Behind the Scenes: Q&A WITH JANEY WEEKS, 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.
Janey Weeks, CKCA Steering Committee Member
Janey Weeks lives in Valemount, where she retired in 2022 from the Valemount Community Forest.
WKRAC: How did you come to call the Columbia Basin home?
JW: I moved here as a teenager from Vancouver and never left. I love nature and untamed spaces, so I stayed.
Are you involved in arts, culture and heritage outside of your work with WKRAC/CKCA? If so, what is your discipline or practice?
I am a musician; I give piano lessons to a few young people.
Why did you wish to join this board/committee?
I have been involved with arts, culture and heritage all my life, and then in Valemount since 1975. When I retired, I thought, This is something that interests me and seems to be a theme in my life. It is time to become involved. I see that my role is to encourage individuals and groups in my community to apply for CKCA funding/programs and be aware of opportunities in the region.
What do you think people in the region should be proud of in terms of arts, culture and heritage?
What I think the region should be proud of is the blend of who we are. I think everyone should honour their past—offer forward what they have and pass on what we can to future generations.
What advice do you have for people in the region pursuing a career in arts, culture and heritage?
Do what you love. When you come to making a choice, choose the path that will eventually take you where you want to be. Enjoy and be proud of your journey.
What vision do you see for the future of arts, culture and heritage in the Columbia Basin?
May arts, culture and heritage always be valued by communities in the region. May these communities provide places for display and performance, and that they be open-minded and inclusive for groups and individuals to be able to thrive in the whole region. Always make sure that arts, culture and heritage in the region are well funded and remain focused on the people that live here.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
In small communities (pop <1,200) I would like to see financially supported art, music, culture and heritage as part of mandatory curriculum (at least) in public school, to expose youth to what may be an unknown opportunity. I would like to see publicly funded institutions be inclusive to community-led art, culture or heritage projects, programs and activities year-round.