Board of Directors
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.
Graham Kelsey is Professor Emeritus of Educational Studies at the University of British Columbia. In 1998 he retired from teaching and moved to Big Lake where he and his wife manage their 80-acre property. He has had a professional interest for many years in the administration and governance of not-for- profit organizations, especially in education, social services and the arts, and has served on boards nationally, provincially and locally. In 2002 he was appointed to the B.C. Arts Council where he served for six years, for two of which he chaired their Strategic Planning Committee. In addition to his current work with CCACS he is immediate past president of the Central Interior Regional Arts Council. For a number of years as a performer he narrated and directed award-winning museum audiotape guides. In 2012 he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Melissa Newberry grew up in South Africa and attended a High School for Arts, graduating as a Ballet student. She then carried on to study Drama at Rhodes University. In South Africa she danced as a principal dancer in the Moving into Dance Company, and later ran her own Drama School catering primarily to pre-school children. Melissa has lived in Williams Lake since 2001 and has been a passionate supporter of performing arts in our community for the past 10 years teaching Drama and Dance.
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: Island Mountain Arts, The Williams Lake Cycling Association and the Cariboo Mountain Bike Consortium. Previous board positions include: The Barkerville Advisory Committee, The Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association, The Wells & District CoC, the Barkerville Merchants Society and the Wells & Area Trails Society.
Jane Wellburn, born and raised in Williams Lake, has been connected to the local arts community since childhood through her painter mom and potter aunt. A dabbler in the arts herself, often finding creative expression through her sewing machine, Jane appreciates the wealth of artistic talent that the Cariboo has to offer. Jane holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of British Columbia and has recently completed a Masters degree in Anthropology at the University of Victoria. Jane also enjoys weekly mountain bike rides with the Boys and Girls Club’s (where she has worked casually for many years) Sprockids program.
Bio coming soon!
Bio coming soon!
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 Xat??ll 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 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. Leah is currently a member of the Williams Lake Spinners, Weavers and Fibre Artists’ Guild. Her volunteer work includes service for the Potato House Sustainable Community Society.
After graduating with a BFA from Concordia University, Beth Holden moved from Montreal to the Cariboo to work at Island Mountain Arts. The collapse of the BC Festivals of the Arts in 2001 inspired her and a team of four others to start the ArtsWells Festival, and she has continued to work and volunteer in Arts and Culture ever since, while still creating her own art. Trained in painting and drawing, her focus has shifted to glass and its ability to mimic nature’s dynamic relationship with sunlight.