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:
Shelagh Thiessen, Chair
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.
Brianna Beacom, Past Chair
Brianna, originally from Ingersoll, Ontario, relocated to Whistler in 2007. Her position as Director of Operations 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.
Theresa LeRose, Treasurer
Theresa grew up in the lower mainland however Whistler has been her home since 1988. When her partner decided he no longer wanted to be part of the weekend drive traffic, she took a chance, quit her job and followed him up to the resort. Thirty-three years and two children later she is still enjoying all that Whistler has to offer.
Before taking on the role of Finance Manager at the Audain Art Museum in 2019, she was a sole practitioner serving small business clients in the Whistler area. Prior to that, Theresa worked for Whistler Blackcomb, mainly in Finance. She has a background in education along with an accounting designation and over 20 years’ experience in the accounting field.
While her two children were growing up, Theresa was involved in the local Spring Creek Community School Parent Advisory Council and has been an active member on her strata council since 2012.
Working in the Not-For-Profit Arts and Culture sector has given Theresa an appreciation of what is involved in providing visitors and locals a world-class arts and culture experience – Whistler style.
When she’s not working, you can find her with her e-reader or with her partner hiking, skiing or biking.
Cathy Jewett, RMOW Council appointee
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. 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.
Jessie Morden, RMOW Council appointee
Jessie is a Whistler born and raised local. She moved away for a brief 3 years to Fort St. John but one day had a epiphany that Whistler is where her heart and soul lives. She quit her job and moved back home within a week. She has been home for 5 years now.
Upon returning to Whistler she jumped right in to the community of Whistler as she knew that this is where she was going to be for the rest of her life. She currently volunteers with WAG, Big Brothers Big Sister, Arts Whistler, Whistler Community Services and Zero Ceilings. She also works as a paralegal with Race & Company.
Jessie enjoys all things Whistler; hiking, biking, swimming, skiing. Her and partner have 4 dogs and you will regularly see them out with their brood on the local trails or secret swimming holes.
Hailing from Toronto, Kimberley has raised her two children in Whistler and has been a resident since 2000.
She has enjoyed a dynamic career contributing to the success of several arts and cultural organizations, most recently she has demonstrated eleven year of management experience as the Director of Operations at Whistler’s Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre.
As a graduate of the Ontario College of Art in 1994, Kimberley’s lifelong passion for the arts began when she attended a Secondary School for the Arts, majoring in Visual Art. Kimberley offers a deep understanding of arts and culture industry particularly related to tourism-based attractions.
Murray Hunt has lived in Whistler since 2003 after growing up in Eastern Ontario.
He is a long-time employee of Whistler Blackcomb and is currently an Area Manager for Retail Rental. Murray and his wife Kim have two school-age children who love speeding down our mountains.
Murray’s passions revolve around all things guitar. He builds his own guitars under the Whistler Guitar Co. banner and an increasing number of these instruments can be seen in the hands of local musicians. As a performer, Murray has been active as the lead singer of The Combat Dolphins since 2013 and frequently contributes to other projects as a guitarist.
Murray continues to forge friendships and take inspiration from the eclectic and talented community of musicians who call Whistler home.
Originally from the UK, Liz graduated from Northumbria University with a BA Honours Degree in History of Modern Art, Design and Film Studies. She began her career with Sotheby’s London in the Contemporary Art department, subsequently continuing her career with Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, working on exhibitions by artists such as Yoko Ono, Damien Hirst and Jenny Holzer.
Liz decided to relocate to Canada in 2010, and Whistler, with its vibrant culture and expanding art scene, was a natural choice.
With over a decade of experience working in the arts, primarily as Co-director at Mountain Galleries at the Fairmont, one of Western Canada’s largest commercial art galleries with locations in Whistler, Banff Jasper and Stratford; Liz passionately upholds the mission of the gallery to support and promote Canadian artists.
Liz’s role involves overseeing the three galleries, and working closely with artists to foster communication and relationship with the gallery and Executive Director. Curating the collection and art consultation.
Locally, Liz is a member of the Alliance for Cultural Tourism Committee and active within Whistler’s Arts Community. She sits on the board for the Rotary Club of Whistler Millennium and Whistler’s Association of Retailers and Merchants.
Personal life includes raising a 3 year old ‘Whistler kid’, and enjoying mountain activities such as trail running, Paddle Boarding, climbing, snowboarding and swimming.
Jeanette Bruce, RMOW Representative
Thanks to a quarter-life crisis, Jeanette followed her partner Brad to Whistler in 2012 and has loved this mountain town ever since (although she’s still a Newfoundlander at heart).
Jeanette has worked as the Program & Marketing Coordinator at Whistler Public Library since 2015, where she’s had the pleasure of collaborating regularly with the team at Arts Whistler on Cultural Connector initiatives and partnered programs. The highlight of Jeanette’s library life is running the monthly Community Book Club, which began when she was working at Whistler’s beloved bookstore, Armchair Books.
Jeanette is passionate about building community through music and is proud to be at the helm of two local choirs, the Whistler Children’s Chorus (along with Allyn Pringle and Alison Hunter) and Barbed Choir (along with Laura Nedelak). These directing opportunities were a welcome return to her roots in choral music after a childhood spent singing with Shallaway, an internationally recognized choral organization in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
When she’s not reading, talking about books, or singing, Jeanette can be found knitting, skiing, biking, or getting tattooed (but not all at once).
Brad has served as the Executive Director & Curator of the Whistler Museum and Archives Society (WMAS) since 2015, and previously worked as their Artefact and Archives Collection manager (2012-2015). Brad also worked at various museums across Canada prior to arriving in Whistler to work as a WMAS intern in 2011.
As an active musician in Newfoundland for over ten years before moving to Whistler, Brad helped organize hundreds of shows and various tours in Atlantic Canada, gaining valuable experience in booking, graphic design and performance.
Brad also volunteered at various arts organizations and productions in Newfoundland, including at Eastern Edge Gallery and the L.S.P.U. Hall.
In addition to his professional and volunteer work, Brad received training in film production at the Newfoundland Independent Film Makers Co-Op. Brad was honored with two MusicNL award nominations for groups he played with in 2005 and 2009.
While attending university, Brad served two years on the board of Memorial University of Newfoundland’s Student Union.
When Brad’s not busy with work or volunteering, he likes to stay active through his hobbies of cycling, skiing, and photography. He is also passionate about giving back to the community through volunteering at bicycle and ski races.
Katie grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and made her way to the West Coast of Canada via stints in Europe and New Zealand, eventually landing in Whistler in 2006. 15+ years, a husband, two stepdaughters and one little boy later, Katie still loves this little town and the rich mountain experiences it offers to residents and visitors alike.
Katie has a background in tourism management, with a focus on visitor experience and product development. Prior to working for her family business, Katie spent 13 years with Tourism Whistler, where she worked closely with Arts Whistler on a number of projects including the Whistler Wine Walk, Whistler Frights & Delights and LIFTing the Community, as well as seasonal marketing campaigns.
In her spare time, you can find Katie hiking with her dog, Bo, devouring books, hitting the lake with her family or constructing a mean cheese board.
Interested in becoming a Director? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via phone at 604.935.8410.