Today, En Piste, The National Circus Arts Alliance of Canada, has announced the resignation of Executive Director Christine Bouchard. Bouchard has held the position since 2015, and under her mandate, she has contributed to numerous developments within the organization, such as the reimbursement assistance for training expenses program; the implementation of CNESST protection measures for circus artists; a broad range of group insurance programs; a supportive measure to encourage the further development of circus touring and dissemination; and the securing of 21.8 million dollars in government funding to support the recovery of the circus arts following the pandemic.
In a personal farewell letter sent out to En Piste constituents alongside the announcement, Bouchard said, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the current and past Boards of Directors, my team, and all our collaborators, partners, and governing bodies for the support they have given me. Working with you has been a rich and deeply engaging experience. I would also like to extend special thanks to the presidents of the Board of Directors who have accompanied me throughout these eight years: Samuel Tétreault, Marie-Claude Bouillon, and Tim Roberts. The commitment to the circus community that you have all shown is remarkable. I have full confidence in the Board of Directors and staff who will steer the organization through this transition. I will have fond memories of my time in the circus community and the cultural community at large. I am confident that the resilience of the cultural community remains an incredible strength that sets you apart.”
In the same communication, En Piste also announced the appointment of Nadia Drouin as Interim Executive Director. Drouin has been working with the organization since 2021, first as Project Manager forDestination cirque and then as Director of Services and Community Relations.
A graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada, she worked at the Centre des auteurs dramatiques (CEAD) and Espace GO, and directed her own company, Théâtre Pluriel, with Michel Lapris before discovering the world of Quebecoise contemporary circus arts and street performance.Drouin was also part of the staff of TOHU between 2004 and 2018, where she served as Coordinator of Professional Services and later Head of Circus Arts Programming. While with TOHU, she created the International Market for Contemporary Circus (known by the French acronym MICC) in 2015. In 2018, she held the position of Director of the CINARS Biennial.
Drouin’s extensive expertise in the dissemination of circus arts soon led her to join En Piste, where she built and ranDestination Cirque, a program dedicated to the development of circus dissemination throughout Quebec. “Her knowledge of circus arts, her leadership, and her organizational and communication skills are some of the many assets that will help steer En Piste forward,” stated the organization in its announcement today.
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