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June 2004
News & Notices
News From:
Conference & Stage Expo
For the Record
Normand Bouchard Honored With USITT Founder’s Award

Richard Durst
USITT Past President

The Joel E. Rubin Founder’s Award is given each year to recognize outstanding and continued service to USITT. I am honored to have been asked to make this 2004 presentation to one of the Institute’s most tireless workers and insightful, dedicated leaders.

According to the USITT office, he joined the organization in 1989 and stepped immediately into a leadership position with the Calgary conference and has simply has never stopped. I’d like you to welcome Normand Bouchard to the stage please.

Norm has never been content to be just a “member” of USITT. He first brought his talent and organizational skills to the office of Vice President for Relations and was a great communicator between the Executive Committee, the Regional Sections, and the organization as a whole. He also served as both official and unofficial liaison to our sister organization, the Canadian Institute for Theatre Technology.

Norm helped develop two new positions of responsibility: VP for Special Operations and the Institute’s first webmaster, before most people even knew what a webmaster was or did. We knew we needed someone to oversee the development and management of the website, as it would become increasingly important to our function and operation.

Norm volunteered to go back to school to a training institute to polish his skills in web development as he assumed this role. The results have been phenomenal. We are one of the first non-profit organizations to use this tool for online registration, and we’ve won awards for the development and aesthetic of the website, both as a result of Norm’s expertise.

Perhaps his finest contribution remains the development of the current structure, set-up protocols, and operational details of the various special exhibitions on the Stage Expo floor. All were initially planned and executed by Norm Bouchard, as he created the position and responsibilities for this new Special Operations officer of the Institute.

This alone was an enormous service, to bring order to chaos, one of his truly remarkable skills and a recurring theme of his volunteer efforts for USITT.

He stepped down from the Vice-Presidency in 2002 to allow others to develop as leaders for the Institute. Since then, he has remained active serving on the Publications Committee and the World Stage Design 2005 Committee. He still assists with the website and does all of the Stage Expo web updates.

I was fortunate to serve as USITT’s President while Norm was a member of the Board and Executive Committee, and was the beneficiary of his dedication. He avoids the limelight, preferring to work in a very quiet, efficient way. I’m sure he’d rather be anywhere but standing here with me at this moment, but let me tell you, he is the most tenacious person I know where ethical judgment is involved. He is uniquely able to cut through rhetoric to get at the heart of an issue and find a clear, concise solution. We are all fortunate that he was just re-elected to the Board of Directors.

He never says “no” to requests for help. One current example is, when Bill Teague was unable to come to Long Beach, you can certainly imagine who the Executive Committee asked to step back into the Special Operations role for this conference. He, of course, said yes, even though it meant giving up a golf date with me.

In 2003, he was elected as a Fellow of USITT, our highest recognition of service to the profession and the organization. In his life outside the Institute, he serves as Theatre Manager, Theatre Services Department for the University of Calgary, where he’s been integral to its operations for 23 years.

USITT is most honored to present the 2004 Founder’s Award to Normand Bouchard.

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Richard Durst, right, presents the prestigious Founder’s Award to Normand Bouchard at the Keynote and Kickoff of the 2004 Annual Conference in Long Beach.

Photo/Tom Thatcher