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What's New > Rewarding Canada’s finest at Rendez-vous 2017 in Saint John, New Brunswick

Rewarding Canada’s finest at Rendez-vous 2017 in Saint John, New Brunswick

posted on 9:17 AM, August 23, 2017
Press Release
August 24, 2017

In recognition of the traditional inhabitants of the territory on which we held our event, CITT/ICTS wishes to acknowledge that the land on which we gathered is the traditional unceded territory of the Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) and Mi’kmaq peoples. This territory is covered by the “Treaties of Peace and Friendship” which Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) and Mi’kmaq peoples first signed with the British Crown in 1725. The treaties did not deal with surrender of lands and resources but in fact recognized Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) title and established the rules for what was to be an ongoing relationship between nations. The opening and closing ceremonies were performed by Maggie Paul, a Passamaquoddy elder who uses songs as part of an ancient healing tradition.

Elder Maggie Paul closing ceremony of the CITT/ICTS 27th Annual Conference.
At the 27th CITT/ICTS Rendez-vous, over 80 delegates gathered for cocktails and dinner at Delta Saint John Trinity Royal ballroom on Saturday August 12th to honour our peers at the annual CITT/ICTS Awards Banquet. Created in 1998, the CITT/ICTS 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/ICTS awards is driven directly by the membership with the final selection made by the Awards Committee. The six CITT/ICTS awards are as follows:

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 2017 award was presented to Douglas J. Rathbun.
Douglas J. Rathbun is the former Chair of the Department of Theatre, Speech and Music Performance and an Associate Professor of Theatre at Mount Royal University (MRU) teaching theatre design and technology. He was also Chair of the Department and Executive Producer of Shakespeare in the Park at MRU from 1995-2005. He has taught at the post-secondary level for over 30 years. He retired from MRU in 2014.
Dieter Penzhorn Memorial Award: Douglas J. Rathbun

Doug was the second President of the CITT, holding office from 1994 to 1997. During those years, Doug was the glue that held the organization together. At that time, the financial situation of the Institute was perilous on a day-to-day basis. The National Office was run out of donated space at the University of Calgary by a part-time employee who worked three mornings per week. All other business was taken care of by Doug in his capacity as President. Furthermore, it was a job he hadn’t asked for. Doug was chosen to be president by an act of chance, or perhaps providence. At the final, AGM presided over by founding President Ken Hewitt who was departing after serving four years, a new President had not been identified. To solve the crisis, a sticky note was attached to the underside of a chair with the idea that whoever sat in the chair would be named the new President and take office as Ken's successor. The occupant of the chair was Douglas J. Rathbun, who at that time was on the faculty of the Theatre Dept. at Mount Royal College in Calgary. Despite the unusual selection process, Doug took on the job and kept CITT together for the three years he was at the helm, using both personal and the institutional resources of Mount Royal to do so. Prior to moving to Calgary, Doug had taught at Niagara College and during those years, he was active in the Algonquin Section of USITT and later the Ontario Section of CITT.

The Education Achievement Award is awarded to an individual, in recognition of longstanding career achievement as an educator. This individual is engaged in the teaching of a technical or related discipline, while preparing students for work within the Canadian live performance industry. The 2017 award was presented to Allan Stichbury. 

Education Achievement Award: Allan Stichbury

After 28 years as the Department of Theatre’s set and lighting design professor, Allan Stichbury retired in Spring 2016. Since coming to University of Victoria in 1988, he has demonstrated his commitment to engaging and mentoring a new generation of theatre artists with enthusiasm and excitement. He has submitted many of UVic students’ work to be exhibited in the student section of the prestigious Prague Quadrennial in the Czech Republic and also encouraged them to attend the event in person. Allan’s designs have regularly been featured in the Quadrennial professional exhibitions.

For our stages, his designs have not only been beautiful and elegant, but they balanced his high standards and artistic vision with the necessary practicalities of a university environment. His influence on campus extends beyond our department, previously serving as the Associate Dean for the Faculty of Fine Arts, and the Chair of the Department of Visual Arts. Recently, Allan spearheaded our new student exchange program with the University of Bangkok, in Thailand. Allan is a past president of ADC and a past Commissioner of Canada’s entry into the PQ. 

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 2017 award was presented to Patrick Clark.
In such high demand, he works with the most illustrious companies all over Canada, the United States, and Europe; but this world class designer still takes on theatre work at home where he got his start at Theatre New Brunswick, because that is where his heart lies. He is currently their long-time Resident Designer, while often working on several other projects at the same time. Theatre New Brunswick funds a yearly full-time scholarship in his name for students in design, stage management or technical production. Additionally, through his work at the Stratford Festival, Patrick has mentored numerous emerging designers whom he has championed and introduced to theatres across the country. He has made a difference to our industry. Patrick truly gives back to his home and recognizes the importance of giving the next generation a hand up. Patrick is a dedicated teacher and mentor, passing on his knowledge and experience. “As I keep saying to students, once upon a time no one went to school to study how to work in the theatre. You learned by doing, through apprenticeship.” He’s a passionate believer in the power and obligations of mentorship: “I have to hand out this information, it’s like the oral tradition.
Ron Epp Memorial Award: Patrick Clark

