Dave (Boots) Boutilier

Dave (Boots) Boutilier

42 Years Old

Class of 2022

Dave Boutilier is a strong community leader both as a volunteer board member and as an active participant in various service agencies.

His expertise in board governance and strategic planning has helped build stability and sustainability for the Arts Council Wood Buffalo. Dave also volunteers as a mentor for many board/business and community members in our region, and is the owner of Cocktail by Boots. He recently chatted with YMM about the advice he’s received, his hero, and more.

YMM: What is the best advice that you ever received?

DB: I was working at a university bar in 2007 back in Cape Breton, and The Tragically Hip was playing for Frosh Week. I was in a bit of a personal and professional funk, and a friend here in Fort McMurray was trying, unsuccessfully, to get me to move “Out West.” The Hip had just gotten back from doing a show here that… didn’t end too well… and we were talking about that over beers after their show. I mentioned my friend’s offer, expecting them to agree it was a bad idea based on their experience. That’s when Gord Downie said something to me that changed my life forever. “Where is your next Great Canadian Adventure?” I booked my plane ticket the next day and moved here two weeks later. The story is cute and all, but the advice was really this. – Never stop dreaming. And I haven’t.

YMM: What is the worst advice that you ever received?

DB: Bad advice, like a bad boss, can become some of the best learning opportunities if you know how to spot them and do the opposite. I once had a horrible boss who told me to stop being so inquisitive and stay in my lane. I’m glad I ignored that one.

YMM: How would friends and acquaintances describe you?

DB: I’d like to think that they consider me reliable and someone they can count on if needed.

YMM: Who is your hero, and why?

DB: My Wife, Orla. She is by far my biggest fan, harshest critic, and number one supporter. She calls it like it is without sugar-coating it. I know what she says is honest, and all feedback is meant constructively. Around her, I do not need to be a performer, I can be me, and she loves me as I am. Without her, I wouldn’t be who I am today.

YMM: How should success be measured?

DB: Unlike drinks, success should not be measured to a set standard. Some days your cup is full of champagne, and some days it’s draft beer. Both can be delicious.

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