Behind the Scenes: Q&A WITH ANDRA LOUIE, CKCA STEERING COMMITTEE MEMBER
The West Kootenay Regional Arts Council (WKRAC) exists to help arts, culture and heritage in the Columbia Basin thrive. To do so, we rely on a dedicated team of board members, plus steering committee members who oversee the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance (CKCA) arts and culture grants.
Who are these people? In this series, we’re introducing you to the folks behind the scenes.
Andra Louie, CKCA Steering Committee Member
Andra Louie lives in Kimberley, where she works as the Regional Program Manager for East Kootenay for the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy.
WKRAC: How did you come to call the Columbia Basin home?
AL: I grew up in Invermere and moved away for post-secondary school and the start of my career in the big cities of Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. I was thrilled to relocate back to the region in 2014 with my family.
Are you involved in arts, culture and heritage outside of your work with WKRAC/CKCA? If so, what is your discipline or practice?
I help organize and produce community cultural events and love to attend as many live music and theatrical productions as I can.
Why did you wish to join this board/committee?
It’s really important to me to be an advocate and champion of artists. I see this as an opportunity to get to know and work with others around the Basin who have a similar interest in supporting the arts, while growing my skill set in grant adjudication.
What do you think people in the region should be proud of in terms of arts, culture and heritage?
Our region is gifted with a plethora of accessible art and culture year-round. I think people should be proud of the high calibre and variety of art, culture and heritage that is in our area and First Nations communities. We are fortunate to be able to take part in a multitude of events and performances that range in every direction.
What advice do you have for people in the region pursuing a career in arts, culture and heritage?
Seek out others who share your passion. Be authentic and don’t give up!
What vision do you see for the future of arts, culture and heritage in the Columbia Basin?
I envision greater financial support from various funding streams to ensure that artists can afford to remain in the region while continuing their artistic pursuits, raising their families and contributing to the quality of life we all love so much here in the Basin.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I’m hopeful that summer theatre will return to Kimberley! (Haha!)