry.


In order to attend this event, you must register for Rendez-vous 2021. All details here.