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What's New > CITT announces 2014 award winners!

CITT announces 2014 award winners!

posted on 3:32 PM, August 26, 2014
CITT President Michael Harris emceeing the awards banquet

The Canadian Institute for Theatre Technology recognized four individuals and two corporations with the Annual CITT Awards presented at the awards banquet held on Saturday August 16, during CITT’s  Rendez-vous 2014 24thAnnual Conference and Trade Show in Ottawa, Ontario. These awards are designed to honour individuals and companies from a wide spectrum of the Canadian live performance community. The nomination of candidates for the CITT awards is driven directly by the membership with the final selection made by the Award Committee composed of the CITT Section Representatives, the Vice-President and either the Past President or President-Elect. The awards are handed out annually at the award banquet held during the CITT annual Rendez-vous.

CITT President Michael Harris, left, with Norberts J. Muncs

The Dieter Penzhorn Memorial Award is awarded to an Individual who has provided significant and sustained service to the Canadian Institute for Theatre Technology/Institut canadien des technologies scénographiques, while playing an active role in the development of the greater Canadian cultural community. The 2014 award was presented to Norberts J. Muncs

Over the years, Norberts has served on both the CITT National Board and the CQICTS Section Board in various capacities, most recently as President of CITT/ICTS for an extended term. Not only was Norberts a founding member of the CQICTS in 2003 but also over the past 10 years, Norberts has been a section representative, chair, and director at large. He contributed to the inception of Rendez-vous technique in 2005, and will hold the illustrious position of Past President of CITT. Outside of the responsibilities of CITT, Norberts’ career has covered the fields of Technical Direction, Facility Management, Production Management, Education, and he was mentor to many professionals working in the live performance industry. Norberts’ passion for what makes CITT such a great organization is drawn from his ability to not only lead, but to show the interdependence of the board team and instill a sense of value as he led CITT/ICTS to a higher level of recognition in the Canadian live performance community.

2014_Ottawa-Nick.jpg           Martin Saintonge, left and Gerry van Hezewyk far right with Nick's children Katia and Marc receiving the award on behalf Nicholas 
The Ron Epp Memorial Award for Professional Achievement is awarded to an individual, in recognition of longstanding career achievement in a technical or related discipline within the Canadian live performance industry. The 2014 award was presented to Nicholas Cernovitch. 
Nick’s name is synonymous with professional dance in Canada due to the profound impact he has made in lighting design over several decades. As his biography demonstrates, Nick was in many ways a pioneer of modern dance lighting design during his career in New York City in the 1950’s and 60’s. His immigration to Canada in the early 1970’s resulted in a manifestation for dance and theatre companies across the country in terms of their lighting design prowess. A protégé of the late Jean Rosenthal, Nick went on to mentor several of our most prolific lighting designers, as well as greatly influencing an entire generation of fellow artists and technicians due to his unrelenting quest for excellence within his area of specialization He has gained the infamous reputation of placing equally high expectations on his fellow collaborators.
CITT President Michael Harris, left, with Scott Spidell
The Education Achievement Award is awarded to an individual, in recognition of longstanding career achievement as an educator, and engaged in the teaching of a technical or related discipline, while preparing students for work within the Canadian live performance industry.
The 2014 award was presented to Scott Spidell. Scott has been teaching for more than 18 years, consistently leading students in learning about lighting design theory and practice, carpentry, sound, production management, as well as technical production more generally. His direct approach, his relaxed, accessible, and informed teaching style, and his enormous good humor, have all contributed to a remarkable impact on his students over the years.
CITT President Michael Harris, left, with Maria  Siciliano from Ontario Staging Ltd.
The Supplier (Corporate) Achievement Award is awarded to an individual, or a corporate entity, which has shown sustained commitment to providing excellent service or product(s) or both to the Canadian cultural industries community. The 2014 award was presented to Ontario Staging Ltd. 
Starting out as a small, one-man installation company by Tony Pshysentzou, Ontario Staging Limited (OSL) has become a leading figure in the live entertainment industry. OSL has been manufacturing stage drapes for 25 years, supplying studios, theatres, schools, churches, productions and special events across Canada. OSL also provides the professional installation of rigging and staging equipment to ensure a safe and complete system, whether it's permanent upgrade or a short-term rental. OSL is more than just a business: family roots and values hold strong in the company. OSL and its dedicated staff have been avid supporters of CITT for many years. They’ve donated supplies at CITT’s annual trade show, sponsored CITT events numerous times as well as supported the Student Volunteer Program. They truly care about our organization, its members and the industry.
Bill Zeilstra accepting the award with Michael Harris, left, and Joe Henning at right.
The Technical Merit is awarded to a production company or theatre, or a combination thereof, for outstanding achievement in the use of theatre technology on a specific project or production. The 2014 award was exceptionally presented to Bill Zeilstra. 
Bill Zeilstra is the Coordinator of Technical Operations for the Milton Centre for the Arts, Milton Ontario. In addition to coordinating 'all things technical', Bill has created revolutionary technology that is changing the experience of live entertainment for the deaf, deafened and hard of hearing communities. Bill conceived and designed StageFly - a groundbreaking application for IPhone, Ipad and IPod Touch for live streaming application allowing the broadcast of ASL interpretation - and then worked with Sebastian Dwornik of Applied PDA (a mobile software developer) to create the app. StageFly offers patrons ASL broadcast allowing hard of hearing patrons to be seated anywhere within the venue... truly embracing 'accessibility' when experiencing any live performance. In creating StageFly, Bill has taken cutting edge technology designed for a different industry and adapted it for use in the live performance industry. This is the true hallmark of how our industry solves our challenges. The app is free to download.
Rebecca Russell accepting the award on behalf of The Actors' Fund of Canada 
The Honorary Membership is awarded to an individual or organization not actively involved in the technical disciplines of the Canadian live performance industry, but who by virtue of its position, has contributed significantly to the development of technical disciplines within Canada. This contribution can be seen through the recipient's decision-making, influence, and philosophy within the community or by showing itself to be a longstanding friend of the Institute. The 2014 award was presented to The Actors’ Fund of Canada. 
The Actors’ Fund is the lifeline for Canada’s entertainment industry. Over 10,000 professional members of the industry from all over Canada, in the fields of film & TV, theatre, music and dance, have been helped by the Fund, which provides emergency financial aid to assist cultural workers in recovering from an illness, injury or other circumstances causing severe economic and personal hardship. The Actors’ Fund is a registered charity that has paid out over $4.5 million in rent payments, grocery money, utility payments and other basic living expenses in the last 10 years. Performers, creators, technical staff and other production team members can benefit from the Fund, which receives no government funding and is wholly sustained by support from individuals and entertainment industry organizations. The Actor’s Fund of Canada also works closely with Behind the Scenes to ensure that no technical worker is left in the dark during a time of need.

For more information about the CITT awards and the list of prior recipients, please visit our website:citt.org/citt_awards.html

Deadline to submit nominations for the 2015 Annual CITT Awards is March 30th 2015.

Source and for photos, please contact Monique Corbeil, CITT National Coordinator at 613 482-1165 or info@citt.org

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