About Us

Board of Directors

The Arts Whistler Board of Directors is elected annually at the Annual General Meeting held in late May/early June for a two-year term to a maximum of three terms (six years). Arts Whistler has up to fifteen Directors including up to four appointed positions from stakeholder groups.

Meet the Arts Whistler Board of Directors:


Heather Paul, Chair

Heather is an Information Technology professional, serving as a Systems Analyst and Project Manager at the Resort Municipality of Whistler. Her primary focus at work is the development, design, and delivery of business-driven technical solutions that increase productivity and decrease the burden of reiterating processes. Heather’s past board experience includes three terms as President of the North American Agresso Users Group, including representation of the board on its international parent council. As a community member, Heather is passionate about arts and culture in Whistler, actively participating in, showcasing, and developing Whistler’s local talents. She is a professional emcee, public speaker, writer, performance artist, and theatre director. As the founder of Short Skirt Theatre Company, Heather has been directing sold-out community productions in The Theatre at the Arts Centre since 2002.


Michelle Ratcliffe, Vice Chair

Michelle is a Whistler-based communications and marketing mind and freelance writer. Born and raised on the BC coast and mountains, Michelle cultivates her creativity with outdoor adventures and seeks inspiration from the natural environment. With community as a core value, she works as Marketing and Communications Manager for the Whistler Chamber of Commerce, a member organization driven to elevate Whistler’s business. Michelle pens a bi-weekly business column for the Whistler Question called THE BIG IDEA, showcasing Whistler businesses who are innovating in their sector. Before returning to her hometown of Whistler, she enjoyed over ten years in sales, marketing, events and media relations for some of the finest boutique and luxury hotels in the world including OPUS Hotels, The Dorchester Hotel in London, England and Pinnacle International. She serves on the marketing committee for the Community Foundation of Whistler and enjoys volunteering for local events and festivals. When not writing and championing local small business, Michelle can be found frolicking amongst the mountain bike trails and ski hills on her doorstep, playing hockey on a frozen lake or voraciously reading by a fire, preferably with a warm cup of tea in hand.


David Wilcox, Treasurer

David grew up in the Interior of BC and started skiing in Whistler in 1988. Whistler has always been David’s favourite place in the world and he loves that he gets to pursue his passions of skiing and biking here with his friends and family.  David is the Director of Finance and Business Development at Gibbons Whistler.  Prior to joining Gibbons, David was the Senior Manager of Finance, Treasury and Strategic Development at Whistler Blackcomb and a Manager with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Vancouver where he worked primarily with publicly traded companies and earned his Chartered Professional Accountant designation (CPA, CA).  David also holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree with distinction from UVic. 


Joan Richoz

Joan moved to Whistler in 1974 with her husband Marcel and raised their two children here. Her strong belief in the importance of fine arts in the education of her children led her to become involved in the first Whistler Children’s Art Festival in 1983. She has served on the Board as Secretary, Treasurer, President and is currently Honorary Past Chair. After having started the Whistler Public Library in 1986, she retired after 20 years of service. Over the years Joan has served on the boards of MY Millennium Place, the Association of BC Public Library Directors, ArtsBC, Mature Action Community Society, the Sea to Sky Radio Society and currently coordinates the Sea to Sky Arts Councils Alliance.


Suzanne Johnston

Born in Montreal, Quebec, Suzanne has always had a passion for the arts. She and her husband Barry have been in the spa business since 1989 and own the Avello Spa & Health Club in the Westin Resort & Spa. Suzanne is also an abstract artist and has her own gallery in the Westin Hotel. She participates on a number of committees including the Alliance for Arts & Culture (ACT), Whistler Association of Retailers & Merchants (WARM) and the Whistler Galleries Association (WGA).


Elizabeth Tracy

Elizabeth Tracy has been the Director at the Whistler Public Library since 2012. Before transplanting to Whistler, she managed the youth services department of the Wilkinson Public Library in Telluride, Colorado. Prior to her career in libraries Elizabeth worked in variety of arts and culture roles ranging from art education with inner-city kids to documentary film. When she is not at the library she enjoys biking, climbing, skiing and chasing after her spunky toddler, Piper. Elizabeth is passionate about supporting arts and culture in Whistler because it makes for a happy and healthy community.


Kimberley Stanger

Kimberley is the Manager of Operations at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre and has enjoyed working in a dynamic cultural museum environment overseeing all aspects of daily business since 2008.   As a graduate of the Ontario Collage of Art & Design in 1994, Kim’s lifelong passion for arts and cultural has allowed her the opportunity of working in several art sectors including graphic design, theatrical production, fashion, and both public and private art galleries.  Beginning as a designer and creator, then later transitioning into the business side of the arts, her career offers a deep understanding of the many aspects of arts and cultural industries particularly related to tourist based attractions.  Hailing from Toronto, Kim and has been a community member since 2000, raising her two children in Whistler.


Brianna Beacom

Brianna, originally from Ingersoll, Ontario, has, with great pleasure, lived in Whistler since 2007. Her position as Operations Manager for the Audain Art Museum utilizes her strong leadership and organizational skills. Brianna has worked with Arts Whistler as General Manager, which served to immerse her in the daily life of the community and honed her passion for board work and governance. She has a BA in Fine Arts (Image Arts – Photography Studies) from Ryerson University and has been working in the Not-For-Profit Arts and Culture sector since 2011. Brianna’s passion for the creative arts and her love of the mountain lifestyle perfectly marries the art of living in Whistler.


Cathy Jewett

Cathy came to Whistler from Toronto in 1976 for a season and stayed for a lifetime. She has worked on the mountain for more than forty years as a liftee, dispatcher, patroller and now supervises the Mountain Safety program on Whistler and Blackcomb. Cathy has also been involved with many community organizations including WORCA, AWARE, VANOC, CFOW, the Audain Museum and currently chairs Communities That Care Whistler. While her two children Max and Bryn were growing up, Cathy chaired the local Myrtle Philip Parent Advisory Council and the Sea to Sky District Parent Advisory Council and served on the Board of Directors of the BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils. In 2016, Cathy was recognized as Whistler’s Citizen of the Year.


Shelagh Thiessen

Growing up in the mountain resort community of Invermere, BC Shelagh was immersed in a multitude of recreational activities and exposed to a diverse range of local arts and cultural. She moved to Whistler in 2002 to pursue a career in resort planning and design upon graduating with distinction from the University of Guelph in Landscape Architecture. While living in Guelph, Shelagh took up figurative drawing and hasn’t looked back. She is one of the lead volunteers and facilitators of Whistler’s Figure Drawing Group and participates regularly with community arts and drawing events. Returning from a year abroad in Austria, Shelagh worked with Arts Whistler as the Community Programmer and Art Workshops on the Lake Programmer, collaborating with Sea-to-Sky artists and instructors as well as local groups to round out arts and culture offerings in the community. She is a valuable team member at Ecosign Mountain Resort Planners where Shelagh utilizes her strong communication skills, excellent multi-tasking abilities and ensures top-quality results with a creative flare.


Interested in becoming a Director? Contact us at info@artswhistler.com, or via phone at 604.935.8410.