Geoff Le Boutillier
Geoff's family, the Boutiliers, moved to St. Margaret's Bay, Nova Scotia in 1780 and settled right where Geoff lives now, French Village Harbour. His father added the "Le" and the extra "l" thinking he was changing the name back to its original form. He died never knowing he was wrong - it's always been Boutilier, and now Geoff and his son Jonathan, and Jonathan's kids - they all have the extra letters, but they're all just Boutiliers plain and simple.
The old house burned down in '86, but Geoff re-built and still lives on the same spot where he used to cut hay with a horse and help pull tuna from the Bay.
Back in the '60s Geoff became passionate about the power of theatre and film to produce change. He helped found the Chester Summer Theatre, a troupe which eventually evolved into Canada’s seminal theatre company, the NDWT, giving voice to new Canadian drama and establishing the famous Bathurst Street Theatre in Toronto which still runs to this day, a cradle for new Canadian work.
After a formative decade in live theatre, he sought wider audiences and moved to film and TV. He moved to booming Alberta in 1978 and wrote, produced and directed for 20 years. He co-founded one of Canada's oldest film coops, FAVA (Film and Video Artists of Alberta), helped start the Writers Guild of Canada when it was still under ACTRA, and was a founding member and original board members of the CFTPA, now shortened to the Canadian Media Association. In later years he worked as an industry consultant working for governments, unions and guilds, and industry NGOs helping develop ways to build capacity and make Canada competitive on the world stage. He helped win a broadcast license for the Canadian Pay-TV net, Super Channel, and helped build their Creative Development unit.
A prominent East Coast environmental activist and community builder, through the St. Margaret's Bay Stewardship Association, which he founded, and many other NGOs, coalitions, through the HRM government, and in particular through the Nova Scotia New Democratic Party, he works hard to raise awareness about environmental issues, seek solutions, and improve the quality of life of the towns and villages along Nova Scotia's South Shore where his ancestors have lived and worked and played for over 250 years.
The key to his passion is and has always been his commitment to the South Shore of Nova Scotia where his family moved in 1750. Erroneously thinking he was changing it back to its original form, Geoff's father added the "Le" to the family name. But Geoff is and alwas has been a South Shore Boutilier, deeply in love with this place and working hard to help its communities realize their potential.
Since the Kennedy campaign at the age of thirteen, through the integration movement in the early 1960’s, to organizing against the Vietnam War, Geoff has always been a political catalyst and activist. In whatever field he has put his hand to, he has always been an active and vocal force for change.