21 March 2018 0 Comments Posted By : Patrick Johnston

Norman Armour, head of Vancouver's popular PuSh festival, stepping down

Norman Armour is stepping down as artistic and executive director of the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival.

He helped found the popular Vancouver cultural festival in 2003 and has been the festival’s leader ever since. He will leave the post officially on April 27.

“In the early beginnings of PuSh, co-founder Katrina Dunn and I wanted to effect change with  the creation of a vibrant festival for the contemporary performing arts. We envisioned Vancouver artists forging new relationships and new business opportunities with the rest of Canada and  beyond; and saw the potential benefits of a dynamic interplay between seemingly disparate disciplines, between arts patrons, and between the city’s venues and creative communities,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.

“I am immensely proud of the countless successes, rewarding partnerships and groundbreaking milestones the organization has afforded me, and I look forward — with great anticipation — to where new leadership will take PuSh in 2019 and beyond.”

Next January’s program is already in place, making the 15th edition of the festival Amour’s final instalment.

Armour is set to remain in Vancouver but will take on a consulting role with the Australian Council for the Arts, beginning in May. He will will lead the development and implementation of the Australian Council’s international strategy in North America.

“Norman has been an outstanding Artistic and Executive Director, who has led with unwavering devotion, commitment and bold creativity; forever changing the face of Vancouver’s arts scene,” says Mira Oreck, President of PuSh Festival’s board of directors. “Norman is leaving the organization in the strongest place it has ever been, positioning us extremely well as we plan for the next exciting stage of PuSh.”

The festival added in a media release: “During his tenure, Armour brought his zeal to connect audiences to artists, to connect the local to the global, and to be a leader in providing a much-needed platform for contemporary performance. Under Armour’s stewardship, the PuSh Festival evolved from a modest start-up to become not only an indispensable part of Vancouver’s cultural calendar but an entity synonymous with creative risk and innovation, collaboration and partnerships, cultural relevance and leading best practices.”

Roxanne Duncan and Joyce Rosario will lead the festival on an interim basis while the board conducts a search for a permanent head.

A celebration is in the works to honour Armour’s tenure at the PuSh Festival will be announced in the coming weeks.

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