Behind the Scenes: Q&A WITH LAURA WHITE, BOARD PRESIDENT
The West Kootenay Regional Arts Council (WKRAC) exists to help arts, culture and heritage in the Kootenays 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.
Laura White, Board President
From Krestova and recently retired, Laura White is President of the WKRAC board and supports the CKCA steering committee.
WKRAC: How did you come to call the Kootenays home?
LW: It was mostly economic; thirty years ago, we were able to purchase our house in the West Kootenay for $20,000, which was only a down payment for a house in the Vancouver area we came from.
Are you involved in arts, culture and heritage outside of your work with WKRAC/CKCA? If so, what is your discipline or practice?
I have a creative journal practice and I design, teach and make jewellery.
Why did you wish to join this board/committee?
I joined the WKRAC board to be involved at a regional level. (I have also been an executive board member of a local community arts council and provincial arts organizations.)
I joined the CKCA committee as the opportunity to grant money to creative individuals and arts organizations (through funding from Columbia Basin Trust) is amazing!
What do you think people in the region should be proud of in terms of arts, culture and heritage?
They should be proud that there is a tremendous amount of work being produced and presented, despite being a region of small, rural, isolated communities.
What advice do you have for people in the region pursuing a career in arts, culture and heritage?
I’m hesitant to give advice because everyone’s situation is different. In general, it is still difficult to make a living solely from creative work at the beginning, so my advice would be to keep doing what you love but also learn how to approach creative work as a business professional. For example, if you are selling work, you need to keep financial records. If you can’t learn to do it yourself, then you need to hire someone to do it. Making a living from creative work means knowing where the money is coming from and where it is going.
What vision do you see for the future of arts, culture and heritage in the Kootenays?
I see a more inclusive and accessible community that is able to incorporate local and regional concerns and opportunities into the work they do.