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.
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 starting skiing in Whistler in 1988. He moved to Whistler permanently in 2013 to join Whistler Blackcomb as the Senior Manager of Finance and Investor relations. He currently holds the position of Senior Manager of Treasury and Strategic Development for Vail Resorts. Prior to joining Whistler Blackcomb, David was 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. 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.
Karen Playfair has been a resident of Whistler since 1981. In that time, Karen has worked for several local organizations, including over a decade with local government in the Sea to Sky corridor. In 2014, she retired from her most recent role of Vice President, Finance and Operations with Tourism Whistler, where she had worked since 2001. Though she now splits her time between Whistler and the South Chilcotin Mountains area, Karen continues to be active in the Whistler community with her work on the boards of the Whistler Centre for Sustainability and Arts Whistler. Karen is a designated Certified General Accountant.
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.
Lisa is a visual artist, wife, and mother of three and has been a full-time resident of Whistler since 2009. She has been a director on the board of Arts Whistler for five years and a volunteer in the arts community for many more. Recently, Lisa recently begun teaching art classes for adults and youth as part of Arts Whistler’s community programming. When Lisa is not busy being a mom and wife, painting, volunteering, or teaching, she enjoys hiking, cross country skiing, swimming, socializing with friends, and many of Whistler’s local cultural offerings. Lisa looks forward to continuing to support and advocate for arts and culture in Whistler.
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).
Joel is the Vice President of Employee Experience with Whistler Blackcomb. Originally from Bolton, Ontario, he was transferred to Whistler in 1999 through the Delta Hotel brand and began working for Whistler Blackcomb in 2001. Holding positions as Human Resources Generalist, Housing Manager, Lean Six Sigma Blackbelt, Joel currently oversees the human resources division for the organization’s 4,000 employees. Joel sits on several advisory committees with go2HR in Vancouver supporting their mandate to provide human resources services and advocacy to the hospitality and tourism industry in British Columbia. Joel is also a supporter of the Zero Ceiling foundation in Whistler and is a new member on the Arts Whistler board. Joel holds a degree in Political Science from Wilfrid Laurier University, a Diploma in Human Resources Management from Humber College and certificates in Critical Incident Response from both the Justice Institute of BC and the University of Maryland.
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 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, 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.
Nancy Wilhelm-Morden, ex-officio Appointee, Municipal Council
Nancy Wilhelm-Morden was born and raised in Kitchener, Ontario. She came to Whistler (then known as Alta Lake) for a two-week holiday in the summer of 1973. Like so many others, she caught the Whistler bug and has been here ever since. Along the way, she completed her university and legal training and was called to the Bar in 1984. Since 1987, she has been a partner in the law firm of Race and Company. In 2016, Nancy was designated Queen’s Counsel. Nancy holds a belief in community service. She has sat as a councillor for the Resort Municipality of Whistler for four terms and was re-elected mayor for a second term in November 2014. She has also served on the boards of a number of community groups including Tourism Whistler, Dandelion Daycare Society, Whistler Chamber of Commerce, Whistler Health Care Foundation, Community Foundation of Whistler and Arts Whistler.