Jane Perry, President
Jane Perry went west from Ontario to ski as a teenager and has considered herself a western Canadian since. She studied forestry at the University of Alberta, and as a summer exchange student in Finland she learned to weave on a pirta backstrap loom. Back in Edmonton, she took an after-hours weaving course during her final year of studies. After graduation, she worked as a professional forester in the Cariboo for over thirty years while enjoying weaving as a hobby. She recently switched priorities and became a full-time weaver through her business, Cariboo Handwoven.
Jane has immersed herself in local arts and culture for 35 years. She is a member of the Williams Lake Spinners and Weavers Guild, past-president and treasurer of the Cariboo Festival, and an occasional cellist playing Baroque chamber music with her musical friends.
Harry Jennings, Past President
Harry Jennings has been involved in arts and culture in Williams Lake for several years as Town Crier, Quintet Plus member, Studio Theatre actor and executive, Community Band tuba player, Community Arts Council President and Treasurer, Elvis tribute artist, Performance In The Park MC and audience member at untold events.
Christie Mayall, Vice President
Christie Mayall is a retired biology teacher. Since coming to Williams Lake twenty years ago, she has been involved in the Studio Theatre and the Medieval Market and is a big fan of the local music scene. Christie is vice president of the Williams Lake Field Naturalists, co-chair of the Williams Lake Community Council for Restorative Justice and promotions coordinator for Williams Lake Elder College. She also served for several years on the Board of the Williams Lake Hospice Society and was an active hospice volunteer.
Thomas Schoen, Treasurer
Thomas Schoen, a native of Germany, immigrated to BC in 1993 where he established the award winning Xats’ull Heritage Village as one of BC’s premier First Nations Tourism sites. He restored and successfully operated two businesses in Barkerville Historic Town: The St. George Hotel and McMahon’s Confectionery. He held contracts with HRDC to plan and facilitate long-term training programs for the Aboriginal community, formed partnerships and consulted with BC’s First Nations’ groups for the past 17 years. Tom has been involved in the Arts & Culture Sector studies and strategies for the Cariboo Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition and is currently the Executive Director for the Central Interior Regional Arts Council. Thomas serves as a director on the following boards: The Williams Lake Cycling Association and the Cariboo Mountain Bike Consortium. Previous board positions include: Island Mountain Arts, The Barkerville Advisory Committee, The Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association, The Wells & District CoC, the Barkerville Merchants Society and the Wells & Area Trails Society.
Lisa Bland, Director
Lisa has lived in wild, beautiful places as long as she can remember. The tidal pools, coastal rainforests, and friendly rural communities of Northwest British Columbia shaped her sense of place, passion, and commitment to caring for the world. Lisa has been involved in writing and publishing for the last 18 years. She has volunteered with numerous conservation groups and has worked in field research doing forestry, fisheries, bird, and plant studies. She holds certificates in Professional Publication Writing and Magazine Publishing and has lived in the Cariboo Region on and off for the past 20 years. Lisa attempts to juggle her passion for writing, photography, and activism with time spent outside exploring wild places. Nature is by far her favourite and most inspiring teacher.
Bettina Johnson, Director
Bettina is closely tied to the community of Esk’etemc (First Nation), where she manages Employment Assistance/Economic Development for the band. She is a big believer in promoting artistic giftings, while honouring cultural heritage & perspectives.
She is a native of Switzerland, with childhood/formative years shared between her home country and the Cariboo. After completing a Diploma in Business (in areas including marketing, accounting, and communications) within a 3-year apprenticeship in Switzerland, she returned to the Cariboo area, and as of 2015, to her husband Robert’s home community of Esk’et. Together with Robert, she has created artistic tiny homes and a Bed & Breakfast business, named “Esk’et Tiny House”. Bettina is an entrepreneur at heart – she loves business, the arts, and helping to grow sustainable, thriving communities.
Rick Magnell, Director
Rick Magnell who has been living in the Cariboo region for over 33 years is a full-time senior technician for the British Columbia Lottery Corporation. In his off time he operates his photography (Magnell Photography) & videography (Pine Valley Films) business working on creative projects. He is also learning film and developing techniques through The Analog Light Project.
Miriam Schilling, Director
Miriam first came to the Cariboo Chilcotin in 2000 and spent many summers working, studying and travelling in this amazing region. She grew up in Germany and, after completing her university degree in leisure and tourism in 2007, she moved to Williams Lake. Through her position with the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association she got to know many of the region’s tourism operators and industry partners. Since 2010 Miriam has been working for the Soda Creek Indian Band north of Williams Lake, managing and promoting Xats’ull Heritage Village, the community’s tourism business. When not behind her desk, Miriam still finds time to ride horses and explore the trails and mountain ranges of the beautiful Cariboo Chilcotin.
Leah Selk, Executive Director
Leah grew up in Williams Lake and has been involved with the arts community from an early age. Shortly after graduating from Columneetza Secondary, she moved to Victoria to complete the Diploma program in Visual Arts at Camosun College, garnering a taste of a great variety of mediums. Originally having an interest in drawing, painting, and print media, she found her niche in film photography and moved to Montreal to complete a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a Major in Photography. While attending studies in Montreal, she also worked as a technician for the University’s Photography Department, curated for the Art Matters 2008 festival, and completed two professional internships as a teacher’s assistant for Digital Photography. Leah returned to Williams Lake in 2008 to take on the position of Gallery Exhibition Coordinator for the Station House Gallery until becoming Coordinator for the CCACS in late March 2011, and now Executive Director.
Brandon Hoffman, Arts Centre Administrator
Brandon grew up and received his high school education in Williams Lake. He holds an Independent Music Producer Diploma from the Stylus College of Music and Sound Technology and a BA in Communications from Simon Fraser University. He has worked as a solo recording artist, a college instructor and a multi-instrumentalist working both live and in studio in such events as the Vancouver International Jazz Festival and festivals in Campbell Bay, Osoyoos, Nelson and Victoria. Since 2008 he has had his own independent production company, Gnomegrown Music.
Brandon is available for Arts Centre bookings and inquiries on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10am to 2pm, and Thursdays from 1pm to 5pm.