Harry Jennings, 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 of Williams Lake President and Treasurer, Elvis tribute artist, Performances in the Park MC, and audience member at untold events.
Erich Zirnhelt, Treasurer
Despite building a family in Toronto, Erich’s always felt the call of his Cariboo roots, and in 2008 Joanne (Meyrick) and he moved “back” here to raise their children. This started in Horsefly, but the demands of teenager activities led them into Williams Lake in 2014. While in Horsefly, Erich often volunteered with Arts on the Fly, and fell in love with the local arts community.
Erich’s been working in IT for over twenty-five years, in various roles with several enterprise software vendors based out of the US. It’s this foundation of “remote work” that granted him the flexibility to choose to live in the Cariboo.
Fawn Wiebe, Secretary
Fawn Wiebe is finance professional with expertise in non-profit and government. Born in the lower mainland and raised in the Cariboo, Fawn has attended Thompson Rivers University for studies in business and management. She is currently enrolled in the Chartered Professional Accounting program with the Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia, and is pursuing a career as an accountant.
Fawn is passionate about supporting arts and culture in the Cariboo. She serves on one other non-profit board and likes to volunteer her time with various events around the City. Fawn is excited to help grow the community’s exposure to arts and culture. In her spare time, Fawn enjoys photography, painting and music.
Thomas Schoen, Vice-President
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 Human Resources Development Canada to plan and facilitate long-term training programs for the Indigenous community, and has formed partnerships and consulted with BC First Nations’ groups for the past seventeen years.
Tom has been involved in the Arts, Culture and Heritage Strategies for the Cariboo Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition and serves as a director on the Williams Lake Cycling Association and the Cariboo Mountain Bike Consortium boards. Previous board positions include the following: Island Mountain Arts, the Barkerville Advisory Committee, the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association, the Wells & District Chamber of Commerce, the Barkerville Merchants Society and the Wells & Area Trails Society.
Lindsey Brise, Director
Lindsey Brise has been calling Williams Lake home since the fall of 2019. Attracted by the small town vibes and accessible outdoors, she jumped at the opportunity to relocate for work. Lindsey currently works at the local FYidoctors as an optometrist where she enjoys meeting patients and learning more about the area. Having attended optometry school in Memphis Tennessee, Lindsey is a lover of everything live music and is excited to support the local arts. In her spare time you can find her out on the bike trails or cross country skiing at Bull Mountain.
Stacey Poirier, Director
Born and raised in the Cariboo, Stacey has immersed herself in the Arts for the entirety of her existence. Whether wandering a stage, contemplating local art, or just basking in the remarkable scenery we are lucky enough to call home, she is forever prepared for the next experience. We are intensely lucky to have the plethora of diverse talent in our communities and she is always looking for ways to connect the platforms to bring a steady alliance and support network for everyone involved. After all, “Art is too important not to share.” – Romero Britto
Melissa Normandin, Executive Director
Born and raised in the “Land of the Living Skies” in the heart of the prairies, Melissa began participating in and enjoying the arts at a young age, spending time dancing and singing. Arriving in Williams Lake in 2016, she has enjoyed working and volunteering with many groups in the community. Melissa has interests in gardening, novice beekeeping, and duties as a shepherdess. She appreciates the diversity and beauty of the Cariboo Chilcotin and looks forward to exploring the region and experiencing its natural and cultural beauty. Currently, she is a ballet student with Dance in Common in Williams Lake, a member of the Cariboo Potters’ Guild, and appreciates her role as a Board member with the Station House Gallery.
Emily Clearwater, Arts Centre Administrator
Emily hails from New Zealand and moved to Williams Lake in 2017. She is a professional engineer and specialized in geothermal reservoir modelling. However, since moving to Canada she has been pursuing other interests; Emily is president of the Williams Lake Climbing Association, a member of Quintet Plus choir, a member of the Williams Lake Spinners, Weavers and Fibre Artists’ Guild, and is on the Board of Directors of the Community Arts Council of Williams Lake. Alongside her enthusiasm for the local arts and culture scene, she enjoys exploring the outdoors of this wonderful province, as well as learning how to be a Canadian!