Harry Jennings, President
Harry Jennings has been involved in arts and culture in Williams Lake for several years as Town Crier, Quintet Plus choir member, Studio Theatre actor and executive, Community Band tuba player, Community Arts Council of Williams Lake President, Treasurer and Director, Elvis tribute artist, Performances in the Park MC, and audience member/supporter at untold events. He was one of several directors at the initiation of the CCACS in 2010.
He started making Williams Lake his home in 1996 after stops in Chatham, Ontario (birthplace); High Prairie, Alberta; Fort Frances, Ontario; and Kenora, Ontario; intending to stay here a few years and he’s still here, loving it. Lately, since mostly retiring, he’s also taken on the role of Big Brother, and singer to the Seniors, regularly entertaining at Senior’s Village, Cariboo Place and Deni House.
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.
Thomas, a settler Canadian hailing from Williams Lake, on the traditional and unceded territory of the Secwépemc. As the CEO of First Journey Consulting, a trail planning and construction company, Thomas is passionate about crafting extraordinary experiences for outdoor enthusiasts.
In addition to his professional endeavors, Thomas is the President of the Cariboo Mountain Bike Consortium, where he channels his passion for biking and community development. He is also a co-founder of the Indigenous Youth Mountain Bike Program, an initiative close to his heart that empowers the next generation of Indigenous youth through outdoor recreation.
As a director for the Cariboo Arts and Culture Society and CC CARES, Thomas is dedicated to giving back to his community. When he’s not making a difference, you’ll find him soaring through the air with his paraglider, taking in the breathtaking vistas of the Cariboo.
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 pursuing her accounting designation with CPA Western School of Business.
Fawn is passionate about supporting arts and culture in the Cariboo. She regularly volunteers her time with various events and organizations around the City and is enthusiastic in her support of our community’s exposure and opportunities to arts and culture. In her spare time, Fawn enjoys photography, painting and music.
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 Williams Lake Optometry 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.
Matt Granlund, Director
Matt Granlund was invited to audition for a Williams Lake Studio Theatre production within weeks of moving to Williams Lake, and he’s been an active participant in the club ever since. He is a dedicated songwriter and musician and performs locally as a solo artist and with his band 10 Day Notice. Matt has been delighted to transition from his work in Poverty law into management of the long-running music store The Guitar Seller, where his passion for community service continues to be expressed.
Stacey Poirier, Director
Stacey was born and raised in Williams Lake and is proud to call this beautiful city home. Her one true love is found in the local theatre company; Williams Lake Studio Theatre Society and she has been a stage goonie for 32 years after performing for the first time at age 6. Nourishing the arts of every shape and form is pivotal in creating a thriving community so when she was nominated for a Board position with CCACS, Stacey accepted immediately. Learning the inner machinations of this Society has given her a better understanding and appreciation for the immense Arts and Culture community that exists in Williams Lake.
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. She has enjoyed many of the arts and culture offerings in our community including ballet, membership in with the Cariboo Potters’ Guild and a previous Board member of the Station House Gallery.
Kelsey Smith, Arts Centre Administrator
Hailing from Vancouver Island, Kelsey has lived in BC, Alberta, and the Northwest Territories, though she has been calling Williams Lake home for the past three years. Kelsey has bachelors degrees in Music and Education from the University of British Columbia and enjoys playing flute and guitar at home and church. She likes to dabble in gardening, foraging, and long-distance hiking–with hopes of completing the Sunshine Coast Trail in the next three years. Kelsey is a lover of (most) animals and has two rabbits, two cats, a dog and usually a gaggle of SPCA foster kittens. She is very excited to join the CCACS family.
Emily Clearwater, Arts Centre Administrator, on leave
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!