The Honorary Membership Award is awarded to an individual or organisation not actively involved in the technical disciplines of the Canadian live performance industry, but who by virtue of their 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 themselves to be a longstanding friend of the Institute. The 2017 award was presented to the Atlantic Presenters Association (APA).
The APA shares many of the goals of CITT/ICTS, including the professional development of its members. They are a leader in the presentation and promotion of the performing Arts in the Atlantic Region. Similar to Rendez-vous, their Contact East event brings together industry professionals in workshops, roundtable discussions and showcases. The APA works very hard to empower communities in Atlantic Canada to have their own voice and rich cultural life. They are an extremely collaborative organization, working with national dance networks, CAPACOA and Canada’s Regional Presenting Networks, including Ontario Presents, with whom they partner to deliver the webinar series For Arts Presenting. The APA has also collaborated closely with CITT/ICTS, being particularly helpful with the promotion of Rendez-vous held in Saint John NB this year.
Honorary Membership Award: Interim President Elizabeth Wilkie (left) with Angela Campbell, President of APA (right)

Corporate (Supplier) Award: Interim President Elizabeth Wilkie (left) with Andrew Beck of A.C.T. Lighting (right)
The Supplier (Corporate) Achievement Award is awarded to an individual, or a corporate entity, which has shown sustained commitment to providing excellent service and/or product(s) to the Canadian cultural industries community. The 2017 award was presented to A.C.T. Lighting.
Over the years, A.C.T. Lighting has been a staunch supporter of CITT/ICTS and its events, including Rendez-vous and Expo-Scène. They exhibit without fail, sponsor numerous events as well as the Student Volunteer Program and always host educational sessions. Andrew Beck, the General Manager in Toronto, and Alex Monast, Technical Sales, are always very fast to respond to all of the needs of the National Office with regards to their participation at CITT/ICTS events and it is a pleasure to collaborate with them. A.C.T Lighting is also very supportive of the CITT Ontario Section and its events and Andrew has recently joined their Board of Directors as the Corporate Representative.

The Award of 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 2017 award was presented to Flip the Switch for Le Voyage.

When we consider what could constitute technical merit, we might consider the grandiose and the spectacular. However, in this case, members nominated a project that is micro; its audience is two people with headsets in a vast sea of black with a small ship as the set. The performers are virtual and projected in various shapes onto the ship. This little ship is rigged with LEDs and helps to set the stage for the various voyages of the three couples in the story.
Le Voyage is about leaving and arriving; new frontiers and the timelessness of human connection. The production makes use of high and low technologies. The projection mapping is precise; the soundscape is exquisitely executed. Most importantly, however, the whole concept of how all of the Arduino, manually-operated dousing, LED sequences, sound effects, evocative video recording with defined framing, and storytelling come together is not only original but emotionally stirring. Theatre that strikes at the heart is what we all want in our business and this micro-theatre piece throws a very precise arrow. 
Technical Merit Award: Interim President Elizabeth Wilkie (left) with Jordan Lloyd Watkins (centre) and Corwin Ferguson (right) of Flip the Switch

This production is a very special experience: it is a 15-minutes story installation for 2 people at a time. The fact that the core inspiration comes from an old ship model (ship being a huge reference for stage technology) is telling and provides a unique backdrop for the video mapping story of new beginnings in unknown territories and the interconnection of humans in time and space. Flip the Switch has created something unique and internationally recognized and we are pleased to reward this company’s desire to present compelling stories with technical rigour. 

The CITT/ICTS Lifetime Achievement Award is specially awarded from time to time by the CITT/ICTS Board to a member for their outstanding contribution to the community, the organisation. This year, the CITT/ICTS board awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award to Al Cushing. 

Lifetime Achievement Award: Al Cushing
  A member of CITT/ICTS for the past 27 years, Al lives amidst the beauty of the Yukon Territory where he recently retired as CEO of the Yukon Arts Centre. Al has worked more than thirty-five years working in virtually all areas of Canadian theatre, including: scene design, stage management, sound & lighting & stage technician (Ottawa and Vancouver), technical director (National Arts Centre), production manager (Manitoba Theatre Centre), company manager (JV Theatre Productions Calgary), and VP Operations at the Epcor Centre, Calgary, Alberta. Nationally, he chaired the Magnetic North Theatre Festival and was for many years a CITT/ICTS board member, Treasurer and Secretary as well as a board member of the Cultural Human Resource Council, and an Executive Committee member of OISTAT, the Organisation Internationale des Scénographes, Techniciens et Architectes de Théâtre.

For more information about the CITT/ICTS awards and the list of prior recipients, please visit our website: citt.org/citt_awards.html The deadline to submit nominations for the 2018 Annual CITT/ICTS Awards is March 31th, 2018.
Source: Monique Corbeil  514 504-9998
Photos 1,5,6,7,8: Victor Svenningson
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