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.

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

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.

April Andiel, Secretary/Treasurer

April only recently joined the board as Secretary/Treasurer in June 2016. She is an assurance and accounting manager in the Whistler office of BDO Canada LLP with more than 6 years of experience in public practice and is a designated Chartered Professional Account (CPA, CA). April has worked extensively over the years with Accounting Standards for Not-for-Profit Organizations and performs a variety of assurance engagements for not-for-profit organizations. Originally from Toronto, Ontario, she has called Whistler home for 13 years now and is actively involved in the community through her volunteer efforts and passion for the activities that the Sea to Sky region has to offer such as skiing, biking and running.

Karen Playfair

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 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 the Chair of the Board. 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, Association of BC Public Library Directors, and the Sea to Sky Radio Society. Joan is currently the southwestern region representative to the Assembly of BC Arts Councils.

Bob Barnett

Bob moved to Whistler in 1989 to become editor of the Whistler Question newspaper. In 1994 he co-founded Pique Newsmagazine, serving as editor until 2011. He recently retired as publisher of Pique Newsmagazine and president of Pique Publishing Inc. Bob has served on the boards of the Whistler Museum and Archives Society and the Whistler Chamber of Commerce. He joined the Arts Whistler board in 2011 and currently sits on the Finance Committee. Bob was also on the Steering Committee that oversaw the development of the Whistler Community Cultural Plan.

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.

Michele Comeau

Michele is the Manager of Communications for the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW). She joined the organization to manage communications and the Whistler Canada Olympic/Paralympic House for the 2010 Winter Games, and today oversees the municipal website, online and print communications and other corporate communications activities. She has worked with Tourism Whistler, the British Columbia Trade Development Corporation, and the Government of Canada. Michele holds a Diploma in Marketing Management (Communications major) from the British Columbia Institute of Technology as well as a Graduate Certificate in Public Relations from Royal Roads University. She is an accredited member of the Canadian Public Relations Society. She has been the RMOW board member with Arts Whistler since 2011.

Lisa Geddes

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 two years and a volunteer in the arts community for many more. Recently, Lisa has 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 enjoying many of Whistler’s awesome local cultural offerings. Lisa looks forward to continuing to support and advocate for arts and culture in Whistler.

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).

Joel Chevalier

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 Whistler Arts Council 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.

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. 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 the Elizabeth Fry Society, Dandelion Daycare Society, Whistler Chamber of Commerce, Whistler Health Care Foundation, Community Foundation of Whistler and Arts Whistler.


For information on becoming a Director, please contact info@artswhistler.com,
or via phone at 604-935-8410.